Forever short on subtlety and big on serve, Serena Williams sent Maria Sharapova packing at Wimbledon yesterday, 7-6 (9-7), 6-4, in a match in which two of the game’s biggest bashers played to deuce but once in each set.
Finesse, no. Serve-approach-and-volley, no, no, and stop the joking, OK? Instead, two of the game’s biggest headliners/baseliners — in a rematch of the ’04 final in which Sharapova won her first career major — took aim at one another on a bright, warm afternoon at the All-England Lawn and Tennis Club, and in the end it was the steely, hulking Williams who launched the 6-foot-2-inch Russian Rockette right out of Centre Court.
“That’s certainly how she wins a majority of her matches, by serving so well,’’ noted Sharpova, looking her best since undergoing shoulder (rotator cuff) surgery in late 2008. “It makes you think you really need to hold on to your service games. I did a good job of that, but, you know . . . just not enough.’’