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Serena Williams Canít Stop America From Falling
By Ken Miller, Lawn Tennis Analyst, Posted: Monday, May 11, 2015 10:51pm PST USA
Serena Williams Canít Stop America From Falling BRINDISI--Last month at Brindisi, Italy, in Fed Cup World Group playoff action, the USA took on Italy; and although the top ranked American Serena Williams won both of her singles matches, in the end she couldnít stop America from falling.

On a windy Sunday with cool temperatures with the team competition country score tied at 1-1, Williams faced the Italian counterpuncher Sara Errani.

Williams had never lost a match in Fed Cup but struggled early in her second of the clay court season as she dropped serve to trail 3-4.

The American broke serve to level the set at 4 all before struggling again on serve to reach deuce number two.

In running down an Errani

the world number one Serena Williams of the USA
Lawn Tennis
With Errani serving for the match only two points away at 6-4, 5-4 30-15, Williams hit an overhead winner, followed by a down the line backhand winner and a down the line swing forehand volley winner to break serve and level the set at 5 all.

dropshot, Williams sent a down the line backhand stab long to face breakpoint.

Williams then netted a crosscourt backhand to lose serve and fall behind 4-5.

Despite routinely delivering serves in the 70 to 80 miles per hour range, Erani raced ahead setpoint at 40-0 after Williams sent a crosscourt forehand return long.

A netted crosscourt backhand slice from Williams ended the set 6-4.

In set two, serving at 4 all, Williams committed two groundstroke errors before double faulting on breakpoint to trail 4-5.

However with Errani serving for the match only two points away at 6-4, 5-4 30-15, Williams hit an overhead winner, followed by a down the line backhand winner and a down the line swing forehand volley winner to break serve and level the set at 5 all.

Both players held serve to reach a tiebreaker which the American then took following more powerful baseline play.

With the match on serve in set three at 3 all, Williams stepped up her level of play once again to take the last three games of the match to win 4-6, 7-6(7-3), 6-3.

Williams had held serve at love then broke serve at love to end the match and put the Americans ahead 2-1.

However the American team then lost both their fourth singles match and their doubles match to fall 3-2 to Italy.

Williamsí older sister and frequent doubles partner Venus Williams had withdrawn from the meet for personal reasons which forced the USA to play a weaker doubles team of Serena Williams and Alison Riske in the decisive fifth match which the Americans lost to Errani and Flavia Pennetta 6-0, 6-3.

Italy returns to the World Group and will compete for the Fed Cup trophy next year while the Americans are relegated to World Group II.

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