PLAY ME? In your dreams! That was the message Serena Williams sported on her dark blue tee before the start of the WTA Tier II Bangalore Open.
Patty Schnyder's dream of defeating the eight-time Grand Slam champion in the final was shattered in an enthralling match that made Sunday night a scintillating one.
Patty may have walked on to the court with a strategy, but Serena did not allow the Swiss to execute her plan by winning 7-5, 6-3 in front of a full house.
The American's passion for the game or desperation to win her first title of the year was evident in the way she fired seven aces and the groundstrokes she hit.
The desperation to play the right shots and regain form also came through when she crushed her racquet after playing a poor shot. This happened despite the fact that she was 3-2 up in the first set.
After the match, Serena said she got carried away. "I'm too passionate of what I am doing sometimes," she said wearing the same tee.
One couldn't help feeling sorry for the Swiss world No. 12, who failed to capitalise on the 3-1 lead in the second set. But Serena, who later said her best was yet to come, it was all about dominating the rallies. "I can't say I have played my best match. Schnyder played very well. I just tried to make less errors," she added.
The American definitely benefitted after playing here. Her first two outings were rusty. But on Sunday, she kept the ball in play as she could not allow the Swiss to hold any sort of advantage.
Patty said she lost energy during the match and had problems with her footwork. "Suddenly after the first set I began to lose focus. My footwork became slower. I think my energy went back to Switzerland," she said jokingly.
The first set was close where both players exchanged a break in the sixth (Serena got the first break) and seventh game. In the tenth, despite winning two consecutive brilliant rallies -— levelling at 5-5 — Patty handed a set point on serve in the 12th game.
With three double faults in the first set costing her dearly, the Swiss's double-handed backhand hit the net. Serena was now on roll.
Though Patty had her chances in the second, Serena produced some superb tennis to win the golden salver.
"I am very happy to be in India. It was an event that was put together very well and I would love to come here again," said the world No. 11.
"In terms of improving my form and ranking, I am very happy to win my first title of the year. There are still so many tournaments to play and I am looking forward to regaining my best."
Sreesanth courts tennis!
Even on the tennis courts, cricket ruled! Indian cricketer S. Sreesanth decided to pay a surprise visit to watch the Bangalore Open final between Serena Williams and Patty Schnyder. Though the visit was short the response from the crowd was good enough for the KSLTA officials to interview Sreesanth during a match break in the second set. The interview seemed to have upset the chair umpire Seri Raffaella of Italy as she looked around in amazement.