Skeptics, critics, and non-believers were all proven wrong today as Vera Zvonareva reached the pinnacle of grass court tennis. With a hard-fought three set win over Tsvetana Pironkova, the young Russian booked a spot in the Wimbledon final. Battling back from a set down like she did in the quarterfinals against Kim Clijsters, Zvonareva roared back in the final two sets winning the match in convincing fashion. Filled with excitement and disbelief as she entered her first major final, Zvonareva said, "I think I haven't realized it yet that I will be playing in the final." She will realize it soon enough as she meets defending champion and world number one Serena Williams.
Serena Williams presents a tough challenge for every player on tour, and Vera understands that more than anyone having not beating Serena since 2006 and having a career record of 1-5 against the champion. But for gaining her first entry into a grand slam final, Vera is quite confident stating, "I know if I play my best tennis, I can beat anyone on the other side of the net. That's what I'm going to try to do on Saturday. I never look at odds or comparisons. It's not important to me." Vera should be confident heading into the final since she only has lost two sets all tournament.
The keys for Vera will be her serve and aggressiveness off the ground. If she can win service games easily, she will put pressure on Serena's serve and hopefully break it down. Being aggressive off the baseline will help her push Serena back and not allow her to dictate play. Defeating Serena and capturing her first grand slam title at Wimbledon will be a tall task for the 25-year old Russian, but everyone at IMG is pulling for her!