As expected, it will come down to Henin vs. Sharapova.
I actually got a chance to watch some of the semis from yesterday. My thoughts:
Henin vs. AnaIvo - As expected, Henin won, but this time, AnaIvo made her work a bit harder for it. This was a far cry from the beatdown Justine put on Ana in the French final. The marathon game in the first set when Ana had five break point opportunities, yet Henin still came through spoke volumes. Justine finds a way. However, she needs to also find her first serve, or Maria will feed off of it just like Ana did. On a hard court, I think it may only be a matter of time before AnaIvo starts to dominate...though I felt she had a few too many UE yesterday, but at least she was going for her shots and not holding back. A great effort from the youngster, and not a bad way to end the year.
Chakie vs. Sharapova - This was almost embarrassing. Well, for Chakie, it *was* embarrassing. She had never beaten Masha going into this, so I guess we shouldn't have expected anything different yesterday. Masha smacked her down pretty hard. During the match, the commentators mentioned that Maria hadn't started serving again until a week before the tournament. Maybe that is all she needed...a good long rest to heal the shoulder, as well as the mind.
This, of course, gives us the expected final (well, not expected at the beginning, but expected once everyone saw how well Maria was playing) of Henin vs. Sharapova. Will Justine once again find a way? Or will Maria's serve, return, and firepower be too much for the smaller (but not weaker) Belgium?
The doubles final was decided today, with #1 seeds Black/Huber taking on the team of Ai Sugiyama and Katerina Srebotnik. Black/Huber had to take out Pestchke/Stubbs to get this far, and that was quite the match. As to be expected, it featured a long argument by Rennae Stubbs with the chair, who finally put Stubbsy in her place. That semi, as well as today's final, was decided by the 10 point super tiebreak, and Black/Huber showed why they have been one of the dominate teams this year...in a tiebreak, every point counts, and they stayed steady to win both and take home the title. It was especially sweet for Cara Black, who had many times been a runner-up at YEC, but never won until today.
Samantha Stosur is recovering from Lyme disease, so that is why we were missing Raymond/Stosur. Here's to hoping she makes a full recovery and is back in the *swing* of things in time for the events in her home country!