Serena soars to another Aussie title
December, 17, 2010
By Ravi Ubha, ESPN.com | ESPN.com
Editor's note: It seems every year is a good one for tennis fans. With so many stars and so many matches, you're left with indelible memories aplenty. Beginning Dec. 13, Ravi Ubha is unveiling the top 100 moments of the 2010 season. Check back each weekday until Dec. 24 as we count down to No. 1.
30. Another letdown for Dementieva
Elena Dementieva must have had high hopes at the Australian Open. After all, she won a prep tournament in Sydney, routing Serena Williams in the final.
Dementieva drew comeback Belgian Justine Henin in the second round, yet -- not for the first time -- the Russian failed to deliver at crunch time.
She blew two set points in the first and one in the second, succumbing 7-5, 7-6 (6) in a compelling, nearly three-hour contest.
The story of her career.
29. A hilarious double act
For tennis fans, the Roger Federer-Rafael Nadal promo video is a must-see. Nadal announced he'd face Federer this month in Switzerland in an exhibition, with Federer returning the favor by showing up in Spain.
The segment, though, wasn't so straightforward.
The intense on-court rivals couldn't stop laughing -- actually, it was more Fed -- and had to do several takes.
28. End of the road
Dementieva's retirement in October caught everyone by surprise. She offered no hints and was still playing well. Typical of the 29-year-old not to make a fuss.
There weren't many dry eyes in the house when Dementieva gave her farewell speech in Doha.
She was a class act, barring a comment or two about the Williams sisters, and always left everything on court.
Unfortunately, she'll probably be remembered as one of the best players to go Slam-less.
27. Tears at Wimbledon
Vera Zvonareva was supposed to be over her emotional meltdowns.
Zvonareva burst into tears after losing the first set of the doubles final at Wimbledon. Partner Elena Vesnina did her best to console Zvonareva, who had lost the singles final hours earlier.
26. Trading baseline punches
Preparing to face Nadal at the World Tour Finals, Andy Murray muttered that he had little chance.
What a kidder.
Nadal edged the Scot in a pulsating 3-hour, 11-minute battle, overturning a 4-1 deficit in the third-set tiebreaker.
"I played one of the finest matches in my career," Nadal said.
But it wasn't the way Nadal wanted to prepare for Federer the next day.
25. Clijsters does it again
Kim Clijsters should play in New York every week.
Clijsters extended her winning streak at the U.S. Open to 21, overpowering Zvonareva in a dull finale.
Clijsters, mind you, was let off the hook by Venus Williams in the semis. Up a set, Williams went missing in a second-set tiebreaker.
24. Rendy beats Andy
As far as upsets go, this was right up there.
Yen-Hsun "Rendy" Lu, the son of a chicken farmer, ousted three-time finalist Andy Roddick in the fourth round at Wimbledon, 4-6, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (4), 6-7 (5), 9-7, in 4 hours, 36 minutes.
Lu was allowed to dictate, and he saved seven of eight break points. Meanwhile, Roddick was broken only once -- a familiar story for the Nebraska native at the All England Club.
Lu, the first Taiwanese to reach a Grand Slam quarterfinal, isn't averse to springing surprises. He downed Murray at the Olympics and David Nalbandian at the Australian Open.
23. Serena stops the surge
The diminutive Henin played four grueling matches in succession in Melbourne. Following Dementieva, she battled past more towering foes -- Alisa Kleybanova, Yanina Wickmayer and Nadia Petrova.
Eventually waiting in the final was Serena Williams, and that was a bridge too far.
Williams sealed a fifth Australian Open and 12th Grand Slam title, tying Billie Jean King.
She finally managed to win in Melbourne in an even-numbered year.
22. Another Slam-less No. 1
First it was Jelena Jankovic. Then came Dinara Safina. This year saw Caroline Wozniacki ascend to No. 1 without winning a major.
The bubbly 20-year-old Dane achieved the feat in October, overtaking an injured Serena and getting help from Clijsters, who didn't play enough to hit the top spot.
Jankovic won't win a major, and Safina's back problems leave her in doubt. What does the future hold for Wozniacki?
21. Quite the trick
It might not have been authentic, but Federer's knocking a can off a person's head with a serve was pretty darn entertaining.
Federer engineered the stunt in the midst of shooting an ad for Gillette, one of his sponsors. Actually, he did it twice.
Internet forums and message boards were quickly filled with curious readers who wondered whether the episode was real.
"Not saying that," Federer responded at the Cincinnati Masters. "A magician doesn't tell how his tricks work."