Serena Williams’ bid to crown her sensational comeback year by regaining the WTA Championships title carried her into the final with her fourth straight sets win on Saturday.
Williams’ 6-2, 6-1 success against Agnieszka Radwanska, was a sequel to the close-fought Wimbledon final with the in-form Pole, but despite that there was an overwhelming sense of inevitability about it.
While Radwanska had had a record-breaking three-and-a-half hour match against Sara Errani the night before, Williams had had a rest day.
Stats showed that the underdog had already run three times as far as the former champion to get to the semi-finals.
Not surprisingly Radwanska had admitted that it would be an achievement “just to get to the court in one piece.”
Serena’s side to side ground strokes soon made it clear that she would have to cover large areas of court again – and that was something which could not be repeated for long.
Briefly Radwanska made a little progress, breaking back from an early service loss and reaching 2-2. But once Williams had punished her tired opponent’s second serve to break it again, and then consolidated by holding with a love game, it was mostly one way traffic.
When Radwanska hung on briefly by holding serve for 1-2 in the second set, it only made Williams prepare a little earlier for each stroke, tighten up her driving, and finish the match quickly with controlled aggression.
Routine though the win was, she seemed thrilled with the outcome. Waving ecstatically and fluffing up her already voluminous hair she announced that all she wanted to do now was finish the season with a win.
That will have special meaning, given that this has been a year in which she showed she has finally recovered from the horrific 12 months out during which a blood clot in her lungs threatened her life.
It has seen her win the Olympic, Wimbledon and Us Open titles, and the WTA Championships title, which she last win three years ago and first won 11 years ago would cap it off excellently.
She was due to play the winner of Victoria Azarenka, the world number one from Belarus, and Maria Sharapova, the French Open champion from Russia. And even as the number three seed, Williams will be clear favourite.
Radwanska meanwhile can still contemplate a season in which she closed up in the top three. She scored two wins, led Sharapova by a set and 4-2, and but for two huge matches lasting more than three hours, might have had a fair chance of taking Williams the full distance, as she did at Wimbledon. her future looks good.