W.10- A Compelling Contrast in Styles... and more of the same
Quite often, power tennis wins out over crafty variety in the WTA world of 2015. It usually wins more slams and garners more casual attention, while also causing aficionados to fantasize about how many major titles it will help Player A capture before the end of her career. While power-vs.-power can produce sometimes-thrilling tennis -- see Williams vs. Azarenka just two days ago -- it's the compelling match-up of Player A against Player B which features two contrasting styles that is often the one that deserves the most attention.
With a berth in the Wimbledon Ladies final on the line, 2012 runner-up Aga Radwanska and Garbine Muguruza faced off on Day 10 in just that sort of contest today. One need only often look at the two women in the immediate aftermath of their groundstrokes to get an idea of some of the differences in their respective games. The #20-seeded Spaniard bears the looks of a player on the move, exerting herself to the utmost as she completes her follow-through to get the most out of and behind nearly every shot; while the #13-seeded Pole sometimes seems to be momentarily stuck in a slow-motion pose, just a second earlier having turned her racket in one of the various angles necessary to execute one of the many spins, slices or drop shots that she is now taking a moment to watch as her shot goes precisely where -- and in just the right way -- she wanted it to, admiring her own natural ingenuity while also scanning the landscape of the rally to better determine what she might do next, often in order to actually win the shot that will come two or three strokes into the future. While Muguruza is usually taking the chance on winning a point NOW, or quickly thereafter, Radwanska is content with constructing a multi-chaptered in-point story that may take a little while longer to reach its payoff. The winning points, when everything works out as planned, that both styles produce can be looked upon equally as masterpieces in their own right, and the face-to-face clash to produce the same result -- in very dissimilar ways -- is often fascinating.
Today it produced a three-set match that played out in three distinct Acts that alternately highlighted the very best of both players. In the end, Muguruza's power won out in the concluding stanza, to the tune of a 6-2/3-6/6-3 victory. It sends the 21-year into her maiden slam final, making her the first Spanish woman to play for the Wimbledon crown since 1996. But Radwanska in no way leaves this Wimbledon with her head hanging down, as she did the last time she advanced this far at SW19 two years ago. For after two full years of seeming to search in vain for the sort of consistently intelligent form that propelled her into the WTA limelight a few seasons ago she seems to have finally rediscovered her ability to produce her own brand of magic on the court. At least during grass court season.
But the star of the day was Muguruza, a player whose time to shine could be seen on the not-to-distant horizon two seasons ago, and who now becomes the sixth woman to make her slam final debut in the last six years at the All-England Club. The Spaniard truly does have the sort of game from which slam winners are birthed, but she has often been an inconsistent tease on that front over the same time span. So far, only one of the previous five first-time finalists (Petra Kvitova in '11) at SW19 has managed to also win the title. But if Muguruza can play the way she did over the first set and of a half of today's semifinal, she WILL have a shot to become the second.
In the early going, the Spaniard was an unrestrained force to reckon with, looking every bit like the player who jumped on Serena Williams at last year's Roland Garros and handed her her worst-ever slam defeat. And faced with "the full Garbi," Radwanska had few answers. In the very first game of the match, the tone of Act 1 was established. A-Rad attempted to work some of her usual magic with a slice forehand drop shot, only to see the six-foot Spaniard race to the ball and put away a forehand to deny the Pole a game point and reach 30/30. On her second break point of the opening game, Muguruza fired a winner and went up a break. She easily held a game later, flashing her power and dragging Radwanska into slugging baseline rallies in which she was never able to seize control nor slow down her opponent with her variety in ways that would allow her to move forward into the court, open up her bag of tricks, and do what she does best. Any time the Pole would begin to seize an advantage, such as going up 30/15 on Muguruza's serve in game #4, Garbi would go back to hitting her around and off the court. She fired an ace to hold for 3-1, then continued to take it to the Pole in her next service game. She passed A-Rad with a backhand, went up 30/love, then reached triple break point when Radwanska's backhand return of one of Muguruza's stinging crosscourt two-handed backhands failed to clear the high side of the net. Attempting another slice forehand to bring Muguruza forward, Radwanska failed to get the ball back as she fell behind a double-break at 4-1.
Muguruza quickly held for 5-1, then reached double set point on Radwanska's serve. The Pole saved both BP. On the first, her defense kept a point alive, then when Muguruza failed to put away a swing volley, Radwanska blocked back her forehand and created an error off the Spaniard's racket. On the second, a well-placed wide serve kept Muguruza from immediately seizing control of the point, then Radwanska's wide forehand allowed her to come in toward the net for an overhead winner. A Muguruza error gave A-Rad a game point, on which she served up the middle and got the Spaniard to net her return. Aga held for 5-2. It was only a short reprieve before the inevitable, as Muguruza closed out the 6-2 set with a love hold (winning 16 of 22 service points and never facing a BP), but it did provide an early preview of Act 2 of this match.
Radwanska has hit just 4 unforced errors but she's so far powerless to stop Muguruza, who takes the opener 6-2 pic.twitter.com/ip7KEVy24F— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 9, 2015
In the first half of the 2nd set, Muguruza's power shots and imposing positioning just inside baseline continued to push Radwanska back and give her few opportunities to employ her variety-filled game. She went up 40/love on the Pole's serve in game #1, then broke on a point that highlighted both the Spaniard's defense and offense as her retrievals kept the rally alive, then she moved forward to a short ball and let loose a hard backhand that Radwanska couldn't get back. Garbi fell behind love/30 a game later, but held for 2-0 with a big wide serve and backhand winner down the line.
It appeared as if "the Muguruza choo-choo" was moving so swiftly down the track that it could not be derailed. But that's the sort of thing that Radwanska does, and as the Spaniard's game downshifted just a few notches after her blazing start it was enough for Aga to get a foothold in the set and make a match of things by flipping the momentum in her favor.
Radwanska held at love in game #3, as she began to finally effectively utilize her slice shots. Muguruza committed two errors and Radwanska put away winners via volley and overhead shots. Muguruza fired two aces and a service winner to hold at love for 3-1, but Radwanska came back from 15/30 down in game #5, getting a match-saving hold as Muguruza's backhand and forehand helped the Pole get back into the game, then two more long forehands secured the hold that closed A-Rad to within 3-2.
The rallies are getting longer and Radwanska's beginning to benefit. She breaks for a 5-3 lead with some super tennis pic.twitter.com/vrqpnmMN2L— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 9, 2015
While Muguruza was no longer as crisp as she had been earlier and errors were creeping into her game, Radwanska's rally-slowing variety was finally allowing her an opportunity to move forward and be creative. A short ball led to a Muguruza backhand error, then another error put the Spaniard down love/30. On break point, Radwanska moved her from side to side in the backcourt until another error was produced to knot things at 3-3. After a hold from the Pole, Radwanska moved in and put away an overhead a game later to win her fourth straight game as she converted her second of two BP in the set and had the chance to serve out the set at 5-3. A slice backhand and swing volley winner got her to set point, then Muguruza's error gave A-Rad the set at 6-3.
The Radwanska run carried over into the 3rd, as she won her sixth straight game to go up a break after another Muguruza forehand error. Her (semi) "rope-a-dope" strategy seemed to be working, as she'd lured the Spaniard into playing into her hands after waiting out the big-hitting beginning stages for the Spaniard.
But there was still an Act 3 to come. Until then, though, the two traded momentum.
Muguruza fired a blazing crosscourt backhand winner to take a 40/love lead on Aga's serve, getting the break for 1-1. Two games later, Radwanska held when the Spaniard lunged for a backhand service return that went crosscourt and bounced short in the AD service box. A-Rad raced toward the umpire's chair, then casually flipped a backhand that sent the ball nearly parallel to the net until it just dipped over in and into the court inside the sideline to knot things at 2-2.
Two games later, down 3-2, a serving Radwanska fell behind 40/15 after a big Muguruza return of a second serve, as the Spaniard began to fitfully impose her power once more down the stretch. She broke the Pole on a point in which Aga was able to dig out a backhand half-volley which led to a Muguruza lob that caught the baseline. Radwanska managed to catch up to the ball and take a wild swing to get it back into play. After letting the ball bounce, Muguruza didn't put away her overhead, but she followed up the shot by jumping on Aga's forehand reply that landed in the middle of the court and hitting a backhand down the line to go up 4-2.
Muguruza, seizing control once again, crushed a crosscourt backhand and held for 5-2 with an overhead, then nearly ended the match a game later after battling back from 40/love down on Radwanska's serve and getting things to deuce. But the Pole held for 5-3, forcing the Spaniard to serve out the match. At 30/30 in game #9, A-Rad hit a wide return and came in to the net behind the shot, then guided a slice out of reach of Muguruza to reach BP and have a chance to get back on serve. Muguruza saved the BP with a big wide serve and put-away winner, but then she double-faulted. On BP #2, Radwanska's shot hit the tape and just barely landed back on her side of the net, preventing yet another potentially match-turning change in momentum.
On the rally at deuce, Muguruza's shot landed near the baseline -- Radwanska got back a weak ball that was going to easily be put away by the Spaniard -- and Aga stopped play and called for a replay challenge, seemingly because of the calls of "out" from her group in the Players Box. The replay showed the ball had nipped the line, giving Muguruza a match point. Later, A-Rad defended her coach and others from the immediate criticism that was levied against then, taking responsibility for the challenge (and maybe creating the best, though simple, tennis-related hashtag in ages -- #agasaysrelax).
Also was my decision to challenge. I hadn't hit great shot so would have made no difference.Match was not won/lost there #agasaysrelax— Aga Radwanska (@ARadwanska) July 9, 2015
On match point, Muguruza fired a wide serve then took Radwanska's return out of the air with a forehand winner that closed out the victory.
Considering what happened in the next semifinal, this result was probably the one that was necessary for the women's final to have the potential for a history-altering result. Muguruza may not win her maiden slam (don't worry, it'll happen at some point, though), but she's got the sort of game that might be able to pull the surprise. It'll be another power-vs.-power match-up, so the same sort of strategic push-and-pull that occurred in this match won't become a reality. Instead it'll be a case of which player can more effectively employ the same I'll-jump-on-you-before-you-can-jump-on-me gameplan. There's nothing wrong with that. In the end, it probably has the potential to be more exciting to the masses, even if the details might not be quite as intriguing to everyone who watches the entire tournament rather than just tuning in for THE most important match.
Serena on facing Muguruza: "It's great for her, great for me. She actually beat me so she made me improve, she has me on my toes" #Wimbledon— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 9, 2015
One final footnote on THIS match, though, and one that has largely been overlooked, involves the post-match handshake. You remember the much-criticized handshake -- or lack of one, with any face-to-face contact, at least -- the last time Radwanska lost in the Wimbledon semifinals? Well, that same unfortunate ending didn't mar the ending of this match.
Further proof that Radwanska has not only regained her Top 10 ranking with her results this grass court season, but also footing, as well. Good for her.
=DAY 10 NOTES=
...later, in the "big name" semifinal of the day, we pretty much got the match between #1 Serena Williams and #4 Maria Sharapova (who'll be back to #2 in the rankings on Monday) that we were expecting, and one similar to most of the now-seventeen straight matches the American has taken from the Russian over the last eleven years since losing to her in the '04 Wimbledon and WTA Championship finals.
It really didn't long for the ultimate result of this one to seem to be predetermined. That is, if it wasn't already once one considers how the normally mentally-strong Sharapova's stature at this point seems to literally wilt at just the thought of playing Serena. While the Russian is strong in the face of almost anything at all other times on and off the court, she appears to be waiting for the roof to cave in on her against Williams... sometimes even as they're first walking onto the court.
The Centre Court roof wasn't closed today, but that didn't matter. Sharapova brought it down right out of the gate, double-faulting three straight times in the first game of the match to squander a 30/love lead and allow the pressure of the Williams game to (mentally?) break her and put her behind the proverbial "8-ball" before even the ball kids had worked up a sweat. Sharapova missed on six of eight first serves in the game. The game even pulled the rug out from under the feet of whoever it was in the crowd who had any high hopes for this "rivalry" producing anything compelling on this day, for no one ever really seemed to get into the flow of the action. Within minutes the, "oh, so THIS is how it's going to be" tone had already been established.
With hard-fought and/or dominant wins over Heather Watson, Venus Williams and Vika Azarenka under her belt in her three previous rounds of play at this Wimbledon, Serena is now in the sort of focused form that, really, no one has ever been able to crack. After Sharapova saved two BP in game #3, Williams went up a double-break in game #5 and took a 4-1 lead. Contained and committing hardly any errors, Serena wasn't to be denied, winning short rallies and taking the 1st set at 6-2.
In the 2nd, Sharapova managed to avoid being broken to begin yet another set (small mountains), but she had no answers for Williams, who took a break lead at 3-2 with a double-fault from the Russian (ant hills). Serena very nearly made even quicker work of her opponent than she ultimately would, playing a bad half-game in game #7 and failing to convert on any of three BP chances as Sharapova held to stay "close" at 4-3. Down 30/love on serve, Williams pulled out her history-changing serve to hold in the next game, then came back from 40/15 down on Sharapova's serve to reach deuce after smacking a forehand winner deep in the court, then firing a backhand winner to the corner. Sharapova's double-fault gave Williams a MP, but the Russian managed to hold to extend things just a little while longer.
In the final game of the semifinal, Sharapova had absolutely no say in the matter. Williams opened with an ace, then blinked ever-so-slightly with a DF. When she then fired another ace the pained expression on the normally you-never-see-my-emotions on-court face of Sharapova made it clear that knew what was going to happen next. Yep, another ace. Then nearly one more on Williams' second MP. Sharapova managed to at least barely get a racket on the wide serve to avoid a four-ace game, but it didn't prevent the scoreboard from registering a final 6-2/6-4 scoreline. In all, Williams fired thirteen aces and outpaced Sharapova 29-9 in winners while reaching her 25th career slam final, running her major semifinal record to an amazing 25-3 and winning her twenty-seventh consecutive slam match.
Serena has now won twenty-seven of her last twenty-eight sets against Sharapova, and is one win away from her sixth Wimbledon title, her 21st major crown, her second "Serena Slam," and being three-quarters of the way to her very first Grand Slam.
What's left of her summer may be about to become absolutely crazy.
...in the mixed doubles quarterfinals, Roland Garros champs Bethanie Mattek-Sands & Mike Bryan reached the semis with a win over Kristina Mladenovic & Daniel Nestor, 7-6(2)/6-2. Also advancing were Australian Open champs Martina Hingis & Bruno Soares, Timea Babos & Alexander Peya and, trying to keep yet another Spanish flame alive at this slam, Anabel Medina-Garrigues & Robert Lindstedt.
...the junior semis are set, and just one seeded girl is still alive. And she had a devil of a time getting there today, too.
Qualifier Viktoria Kuzmova took out the last British hope, #5 Katie Swan, 7-6(2)/6-0 and keeps alive the hope of TWO Slovak slam winners in 2015. In Melbourne in January, Kuzmova's fellow Slovak Tereza Mihalikova became the first girls slam champ from her nation since 2007, defeating -- wouldn't you know it -- Swan in the final.
Kuzmova will face unseeded 15-year old Sofya Zhuk, as the Russian took out wild card Hordette Anastasia Potapova today, while Belarusian Vera Lapko defeated Bannerette Michaela Gordon.
The final junior singles match of the day, though, was the wildest, as #12 Anna Blinkova of Russia defeated wild card American Tornado Black 1-6/6-3/12-10 in a 3:07 match that saw the girls trade breaks deep into the final set, with the Hordette serving for the match six different times. After failing to convert a match point at 10-8, she finally put away the match on MP #2 four games later. On the day, there were forty-one break point chances, with Black converting 10-of-27 and Blinkova putting away 10-of-17. The Russian held a huge 63-12 edge in winners in the match, but she needed every single one since she also threw in SEVENTY-SEVEN unforced errors (Black had 21). They ended the match knotted at 128-128 in total points.
In the boys, the U.S. will once again have a finalist at Wimbledon as #1 Harry Taylor Fritz and unseeded Reilly Opelka will meet in one semi, while the all-Scandinavian side of the draw will feature #12 Mikael Ymer (SWE) and Patrick Niklas-Salminen (FIN).
In the doubles, #1-seeded Miriam Kolodziejova & Marketa Vondrousova advanced to the QF, so their hope for a Grand Slam is still alive.
LIKE FOR DAY 10: More history awaits...
MEANWHILE, BACK IN THE STATES ON DAY 10:
Hmmm, no Taylor Swift, huh? Hopefully, that counts as progress toward the Future.
LIKE FOR DAY 10: Vika telling it like it is, and telling off anyone who deserves it.
Showing the haters where to go like pic.twitter.com/cILMdau0Ih— WTA Reactions (@WTAreactions) July 8, 2015
I-JUST-REALIZED ON DAY 10:Muguruza's post-victory celebrations are always quite similar, but also just as reliably entertaining.
LIKE FOR DAY 10: Who knew Miley was at Wimbledon?
Breaking your way into the Wimbledon final like https://t.co/FYYuIW2Bk4— WTA Reactions (@WTAreactions) July 9, 2015
LIKE FOR DAY 10: The numbers really are quite astounding.
LIKE FOR DAY 10: Martina.
Unfortunately, Serena wasn't the only one who won everything, but still didn't get to enjoy as many off-court dividends as the opponents she was usually beating ON the court.
"IN CASE ANYONE EVER WONDERED WHAT THEY LOOK LIKE" FOR DAY 10:
(SIGH) "HE WON'T GO AWAY!!!!" ON DAY 10: Or, likely, Day 12, either.
...and, finally...hey, he's using his hands. Is he allowed to do that?
*LADIES' SINGLES FINAL*
#1 Serena Williams/USA vs. #20 Garbine Muguruza/ESP
*GENTLEMEN'S SINGLES SF*
#1 Novak Djokovic/SRB vs. #21 Richard Gasquet/FRA
#3 Andy Murray/GBR vs. #2 Roger Federer/SUI
*LADIES' DOUBLES SF*
#1 Hingis/Mirza (SUI/IND) vs. #5 Kops-Jones/Spears (USA/USA)
#4 Babos/Mladenovic (HUN/FRA) vs. #2 Makarova/Vesnina (RUS/RUS)
*GENTLEMEN'S DOUBLES FINAL*
#4 Rojer/Tecau (NED/ROU) vs. #13 J.Murray/Peers (GBR/AUS)
*MIXED DOUBLES SF*
#1 Mattek-Sands/M.Bryan (USA/USA) vs. #7 Hingis/Paes (SUI/IND)
Medina-Garrigues/Lindstedt (ESP/SWE) vs. #5 Babos/Peya (HUN/AUT)
*GIRLS SINGLES SF*
Sofya Zhuk/RUS vs. (Q) Viktoria Kuzmova/SVK
#12 Anna Blinkova/RUS vs. Vera Lapko/BLR
*BOYS SINGLES QF*
#1 Taylor Harry Fritz/USA vs. Reilly Opelka/USA
#12/WC Mikael Ymer/SWE vs. Patrick Niklas-Salminen/FIN
*GIRLS DOUBLES QF*
#1 Kolodziejova/Vondrousova (CZE/CZE) vs. #7 Blinkova/Pervushina (RUS/RUS)
#3 Galfi/Stollar (HUN/HUN) vs. Lumsden/Neel (GBR/USA)
Aiava/Tjandramulia (AUS/AUS) vs. Lapko/Mihalikova (BLR/SVK)
#6 Teichmann/S.Xu (SUI/CHN) vs. Brogan/Christie (GBR/GBR)
*BOYS DOUBLES QF*
#1 Fritz/Mmoh (USA/USA) vs. Blancaneaux/Dougaz (FRA/TUN)
#4 Opelka/Santillan (USA/JPN) vs. Durasovic/Niklas-Salminen (NOR/FIN)
#5 Kecmanovic/Ruud (SRB/NOR) vs. #3 Blumberg/Paul (USA/USA)
#8 Ly/Nagal (VIE/IND) vs. Takahashi/Yamasaki (JPN/JPN)
*WOMEN'S WC DOUBLES SF*
#1 Kamiji/Whiley (JPN/GBR) vs. Hunt/Kruger (GBR/GBR)
Ellerbrock/Shuker (GER/GBR) vs. #2 Griffioen/Van Koot (NED/NED)
*MEN'S WC DOUBLES SF*
#1 Houdet/Kunieda (FRA/JPN) vs. Fernandez/Peifer (ARG/FRA)
Gerard/Hewett (BEL/GBR) vs. #2 Jeremiasz/Reid (FRA/GBR)
Currently freaking out at the London eye thingy.... Scared of heights and it's moving because of wind ??— victoria azarenka (@vika7) July 9, 2015
This picture I'm gonna take and post better get a lot of likes ??????I overcome my fear for it ????????— victoria azarenka (@vika7) July 9, 2015
Beach life???????? pic.twitter.com/0qnnuIKtVM— Caroline Wozniacki (@CaroWozniacki) July 9, 2015
*ALL-TIME SLAM FINALS - Open era*
34...Chris Evert (18-16)
32...Martina Navratilova (18-14)
31...Steffi Graf (22-9)
25...SERENA WILLIAMS (20-4)
18...Evonne Goolagong (7-11)
14...Venus Williams (7-7)
13...Monica Seles (9-4)
25..SERENA WILLIAMS (20-4)
14...Venus Williams (7-7)
10...Maria Sharapova (5-5)
4...Victoria Azarenka (2-2)
4...Svetlana Kuznetsova (2-2)
3...Ana Ivanovic (1-2)
NOTE: Hingis (5-7)
*SLAM FINALISTS - 2010-15*
11...SERENA WILLIAMS (9-1)
6...Maria Sharapova (2-4)
4...Victoria Azarenka (2-2)
4...Li Na (2-2)-ret.
2...Kim Clijsters (2-0)-ret.
2...Petra Kvitova (2-0)
2...Francesca Schiavone (1-1)
2...Samantha Stosur (1-1)
2...Vera Zvonareva (0-2)
1...Marion Bartoli (1-0)-ret.
1...GARBINE MUGURUZA (0-0)
1...Genie Bouchard (0-1)
1...Dominika Cibulkova (0-1)
1...Sara Errani (0-1)
1...Simona Halep (0-1)
1...Justine Henin (0-1)-ret.
1...Sabine Lisicki (0-1)
1...Aga Radwanska (0-1)
1...Lucie Safarova (0-1)
1...Caroline Wozniacki (0-1)
*SLAM FINALISTS/WINNERS BY NATION - 2010-15*
2...Belgium, Belarus, China, Czech Republic, Russia
1...Australia, France, Italy
*ACTIVE SINGLES PLAYERS - FIRST SLAM FINAL*
1997 U.S. Open - Venus Williams
1999 U.S. Open - Serena Williams (W)
2004 Wimbledon - Maria Sharapova (W)
2004 U.S. Open - Svetlana Kuznetsova (W)
2007 Roland Garros - Ana Ivanovic
2008 U.S. Open - Jelena Jankovic
2009 U.S. Open - Caroline Wozniacki
2010 Roland Garros - Francesca Schiavone (W)
2010 Roland Garros - Samantha Stosur
2010 Wimbledon - Vera Zvonareva
2011 Wimbledon - Petra Kvitova (W)
2012 Australian Open - Victoria Azarenka (W)
2012 Roland Garros - Sara Errani
2012 Wimbledon - Agnieszka Radwanska
2013 Wimbledon - Sabine Lisicki
2014 Australian Open - Dominika Cibulkova
2014 Roland Garros - Simona Halep
2014 Wimbledon - Genie Bouchard
2015 Roland Garros - Lucie Safarova
2015 Wimbledon - Garbine Muguruza
*SPANIARDS IN WIMBLEDON FINALS*
1994 Conchita Martinez def. Martina Navratilova
1995 Steffi Graf def. Arantxa Sanchez Vicario
1996 Steffi Graf def. Arantxa Sanchez Vicario
2015 Garbine Muguruza vs. Serena Williams
*2015 WTA FINALS*
4...SERENA WILLIAMS, USA (3-0)
4...Karolina Pliskova, CZE (1-3)
3...Simona Halep, ROU (3-0)
3...Angelique Kerber, GER (3-0)
3...Timea Bacsinszky, SUI (2-1)
3...Maria Sharapova, RUS (2-1)
3...Caroline Wozniacki, DEN (1-2)
3...Carla Suarez-Navarro, ESP (0-2+L)
TOP QUALIFIER: Petra Cetkovska, CZE
TOP EARLY-ROUND (1r-2r): #2 Petra Kvitova/CZE
TOP MIDDLE-ROUND (3r-QF): #20 Garbine Muguruza/ESP & #4 Maria Sharapova/RUS
TOP LATE-ROUND (SF-F): xx
TOP QUALIFYING MATCH: Q1: #21 Michelle Larcher de Brito/POR d. Ysaline Bonaventure/BEL 1-6/6-3/12-10 (saved 4 MP)
TOP EARLY-RD. MATCH (1r-2r): 1st Rd. - #6 Lucie Safarova/CZE d. Alison Riske/USA 3-6/7-5/6-3 (Riske up set and 4-2, served 5-4, 2-0 in 3rd)
TOP MIDDLE-RD. MATCH (3r-QF): 3rd Rd. - #1 Serena Williams/USA d. Heather Watson/GBR 6-2/4-6/7-5 (Watson up dbl-bk 3-0 in 3rd, served at 5-4, 2 pts from win)
TOP LATE-RD. MATCH (SF-F/Jr.): Nominee: Jr. QF - #12 Blinkova d. (WC) T. Black 1-6/6-3/12-10 (3:07)
FIRST WINNER: #23 Victoria Azarenka/BLR (def. Kontaveit/EST)
FIRST SEED OUT: #24 Flavia Pennetta/ITA (lost 1st Rd. to Diyas/KAZ)
UPSET QUEENS: The Bannerettes
REVELATION LADIES: The Swiss
NATION OF POOR SOULS: Italy (Pennetta "FSO" - ITA 4/6 FSO at Wimbledon; Schiavone another 1st Rd; Knapp ret.; Vinci disappoints)
LAST QUALIFIER STANDING: Olga Govortsova/BLR (4th Rd.)
LAST WILD CARD STANDING: Jelena Ostapenko/LAT (2nd Rd.)
LAST BRIT STANDING: Heather Watson/GBR (3rd Rd.)
IT ("??"): ("Vandeweghe") Coco Vandeweghe/USA (1st slam QF, lives up to family history w/ New York Knick commentary)
Ms.OPPORTUNITY: #20 Garbine Muguruza/ESP
COMEBACK: #13 Aga Radwanska/POL
CRASH & BURN: #12 Genie Bouchard/CAN (1st Rd. loss to qualifier #117 Duan; was '14 finalist; two con. slam 1st Rd. losses) & #3 Simona Halep/ROU (1st Rd. loss to #106 Cepelova; lost to Bouchard in '14 SW19 semi)
ZOMBIE QUEEN: #1 Serena Williams (3rd Rd. - down double-break 3-0 in 3rd set vs. Watson, who served for match at 5-4 and was two points from victory)
THE RADWANSKA AWARD (June 26): Aga Radwanska & the seagull (in Eastbourne, bird swoops at Radwanska as she serves... one day later, she loses in the final)
THE RADWANSKA AWARD (Day 3): Day 3 is the hottest day ever recorded in Wimbledon history (35.7 C / 96 F), fire alarm evacuates Centre Court
DOUBLES STAR: Nominees: T.Babos, S.Mirza, M.Hingis, Babos/Mladenovic, Kops-Jones/Spears, Kolodziejova/Vondrousova
KIMIKO DATE-KRUMM VETERAN CUP (KDK CUP): Nominees: S.Williams, M.Hingis, K.Srebotnik, A.Medina-Garrigues, Kops-Jones/Spears, S.Mirza
JUNIOR BREAKOUT: Nominees: Kolodziejova/Vondrousova, S.Zhuk, V.Lapko, A.Blinkova, V.Kuzmova
All for Day 10. More tomorrow.