Serena Williams has been struggling this week. She returned to the circuit at Top Seed Open, playing after the pandemic. She played both of her previous matches in 3 sets and won after over two hours of battle. Rogers won 1-6. 6-4. 7-6 (7-6) against the top seed causing a major upset.
The match was delayed due to the rain in Lexington.
The 27 year old Rogers and Serena were to face each other for the first time ever.
Serena dominated the first set
Serena Williams cruised through the first set holding serve and breaking Rogers. She lead 3-0 before Roger got the first hold at 3-1. Serena’s service was too big for Rogers to return. Serena won the first set holding each of her service game.
Serena won 77% of her first serve points while Rogers won 64%. However the main difference was the second serve points which Rogers won 0% and Serena 70%. The world no.9 was impressive with her service while she struggled with it in the previous matches.
She won the first set in only 26 minutes. It seemed it will be a one sided match.
Rogers fought hard to win the second set
Rogers began with a hold, and winning the opening game of the second set. But Serena was holding her serve, comparatively in an easier fashion.
The players were on serve, each holding their own. Rogers seemed to have got herself together and made Serena sweat in the second set.
At 4-4 Serena lead 0-30 on Rogers’ serve only to make it 30-30 and Roger saved her service game. At 4-5 Serena served to stay in the match and Serena was three set points down as Rogers let them skip. Serena hit an ace and Rogers made an error. It was deuce.
Rogers held on her nerves and coverted the set points to make it one set all after 41 minutes of the second set.
Final Set won by Rogers in the tie break
The two women went all out. Serena had already played long matches and this one was again a third setter. Both the women continued to hold their serves till 3-3. There were long intense rallies and the court in Kentucky was witnessing yet another epic battle.
At 3-4 Serena showed beautiful ground strokes to hold her serve. Still she neeeded to break Rogers. But the young American was just not ready to allow Serena a break.
Yet again Serena needed to serve to stay in the match at 4-5. Despite the hold from each player, the rallies amongst them were phenomenal. The match was close and could be inclined towards any player.
This time Serena held her serve and it was 5-5. As the clock marked two hours of play between the players. Serena served to play the third set tie break as she went 5-6 down. Serena showed her champion spirit and made it 6-6.
The tie- break saw Serena leading 3-1, only to make unforced erorrs making the score 3-3.At 4-6 Serena saved Rogers’ first match point but could not save the second. Sherby Roger won against Serena Williams to move to the Semi finals.