W.9- It's Semifinal Eve... are the melons safe?
Four for the dish.
=DAY 9 NOTES=
...well, one Grand Slam dream died today at Wimbledon. Australian Open and Roland Garros champs Bethanie Mattek-Sands & Lucie Safarova were taken out in the Round of 16 of the women's doubles by Raquel Kops-Jones & Abigail Spears, as the all-BanneretteVet pair won a decisive 6-3/6-2 decision.
Of course, with one veteran pair (65 combined age) advancing, one SuperVet duo must also exit to keep things in balance. Cara Black & Lisa Raymond (77 years) lost to #2-seeded Hordettes Ekaterina Makarova & Elena Vesnina in an 8-6 3rd set.
#1 Martina Hingis/Sania Mirza and#4 Timea Babos/Kristina Mladenovic also advanced, meaning that four of the top five seeds are in the semis.
Though several individuals of the group of eight women (though, interestingly, not #1-ranked Sania Mirza, who is still the only doubles #1 without a slam WD title to her credit) have won majors with other partners, and largely because of the shake-up and dismemberment of so many top duos over the past year, Makarova/Vesnina are the only remaining pair that have won a slam title together, having claimed Roland Garros in '13 and the U.S. Open last year.
...in the mixed, RG champs Mattek-Sands & Mike Bryan advanced to the QF, along with veterans Anabel Medina-Garrigues (w/ Robert Lindstedt) and Katarina Srebotnik (w/ Horia Tecau). In the final match of the day on Wednesday, which ended at nearly 9pm, Elena Vesnina (w/ Marcin Matkowski) defeated Andrea Hlavackova (w/ Lukasz Kubot) in an 11-9 3rd set. Serving up 10-9, Vesnina was given a "hindrance" call on the first point of the game for what the umpire said sounded as if she was calling "out" and stopping the point. She then double-faulted to fall behind love/30, but regrouped to win the final four points to get to the final eight. Seven of the Top 8 seeds remain.
With the doubles SF and mixed QF fields now complete, there are five women still alive for a WD/MX sweep, including partners Hingis (w/ Leander Paes) & Mirza (w/ Bruno Soares) and Babos (w/ Alexander Peya) & Mladenovic (w/ Daniel Nestor), as well as Vesnina.
...in the juniors, the quarterfinals are set, and only two of the sixteen seeded girls are still standing: #5 Katie Swan (GBR) and #12 Anna Blinkova (RUS). Both won the only two match-ups of two seeded players in the Round of 16, as Swan defeated #9 Sonya Kenin and Blinkova took out #6 Usue Arconada on Day 9. Overall, three Russians remain in the final eight, as well as two Americans (including wild card Tornado Black). And while Vika may be gone, there IS one remaining hope for a Belarusian title run, as Vera Lapko added AO junior champ Tereza Mihalkova (#10) to her list of victims (she's now upset two Top 10 seeds) on Day 9.
In the boys competition, #4 Michael Mmoh went out, but the U.S. still has four of the remaining eight players in singles (three of the four in the top half of the draw), including #1 Harry Taylor Fritz, #7 Tommy Paul, #10 William Blumberg and big, unseeded Reilly Opelka, who was my pre-tournament pick to win the boys crown. He only served four aces today, after having 15 and 17, respectively, in his first two matches.
U.S. teen Noah Rubin won the Wimbledon junior title last year. The last time Americans won at SW19 two consecutive years was 1973-74 (Billy Martin both times).
American boys filled four of the QF slots at Roland Garros, three in the SF and both berths in the final, with Tommy Paul winning the title. The last time U.S. boys won back-to-back slam singles titles was 1977, when they won three straight: John McEnroe at RG, then Van Winitsky sweeping Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.
LIKE FROM DAY 9: Yeah!
Vigilance, baby. And a meaty treat.
ANNNNND, ONCE MORE ON DAY 9: And again... and again... and again...
Check out: Serena and Caro out on the town last night. http://t.co/WAPoDsVyVe— ULTM8SerenaWilliamsf (@ultm8swfans) July 8, 2015
JUST-IN-CASE-YOU-WERE-WONDERING ON DAY 9:
Yeah, I really wasn't, either. But it's Taylor Swift, so I guess it HAS to mentioned. Those ARE the rules, right?
SIGHTSEEING ON DAY 9:
JUST-BECAUSE ON DAY 9:
I actually lowered The Radwanska Threat Level from "Paranoia" to "Concern" after yesterday's quarterfinals. One, because nothing "weird" seemed to emerge from Aga's win and, two, because Serena is still around. And I really do think that Azarenka was the last REAL challenge standing between her and major #21, Serena Slam II and being one step from the Grand Slam.
Sure, things could change. Aga took her to three sets in the SW19 final in '12, and Muguruza -- maybe the biggest threat, game-wise, though we don't really know how she'd react to being in such a big match for the first time -- handed her her worst slam defeat ever last year in Paris. Still, even with Radwanska's win, it seems as if The Rad threat is being kept at bay, with only "slightly evil" influences being recognized around the grounds this fortnight. Of course, someone could still open that door and let loose evil.
(But I can't talk about that -- that's JJ's story to tell. At some point, but not too long from now.)
ALL-RIGHT-I'VE-HAD-ENOUGH-OF-THIS-GUY-ALREADY ON DAY 9:
Or should I say "bloke?"
Maybe Madonna will come by and chase him away?
What is it with Canadian music stars getting their picture taken with every tennis figure in the world, anyway? Remember THIS guy?
Daniela Hantuchova & Justin Bieber pic.twitter.com/BvWbEkd5NX— TenisHaberleri (@SadeceTenis) March 10, 2015
Do you really want to follow in Bieber's shoes?
LIKE FOR DAY 9... and beyond: Duval's journey.
LIKE FOR DAY 9:
Favorite Vika quote of all time: "People complain that I make too much noise, but I can get louder..."— Diane Elayne Dees (@WomenWhoServe) July 8, 2015
Oh, there are SO many to choose from. I'll go with the classic, "Good luck with that." Just because it's the all-purpose sharp, snarky comeback to almost anything idea, notion or belief that one might ever wish to puncture.
*LADIES' SINGLES SF*
#1 Serena Williams/USA vs. #4 Maria Sharapova/RUS
#20 Garbine Muguruza/ESP vs. #13 Aga Radwanska/POL
*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 SF*
#9 Bopanna/Mergea (IND/ROU) vs. #4 Rojer/Tecau (NED/ROU)
#13 J.Murray/Peers (GBR/AUS) vs. (Q) Erlich/Petzschner (ISR/GER)
*MIXED DOUBLES QF*
#1 Mattek-Sands/M.Bryan (USA/USA) vs. #8 Mladenovic/Nestor (FRA/CAN)
#3 Vesnina/Matkowski (RUS/POL) vs. #7 Hingis/Paes (SUI/IND)
#6 Srebotnik/Tecau (SLO/ROU) vs. Medina-Garrigues/Lindstedt (ESP/SWE)
#5 Babos/Peya (HUN/AUT) vs. #2 Mirza/Soares (IND/BRA)
*GIRLS SINGLES QF*
(WC) Anastasia Potapova/RUS vs. Sofya Zhuk/RUS
(Q) Viktoria Kuzmova/SVK vs. #5 Katie Swan/GBR
#12 Anna Blinkova/RUS vs. (WC) Tornado Black/USA
Vera Lapko/BLR vs. Michaela Gordon/USA
*BOYS SINGLES QF*
#1 Taylor Harry Fritz/USA vs. #11 Chung Yunseong/KOR
Reilly Opelka/USA vs. #10 William Blumberg/USA
#12/WC Mikael Ymer/SWE vs. Alvaro Lopez San Martin/ESP
#7 Tommy Paul/USA vs. Patrick Niklas-Salminen/FIN
*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)
Serena Williams adds to Caroline Wozniacki's Wimbledon claims that tennis scheduling is sexist http://t.co/w2OwtalE1r— ESPNTennis (@ESPNTennis) July 8, 2015
*SERENA vs. SHARAPOVA*
2004 Miami 4th - Williams 6-4/6-3
2004 Wimbledon F - Sharapova 6-1/6-4
2004 WTA Chsp F - Sharapova 4-6/6-2/6-4 (SW 4-0 in 3rd)
2005 Australian SF - Williams 2-6/7-5/8-6 (MS 3 MP)
2007 Australian F - Williams 6-1/6-2
2007 Miami 4th - Williams 6-1/6-1 (no BP)
2008 Charleston QF - Williams 7-5/4-6/6-1 (MS SP 1st)
2010 Wimbledon 4th - Williams 7-6(9)/6-4 (MS 3 SP 1st)
2011 Stanford QF - Williams 6-1/6-3
2012 Madrid QF - Williams 6-1/6-3
2012 Olympics F - Williams 6-0/6-1
2012 WTA Chsp F - Williams 6-4/6-3
2013 Doha SF - Williams 6-3/6-2
2013 Miami F - Williams 4-6/6-3/6-0
2013 Madrid F - Williams 6-1/6-4
2013 Roland Garros F - Williams 6-4/6-4
2014 Brisbane SF - Williams 6-2/7-6(7)
2014 Miami SF - Williams 6-4/6-3 (MS up bk. both sets)
2015 Australian F - Williams 6-3/7-6(5) (18 aces)
2015 Wimbledon SF - ??
NOTE: Williams has won 25 of the last 26 sets
*RADWANSKA vs. MUGURUZA*
2012 Miami 4th - Radwanska 6-3/6-2
2014 Australian Open 4th Rd.- Radwanska 6-1/6-3
2015 Dubai 3rd - Muguruza 6-4/6-2
2015 Sydney 2nd - Muguruza 3-6/7-6(4)/6-2
2015 Wimbledon SF - ??
*2015 ITF TITLES*
4...Darya Kasatkina, RUS
4...Anastasiya Sevastova, LAT
4...Julia Terziyska, BUL
4...Marcela Zacarias, MEX
3...Marie Bouzkova, CZE
3...Fernanda Brito, CHI
3...Magarita Gasparyan, RUS
3...Hsu Ching-Wen, TPE
3...Denis Khazaniuk, ISR
3...Anastasiya Komardina, RUS
3...Sofia Kvatsabaia, GEO
3...Giuliana Olmos, MEX
3...Kristyna Pliskova, CZE
3...Maria Sakkari, GRE
3...Anne Schaefer, GER
3...Katerina Stewart, USA
3...Tamara Zidansek, SLO
TOP QUALIFIER: Petra Cetkovska, CZE
TOP EARLY-ROUND (1r-2r): #2 Petra Kvitova/CZE
TOP MIDDLE-ROUND (3r-QF): #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.): xx
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: xx
KIMIKO DATE-KRUMM VETERAN CUP (KDK CUP): Nominees: S.Williams, M.Hingis, K.Srebotnik, A.Medina-Garrigues, Kops-Jones/Spears
JUNIOR BREAKOUT: xx
All for Day 9. More tomorrow.