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The Shocker of the Year: Serena Out | May | 2012 Articles

The Shocker of the Year: Serena Out

Written by Brandon Lawrence on .

The shocker of the year took place in Roland Garros today. After a painfully dull day of tennis, it looked as if the Serena Williams- Virginie Razzano match would finish off the day in the same fashion. Being declared the favorite based on her recent performances, Serena was facing Razzano, who wasn't even within the top 100 of the WTA rankings. Serena won the first set in a somehwat competitive 6-4 set, and Razzano had put up a decent fight in the second set, but Serena had pulled ahead 5-1 in the second set tiebreak. That's where the fun started. Follow us after the jump as we relive the biggest upset in recent memory.

After Serena took that 5-1 lead in the tiebreak, something seemed to happen. She let a lob drob, stopped play and looked for the mark. Eva Asderaki, the chair umpire, came down and called the ball good. Serena, not arguing the call, did something that was seemingly unusual for her, she looked visibly nervous. The next few points were very poorly played on her end, and Razzano raised her game enough to take advantage. Then, to make matters more interesting, she began fighting back tears in between sets. Quickly, she was down 5-0 in the third set, before anyone could realize what had happened. Then, the comeback began. She finally held, broke, then held again, and it was 5-3. It looked like she might just be able to claw her way back and win the match. Then the game happened. At 5-3, Razzano and Williams combined to produce one of the most intense, amazing, and fascinating single games I can remember. The game took longer than 20 minutes, and combined for 12 deuces, 8 match points, and 5 break points. On those break points, it was Serena who simply went for too much, missing a few returns. Still, on the match points, Razzano couldn't close either. Both were simultaneously choking and melting down in front of the partisan Parisian crowd. In the end, Razzano was just a bit more consistent, and Serena's final shot just landed long. Razzano recieved a hero's ovation, and she completed what was the biggest win of her career. 

So what does this mean for both of the women involved? We'll start with Razzano. She'll lose in the next round, and if not, then the next. Still, this was the best moment of her career, and one she'll savor for a very long time. For Serena, it's a warning sign. She got tight, from the first sign of real adversary. She showed in Australia that she can't just walk into a major and win it anymore. She didn't just walk into the French Open, she had ample preparation, and still lost in the first round. Where does she go from here? She's going to keep playing obviously, but this raises serious questions about her future. Can she keep that mental edge? Can she fight through thhe tough ones? No one should pencil her in to the finals anymore, and predict her as the winner of majors from now on at your own peril. 

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