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Serena Moves On, Tsonga Moves Out

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

~~Australian Open Quarterfinals~~

American Serena Williams was overheated, playing poorly and going downhill fast during the first set of her match against Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova, and then...they closed the roof. Much to the delight of Serena and the dismay of Kuznetsova, the lower temperature on the court allowed Serena to heat up and turn the quarterfinal match around.

At the time that the Australian Open officials decided to close the roof, the temperature on the court was a reported 107 degrees. As the roof was being closed, fans held up individual homemade signs that collectively said, "thank you for closing the roof."

Serena said later, "I was in like an out-of-body experience."

"I felt I was watching someone play in a blue dress, and it wasn't me, because it was so hot out there." "And I kept trying to tell myself that it's not hot, you know."

"But it got hotter ...."

After losing the first set, Serena was able to come back, take the second set and go on to win the match 5-7, 7-5, 6-1.

Serena is scheduled to play another Russian, Elena Dementieva, in her semifinal. When asked what she thought about being the only non-Russian in the semifinals Serena responded, "I guess it's me against the Russians."

On the other hand, over on the men's side, big Jo-Willy seemed to be out of gas from the very beginning of his match. Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga never was able to get a strong hold onto the match. Spaniard Fernando Verdasco, much to my surprise, was strictly business on the court last night. Verdasco ws energized and focused throughout the match and had an answer for nearly everything that Tsonga threw at him.

Verdasco defeated the 2008 finalist 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-3 6-2.

Photos by Getty Images

Posted by Shelia

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