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Australia Open 2015 : Serena won her 19th grand slam title


Women’s tennis – the future landscape, the boss said. Tell us about that. Given that it is the last day of the tournament and everyone is exhausted (not only does the water go the wrong way down the plughole in Australia, they appear to have 35-hour days here in Melbourne), none of us can remember our own names at this point; predicting the future might be an ask too far. Right, then: the future landscape... Well, scanning the horizon, it looks pretty flat apart from two large peaks and a small hillock. Now read on…
1. Serena and Shazza is the only show in town
What the past two weeks have taught us is that, in their pomp, the current world Nos.1 and 2 are streets ahead of everyone else. The other women can have their moments but when it comes to sheer, dogged, you’re-not-having-this-point-if-it’s-the-last-thing-I-ever-do determination and champion’s spirit, neither woman can be matched. There will be times during the year when they are not at the physical best – that is an occupational hazard for any player – and there will be times when they are not fully match-tough, but when it comes to the business end of a slam, you will have to kill them to beat them. And then, in time honoured fashion, Serena meets Shazza and Serena wins. It seems to be one of the laws of nature. Serena makes it six

Serena’s call to armsWe begin on a serious note. When Serena won her 19th grand slam title, her sixth Australian Open trophy and her 16th successive match with Maria Sharapova, she was understandably delighted. But knowing that the moment of tennis history was being beamed around the world to millions watching on TV, she took her opportunity to spread the word about Motor Neurone Disease (MND). This insidious, deadly condition has affected the normally cocooned world of tennis: it claimed the life of Brad Drewett, chief executive of the ATP, two years ago and last January Jerome Golmard, a former French No.1, was diagnosed with the disease. As she clutched the trophy, Serena explained how everyone on the tour had been touched by the effects of MND and, having already made a TV advert to promote awareness of the disease, she was now donating $200 for every ace she served throughout the tournament. She welted down 88 aces so that is $17,600 heading towards the MND Association.  “I did an ad for Motor Neurone Disease, MND, and it's so important to raise awareness for that because anyone can get it,” she said. “It's affecting our friends, people on the tour, people that I personally know. I just wanted to address that as well.”

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