Women’s tournament excitement

Jun 28, 2011

It’s the beginning of week two at Wimbledon, but of course you don’t need me to tell you that. All you need to do is to take a quick glance at the upsets that have made the headlines these last two days to know for sure that we are into a new phase of Wimbledon 2011. The women’s side of the tournament is the most fruitful for fantastic shockers.

First, the Williams sisters went down. Both were knocked out by feisty opponents who refused to see their return to Wimbledon as an excuse to lie down and die. Serena Williams was defeated by the French woman Marion Bartoli, who has caused a stir throughout this tournament after she banished her parents from the court in the middle of a match whilst struggling against Flavia Pennetta. All seemed forgiven though, as it was her parents – sat proudly in the player’s box – who she turned too first when he dream of beating a Williams sister to get through to the quarter finals. Serena was obviously devastated by the loss, but it would be an immense feat for her to return to her former ways after such a long and serious absence.

Her sister Venus, who has won at Wimbledon five times, went down to the Belgian Pironkova, who has only one four matches this season before she arrived at Wimbledon. Before the match she had yet to drop a set. Venus’ game was littered with unforced errors, but it was not just her mistakes that drove the match in Pironkova’s favour. Pironkova played a smart and aggressive game that saw her break and get her nose out in front at each crucial moment in the match. Unfortunately she has just fallen to Petra Kvitova, and so has just missed out on a semi finals place.

Dominika Cibulkova caused a stir in the fourth round as she beat Caroline Wozniacki – the number one seed – in a convincing display of aggression. She fell in the next round, however, to Maria Sharapova who is on blistering form, and refused to be intimidated by the exciting Cibulkova and won 6-1 6-1.

Sabine Lisicki took her turn against the tenacious Bartoli as a shock winner herself. She beat Li Na in the third round, and as only a wild card has gone from strength to strength throughout the tournament. Her ranking is expected to go up to at least 35 from her original 62 placing. The win against Bartoli certainly helped. The first set was relatively even on both sides with Lisicki just coming through at 6-4. Bartoli fired up her fighting spirit though, and the second set was an intense affair, with Lisicki only winning through in a tense tiebreak. She regained her composure however just as Bartoli began to crack and took the final set 6-1.

As I write this, Victoria Zarenka is playing the unseeded Tamira Paszek, but there has just been a complaint from both players about the conditions of the court and tournament officials are currently assessing the situation.

The women’s game has not only given us a delightful handful of shockers and beautiful upsets, it has also proven just why Centre Court needs a roof. During the Lisicki and Bartoli game, the heavens opened in a monsoon-like rain storm. Although the wind and rain was kept at rain by the roof, admittedly it did little for the thunder and cracks of lightning. One huge clap of thunder even caused Sabine Lisicki to jump and flinch, and the noise echoing through the cavernous space caused a few chuckles after everyone’s hearts had stopped racing. At times the rain was so loud it was difficult to hear the ball being hit; congratulations to Wimbledon for getting that roof sorted.

Written by: SophieG

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