Archive for the ‘Wimbledon’ Category

 

Sharapova and Kvitova through

Friday, July 1st, 2011

Out of the two women’s semi finals, the Petra Kvitova and Victoria Azarenka  match was undoubtedly the most exciting. Kvitova had lost to Serena Williams in last year’s semi finals, and obviously had a score to settle with this particular round of Wimbledon. The Czech player cites Martina Navratilova as a hero, and she was beaming after her intense victory.

Her groundstrokes had the power and the beautiful angles, and although Azarenja took the second set after a fight back it seemed like she was having difficulty getting her shots to land where she wanted them to. In fact it seemed to be Kvitova’s mistakes that let Azarenka back in in the second set. After all, Azarenka was in her face semi final and the occasion may have left her a little stunned. But she is number five in the world and has been playing in similarly big matches, so she would have been expected to stand up against the pressure a little better.

It wasn’t just Azarenka’s faults though, they should not distract from Kvitova’s amazing display. She won her first semi final here at Wimbledon front of Martina Navratilova who was watching from the Royal Box, and faces Maria Sharapova in the finals.

Now, the Sharapova v Lisicki match. Well, it wasn’t quite as thrilling. It lasted an hour and 25 minutes, and although here was a moment of disbelief at the beginning when Sharapova went 0-3 down, the match levelled out the way everyone had thought it might do. The former Wimbledon champion on 6-4 6-3, and althou more »

 

Men’s quarter finals

Friday, July 1st, 2011

We’ve had an exciting couple of days with both sides of the tournament, but this time it was the men’s turn to shine at Wimbledon. The battle to get into the semi finals caused quite a stir, with one of the top four being knocked out.

Of course, you will all know by now that that player was one Roger Federer. Out of the top four, there were others whom I thought would be more likely to be sent out before the semi finals. Andy Murray could have been crippled by nerves, for example, and Novak Djokovic is hardly his most comfortable on grass. After Rafael Nadal’s injury you might also consider him as a potential candidate to be knocked out ‘early’. But no, it was Roger Federer, and even Jo-Wilfried Tsonga appears to be still reeling from his performance and victory over a man who is a legend at Wimbledon.

Federer is surprisingly upbeat after his defeat, saying with a smile that he still has a lot left in him and he is looking forward to the rest of the year. Either he is very good at putting on a front or he is genuinely quite happy, and I would probably agree with the latter. Federer has definitely broken into a new relaxed – although not laid back or lazy – part of his career, where cramming in as many wins as possible just isn’t the top of his agenda. Tsonga was, unsurprisingly, beaming in the post match interviews.

Tsonga will now play Djokovic, who beat the new pretender Tomic. Tomic has had a superb run, with the 18 year old making waves in the men’s tournament ju more »

 

And as for the men…

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

As for the men’s side of things, they haven’t been without their drama either. Bernard Tomic has caused a stir by beating Xavier Malisse in a four set stunner in the fourth round. His biggest upset, though, was his defeat of Robin Soderling on Saturday. This set Tomic on the road to a fantastic Wimbledon run. He is the youngest man to reach this round since 1990, when Michael Chang got to the same point in the tournament. Tomic was first noticed when he won at the US and Australian Open junior tournaments, and seems to have made a dreamy transition into the men’s tournaments. Malisse was under pressure from the word go, and despite some surges he lost 6-1 7-5 6-4 to the 18 year old. Tomic cites his confidence as a men’s player, leaving behind his junior game.

Mardy Fish got through against Tomas Berdych, which was a relative shock seeing as the Czech world number 6 was a finalist at Wimbledon last year. Fish was dominant in serve, hitting 23 aces, and it certainly played a part in keeping Berdych at bay. He has reached the quarter finals of a tournament for the first time since Feliciano Lopez had a scare against Lukasz Kubot, losing the first two sets before rallying to win 3-6 3-7 (5-7) 7-6 (9-7) 7-5 7-5.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga also made it through against David Ferrer, who outranked him but couldn’t outplay him on the day. The big four were up next, with Murray progressing well against Richard Gasquet of France. Britain remain holding their breath. Djokovic played a conv more »

 

Women’s tournament excitement

Tuesday, June 28th, 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 nos more »

 

And the rain kick starts again

Friday, June 24th, 2011

Yes, the rain is back in full force, making this year’s Wimbledon not only traditionally damp but wonderfully British once again. And let’s face it, those who are at Wimbledon have nothing to complain about: at least they are not drowning in a field in Glastonbury.

There is a good reason for why I have left the blog to this late in the week, and that is because the early stages of a tournament rarely throw up many gems to talk about. But when the last few second round and first of the third round matches began, Wimbledon picked pick up speed. First, there was the weather. The roof on Centre court has been closed on a number of occasions now, and the match that started out today underneath its shade was Victoria Azarenka versus Daniela Hantuchova. There was an unusually large crowd watching this match, mostly due to the Murray match that was to follow, so there was a great atmosphere as these two faced off. Azarenka is seeded fourth and Hantuchova gave her a run for her money in the three set game. The rain delay seemed to have worked to Azarenka’s favour, however.

There was a third round upset as Feliciano Lopez played a stunning game and knocked Andy Roddick out of the tournament. Roddick had expected to do well, after all the grass court season really is where he has shone the last few years, and many will be rueing his disappearance. In the women’s side of the tournament, there was another upset as Lisicki knocked out Li Na. Li – who recently won at the French Open,  more »