Wednesday, July 05, 2017

W.3- On Rad Day, Survival Came on a Wing and a Prayer

In 2013, the original Radwanskian Massacre rocked the AELTC grounds on that fortnight's Day 3, resulting in the defeat of seven former #1's, as well as featuring four overall walkovers and three retirements on a crazy day filled with falls, slips, stumbles and more expressions of exasperation than a Polish tennis player who happened to be inhabited by a malevolent entity could shake a stick at.

Four years later, The Rad made Its annual return to London with a bottomless bag full of tricks designed to remind everyone who (or what?) is *really* in control around here. While the Radwanskian plagues that It brought along weren't historically destructive, they didn't "disappoint," either.

First, this year's signs of entity-related meddling:

* - after seven women's seeds fell in the entire 1st Round, six exited on Wednesday alone, including two-time champ Petra Kvitova (#11), 2016 semifinalist Elena Vesnina (#15), '14 quarterfinalist Barbora Strycova (#22), '15 quarterfinalist Madison Keys (#17), reigning Mallorca grass champ Anastasija Sevastova (#18) and #25 Carla Suarez-Navarro (who reached the Round of 16 last year).

* - one men's singles seed was knocked out: #14-seeded Frenchman Lucas Pouille (talk about gettin' off light... I sense something bigger may be in store for them later, though)

* - and, naturally, Day 3 turned out to be "Flying Ant Day" on the All-England Club's grounds as swarms of the newly-emerged insects invaded and sent many spectators and players scrambling, running or, well, trying to hold in their instinctual disgust. OF...COURSE... this happened on Radwanskian Massacre Day. I mean, why WOULDN'T it?

In the end, rather than a bringing-down-the-hammer-with-full-force sort of affair, *this* Day 3 was all more of a reminder that The Rad is *always* there, lurking in the shadows and waiting to pounce. The mayhem was kept to an "acceptable" level this year, but it's when we're not expecting chaos that chaos should be expected. Or something like that.

For the sake of us all, we must remember to always remain vigilent. Today, yesterday and forever.

...this year's Rad Day victims were a scattered lot, as none of the forced exits were of Top 10 seeds.

The first seed to be sent packing was #18 Sevastova by Brit Heather Watson, soon after followed by #15 Vesnina by none other than Vika Azarenka in a match-up the last two Indian Wells champions. While Azarenka has gone on to have a baby since *her* title run in the desert, the Russian has often struggled with her singles form, going 6-10 since her March triumph, a number bolstered somewhat by a recent 4-3 up-tick in results. The Belarusian faced just one break point while winning the 1st set at 6-3, then got an early break in the 2nd en route to her 6-3/6-3 win, her most impressive performance in the four matches she's played since her return to the tour two weeks ago.

19-year old Naomi Osaka was the player who delivered #22 Strycova's final call for this Wimbledon (in singles, anyway). She's one of just two teenagers (w/ Ana Konjuh) still alive in the women's draw.

Without doubt, the biggest name to fall today was #11 Kvitova, as the two-time champion of this event (and recent Birmingham winner) did precisely what she did a month ago in Paris in her return from hand surgery -- follow up an impressive, emotional 1st Round win with a loss that everyone will quickly dismiss because of the feel-good nature of her comeback.

Thing is, though, the Czech's loss today looked a lot like some of her defeats in recent seasons when the conditions (the heat, along with the flying ants, was bearing down on the grounds today) ultimately got the best of an exhausted (and, remember, asthma suffering) Kvitova.

On Court 2, against Madison Brengle (sporting a 2-1 head-to-head edge), the Czech's propensity for errors immediately got her into trouble, as 20+ UE's in the 1st set put her back against the wall. She broke Brengle when she served for the set at 5-2, but couldn't back it up with a hold as the Bannerette won 6-3. Kvitova reigned in the errors in the 2nd, winning 6-1, but they returned (20+) in the 3rd. Brengle broke for 3-2, then saved a BP a game later to get the hold for a 4-2 lead.

Often doubling over, and drenched in sweat, Kvitova held a GP in game #7, but handed Brengle a BP chance with a long forehand error from mid-court, then the break itself with another errant forehand. Before Brengle could serve for the match at 5-2, Kvitova was seen by trainers, and surely displayed the signs of the sort of difficulties with heat and illness that have troubled her for years, and can only be made worse now by her long layoff and being so early in her return to the courts. Brengle went up 40/love, and won on her second MP on a point which featured good defense that kept the rally alive long enough for her to fire a shot that Kvitova couldn't get back. The 6-3/1-6/6-2 win gives Brengle another big-time '17 win, along with her upset of Serena Williams in January (in what will be her ONLY loss in '17, of course).

Later in the day, Peng Shuai upended #25 CSN, winning by an easy 6-2/6-2 score, and in one of the final two matches to be completed on Day 3 (ended simultaneously with Ostapenko/Abanda), Camila Giorgi put yet another voodoo doll pin in the 2017 season of #17-seeded Keys, who seemed to have so much hope for the coming year at the close of '16, only to see wrist surgery take her out for months, then prevent her from ever really being able to find her form up to this point in the summer.

The Italian took the 1st set at 6-4, and really *should* have brought the proceedings to a close in straight sets. She grabbed a break in game #1 of the 2nd, and later served for the match at 5-4. But Keys forced a TB, where Giorgi held four MP before finally double-faulting on the Bannerette's second SP to hand her a 12-10 win and send things to a deciding 3rd. As it turned out, there wasn't much true hope for a miraculous Keys comeback. She fell behind 5-0, and Giorgi finally served things out on her fifth MP (at a little after 9 p.m., with darkness looming right next to The Rad) to win 6-4/6-7(10)/6-1 and reach the SW19 3rd Round for the fourth time in her career (she got to the Round of 16 in '12).

Of course, the most involving stories on this Rad Day -- Kvitova's loss aside -- really revolved around the big-name players who were ALMOST sent packing. More on those as we move along in this recap.

...for a bit on Wednesday, it looked as if the Williams family might not be immune to Radwanskian machinations, as Venus faced off with Wang Qiang on Court 1. Williams had defeated the Chinese woman in two tight sets (4 & 6) in the 1st Round in Paris, and was given even more difficulty today by one this season's most improved players (she climbed into the Top 50 for the first time earlier this season).

Surrendering no ground to Williams in the opening set, Wang broke serve for 5-4, then served out the set by matching Venus' groundstrokes and ending things by impressively taking a final rally to win 6-4. But there's a reason 37-year old Williams is nipping at the heels of 90 career SW19 match wins (this one turned out to be #83). After taking a 3-1 lead in the 2nd, Wang got things back on serve and led 4-3. But Venus won nine of the final ten games of the match, finishing off a 4-6/6-4/6-1 victory. With Kvitova's loss, Williams is now the only former Wimbledon champ still alive in the women's draw.

...perhaps Rufus the Hawk was keeping Rad Watch over the British women on Day 3, as both Heather Watson and Johanna Konta won to reach the 3rd Round. It's the first time two Brits have gone so far in the women's draw in over three decades.

Fresh off her second career Top 10 win (def. Cibulkova last week) and Eastbourne semifinal result, wild card Watson took out Mallorca champ and #18-seed Anastasija Sevastova. Two years ago, Watson came within two points of defeating Serena Williams in the 3rd Round at Wimbledon, then last year failed to convert three MP in a 2nd Round in a loss to Annika Beck. She's since won the Mixed Doubles title (w/ Henri Kontinen) at the AELTC, and today matched her career best slam result (two additional 3rd Rounds at Wimbledon, one in Australia) with her 6-0/6-4 victory. No matter what happens from here on out, she'll officially return to the Top 100 at the end of this tournament.

Later in the day, #6-seeded Konta narrowly avoided The Rad's wrath, battling through a 3:10 match with Donna Vekic, who defeated her in the Nottingham final a few weeks ago. Overall, it was likely the best match of this slam's early rounds to this point, with both players' firepower and aggression ruling the day as they combined for nearly 100 winners (the Brit had over 50), including double-digit ace totals for both. At the end of the 41-game contest, the two were separated by only three points.

With Stan Wawrinka watching from the Centre Court players box, as Vekic had when he won the U.S. Open last year, the Croat had a chance to serve out the 1st set at 5-3, but her inability to do so ultimately came back to haunt her. She double-faulted on Konta's second break point chance in game #9. At 5-5, 15/40 it was Vekic saving four BP (the Brit was 1-of-8 up to that moment) to hold for 6-5, then two games later claimed both of Konta's first two tie-break service points to take a 2-1 lead. But Konta stormed back, firing her 22nd winner of the set to knot things at 2-2, then using a big forehand return to force a Vekic error and go up a mini-break at 5-4. A huge forehand winner gave her a set point, then another attacking forehand shot forced another error to take the TB 7-4.

But as she'd do all day, 21-year old Vekic didn't duck her head and simply go away. The early stages of the 2nd set featured three straight breaks of serve, but the Croat got the last for 3-2 and carried out her lead for a 6-4 win. In the 3rd, things were on serve late at 5-5, then the players took turns grabbing the momentum of seemingly every game. Konta led 40/15, saw Vekic get things to deuce, then used a big serve and an ace on GP to hold for 6-5. After a (rare, for the stretch) love hold from Vekic, Konta came back from love/30 down to hold, taking advantage of an odd bounce on a drop shot that the Croat misjudged and fired a long forehand to give the Brit a GP before adding a return error a point later.

Konta slipped and fell at the baseline, recalling her awkward fall on her back last week in Eastbourne (this time she nearly fell directly on her wrist with her racket in her hand), then saw Vekic hold from 15/30 down for 7-7. Vekic's opposite court forehand gave her a love/30 lead in the next game, but Konta held there, as well. Vekic, too, held from love/30 down a game later. Then, you guessed it, Konta fell behind love/30 in game #17, but held under such circumstances for the third straight time, saving a BP when Vekic overhit a backhand on a second serve return, then saw her passing attempt hit the net cord and land on her own side of the net to give Konta a GP (and knotting the point totals for the match at 123-123). Down 8-9, Vekic *again* fell behind love/30 with Konta upping her aggressive tactics, and a long forehand error gave the Brit a MP. Vekic saved it with an ace. On MP #2, though, another Vekic forehand error ended the 7-6(4)/4-6/10-8 match in Konta's favor as she reached her first career Wimbledon 3rd Round, finishing with a slim 130-127 advantage in points.

Konta consoled a tearful Vekic at the net, but the Croat should be proud of her grass court season no matter her end here. She backed up her first tour singles in three years with a commendable slam performance that very nearly saw her put up her second Top 10 win in a month after having just one (2014-Cibulkova) in her entire career before this summer.

...Elina Svitolina's name was on everyone's mind when it came to Roland Garros, but not Wimbledon. Of course, some of that, while the surface has a bit to do with it, had to do with the Ukrainian's smart move to lower expectations for *this* slam by talking about an ankle injury that might cause her to skip SW19 a few weeks ago. But, as it's turned out, she's shown up in fine form. She took up a true upset threat in Ash Barty in the 1st Round in two tight sets, and today commanded the court against veteran Francesca Schiavone, winning 6-3/6-0 to reach the 3rd Round of Wimbledon for the first time.

Svitolina's big lost opportunity (a set and 5-1 up, w/ a MP, in the QF) vs. Simona Halep in Paris *might* haunt her, but the same can be said for the Romanian's loss to Jelena Ostapenko in the RG final, which she led 6-4/3-0 (with 3 BP for 4-0). Today, Halep found her way past Beatriz Haddad Maia in straight sets, but it took some real work.

The lefty Brazilian, the first from her nation to reach the SW19 2nd Round since 1989, led 3-0 in the opening set, and had game points for a 4-1 lead before Halep broke serve. But Haddad broke back and ultimately served for the set at 5-3. From there, Halep won four straight games to steal the 1st, holding at love for 7-5, then getting a key break mid-way through the 2nd set and winning, 7-5/6-3. The Romanian reached the Wimbledon semifinals in 2014, and the QF a year ago.

...meanwhile, the most spirited comeback of the day may have been that of the reigning Roland Garros champ, the WTA's living embodiment of Fearless Girl.

Late in the day, #13-seeded Jelena Ostapenko had a time of things, both with qualifier Francoise Abanda and controlling her own error totals. But you know Latvian Thunder. Nothing bothers her for long. If it's a bad call, she shoots an evil eye at someone, then just gets back to trying to fire missles at her opponents a few seconds later. Today was the Canadian's turn to "enjoy the experience."

Abanda got a break to lead 4-2 in the 1st set, and served for the set at 5-3. But she quickly fell behind love/30 and Ostapenko got the break back, only to give it away (along with the set) a game later, as Abanda won 6-4. Ostapenko continued the forward-and-back trend in the 2nd, getting an early break, only to see things go back on serve before she got another break to lead 5-4. Of course, Abanda got it right back when the RG champ failed to serve out the set.

While the sound of ringing church bells were resounding across the grounds, Ostapenko wasn't about to admit they were tolling for *her.*

In the TB to determine the 2nd set (and maybe the match), Abanda took a 2-0 lead, and soon went up 3-1. But the Canadian lost a service point to make things 4-4, and Ostapenko took off, using her big shots to overtake Abanda and win the final four points, claiming the set with a short ball get and follow-up volley winner to win 7-4. In the 3rd, Abanda led again at 2-0. But Ostapenko had no fear. She got things back on serve at 3-3, held for 4-3, then went up love/40 on Abanda's serve in game #8, breaking and getting the chance to serve for the match at 5-3 as darkness threatened to close in around the court and push things to Day 4.

Ostapenko quickly reached MP on Court 12, simultaneously as Giorgi held her own *fifth* MP vs. Keys on Court 3. The Italian finished off her win about two second before Ostapenko could do the same. So I guess the Latvian will have to do something about such gall when they meet on the court in Thursday's no-emotions-barred clash. In the 4-6/7-6(4)/6-3 win, Ostapenko fired 31 winners, just enough to overcome her 39 unforced errors. While the UE's might go down the longer she's in this tournament, the winners surely won't follow suit.

With nine straight slam wins, Ostapenko has now won thirteen of nineteen three-set matches in 2017. The former Wimbledon girls champ has never gone this far in the Wimbledon women's draw before (she was 1-2 in her MD career at SW19 before this event). But, of course, we said that in Paris, too. Jelena is turning out to be the exception to almost every so-called "rule."

...the women's doubles competition kicked off on Day 3, and The Rad didn't lay a hand on anything. #1-seeded Mattek-Sands/Safarova won their opening match, inching a round closer to a "Bucie Slam," while #5 Hradecka/Siniakoa, #12 Peschke/Groenefeld and #14 Flipkens/Mirza (after Sania's latest grass court partnership never got to play a match in Eastbourne) did the same. Sloane Stephens *did* get a win today, in WD with Chang Kai-Chen. #10 Xu/Dabrowski fell to Mertens/Schuurs, as did the Rodionova sisters to #15 Klepac/Martinez-Sanchez.

#2 Chan Yung-Jan & Martina Hingis, hot off winning titles in Mallorca and Eastbourne, notched their eighth straight win by getting by the Pastry-Swiss combo of Cornet/Knoll. The veteran duo are an eye-popping 31-4 since joining forces in February, including a current 17-1 run during the clay & grass court seasons (when four of their five '17 titles as a pair have been claimed).

Speaking of the Swiss Miss, she sits atop the Mixed Doubles draw as the #1-seeded duo with Jamie Murray. There have been four consecutive first-time women's MX title winners -- Watson, Siegemund, Spears & Dabrowski -- since Hingis won her most recent MX slam with Leander Paes at last year's Roland Garros, completing a Career Mixed Slam for the pair. Paes is in the MX draw this year, but is partnering Xu Yifan.



?? #orthomolnatal

A post shared by Mandy Minella (@mandyminella) on

LIKE ON DAY 3: Just two twins on a windy day...

But Kristyna 6-7(6)/6-4/6-4 loss to today means that Karolina can officially win the Pliskova Slam Stakes competition with a win tomorrow, which would means she'd outlasted her sister in the draw of a major for the 18th time in 24 slams.

0 / 0 - W
1 / 0 - RU (Karolina best: 2016 US)
1 / 0 - SF
1 / 0 - QF
0 / 0 - 4th Rd.
3 / 2 - 3rd Rd. (Kristyna best: 2015 WI/2017 AO)
7 / 5 - 2nd Rd. [Karolina to play 2nd]
7 / 8 - 1st Rd.
7 / 13 - lost in qualifying
17 - Karolina best twin result [Karolina '17 wins: AO/RG]
6 - Kristyna best twin result 17: -
4 - same result
1 - both didn't play = 2011 Wimbledon
Karolina SLAM MD W/L TOTAL: 29-20 [Karolina to play 2nd]
Kristyna SLAM MD W/L TOTAL: 9-15
Karolina SLAM Q W/L TOTAL: 2-7
Kristyna SLAM Q W/L TOTAL: 7-13

TYPICAL ON DAY 3: Pam Shriver, during ESPN's "coverage" of Ostapenko/Abanda, as the two prepared to go in a 2nd set TB, referred to them as "a pair of 20-year olds, one we've now heard of."

Oh, shut up, Pammy.

...and, finally...

June 26 (Official Radwanskian Massacre Day): ALARM
Tournament Eve: EERIE SILENCE
Day 1: ALARM
Day 3: CONCERN (Radwanskian Massacre Day Observed)

2006 Serbia
2007 France
2008 Russia
2009 Italy (veterans)
2010 Romania
2011 Great Britain
2012 Netherlands
2013 Australia/New Zealand
2014 Czech Republic
2015 Switzerland
2016 Russia
2017 Great Britain

=2013 (inciting event)=
June 26 (Wimbledon Day 3)
"The Radwanskian Massacre" - 7 former #1's lose, w/ 4 additional walkovers and three ret. on day filled with falls, slips and stumbles
June 26 (Wimbledon Day 3)
First unofficial commemoration of The Radwanskian Massacre. With the Radwanskian Threat Level meter in place and all on guard and vigilent, calm prevails.
June 26 (official)
Aga Radwanska & the seagull (in Eastbourne, bird swoops at Radwanska as she serves... one day later, she loses in the singles final)
Wimbledon Day 3 (observed)
The hottest day ever recorded in Wimbledon history (35.7 C / 96 F), fire alarm evacuates Centre Court
June 26 (official)/Wimbledon Day 3 (observed)
The wet London weather rains... err, reigns. 74 singles and doubles matches are scheduled: 41 are cancelled, 15 interrupted and 18 completed. Only 6 matches were both started and finished solely on Day 3, with 4 of those played under the Centre Court roof. But Aga Radwanska opens the Centre Court schedule and wins without incident and, in a previously unscheduled C.C. match, Radwanska's '16 RG conqueror, Tsvetana Pironkova, loses.
June 26 (official)
Eastbourne defending champ Dominika Cibulkova loses in opening match to WC Heather Watson; 4 LL's win MD matches (one LL vs. LL match-up); LL Tsvetana Pironkova advances to 2nd Rd. w/ 1st Rd. bye when Petra Kvitova withdraws, gets 2nd Rd. win
Wimbledon Day 3 (observed)
It's "Flying Ant Day" as the newly-emerged insects swarm the AELTC grounds. Meanwhile, six women's seed fall, including two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova.

=2015 (Jr. Radwanska Day) - Day 7/July 6=
Three of the Top 4 junior girls lost in the 1st Rd.: #1 Marketa Vondrousova (Roehampton RU), #3 Dalma Galfi (Roehampton W) and #4 Anna Kalinskaya (RG Girls RU)
=2016 (Day 4/June 30)=
#2 seed/RG champ/'15 RU Garbine Muguruza loses; #3 Aga Radwanska saves 3 MP, one on a net cord, as Ana Konjuh rolls her ankle after stepping on a ball, and Aga wins a 9-7 3rd set; eleven women's (and seven men's) seeds fall, as well as Heather Waston vs. Annika Beck (Watson had three MP, out early one year after two points from upset of Serena Williams in '15 3rd Rd.)

3...Belinda Bencic, SUI
3...Genie Bouchard, CAN
3...Andrea Petkovic, GER
3...Heather Watson, GBR
2...Victoria Azarenka, BLR
2...Alize Cornet, FRA
2...Zarina Diyas, KAZ
2...Kirsten Flipkens, BEL
2...Camila Giorgi, ITA
2...Madison Keys, USA
2...Ana Konjuh, CRO
2...Johanna Konta, GBR
2...Naomi Osaka, JPN
2...Jelena Ostapenko, LAT
2...Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, RUS
2...Peng Shuai, CHN
2...Aga Radwanska, POL
2...Maria Sharapova, RUS
2...Sloane Stephens, USA
2...Serena Williams, USA
2...Venus Williams, USA
[multiple losses]
4...Hsieh Su-Wei, TPE
3...Carla Suarez-Navarro, ESP
3...Lesia Tsurenko, UKR
2...Irina-Camelia Begu, ROU
2...Sorana Cirstea, ROU
2...Ana Ivanovic, SRB (ret.)
2...Christina McHale, USA
2...Karolina Pliskova, CZE
2...Francesca Schiavone, ITA
2...Silvia Soler-Espinosa, ESP
2...Caroline Wozniacki, DEN
[most matches]
4 - Genie Bouchard (3-1)
4 - Andrea Petkovic (3-1)
4 - Heather Watson (3-1)
4 - Carla Suarez-Navarro (1-3)
4 - Hsieh Su-Wei (0-4)
3 - Belinda Bencic (3-0)
3 - Kirsten Flipkens (2-1)
3 - Camila Giorgi (2-1)
3 - Madison Keys (2-1)
3 - Jelena Ostapenko (2-1)
3 - Maria Sharapova (2-1)
3 - Sloane Stephens (2-1)
3 - Irina-Camelia Begu (1-2)
3 - Sorana Cirstea (1-2)
3 - Ana Ivanovic (1-2) (ret.)
3 - Karolina Pliskova (1-2)
3 - Lesia Tsurenko (0-3)
2 - Victoria Azarenka (2-0)
2 - Alize Cornet (2-0)
2 - Zarina Diyas (2-0)
2 - Ana Konjuh (2-0)
2 - Johanna Konta (2-0)
2 - Naomi Osaka (2-0)
2 - Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (2-0)
2 - Peng Shuai (2-0)
2 - Aga Radwanska (2-0)
2 - Serena Williams (2-0)
2 - Venus Williams (2-0)
2 - Petra Cetkovska (1-1)
2 - Dominika Cibulkova (1-1)
2 - Lauren Davis (1-1)
2 - Karin Knapp (1-1)
2 - Petra Kvitova (1-1)
2 - Kristyna Pliskova (1-1)
2 - Monica Puig (1-1)
2 - Alison Riske (1-1)
2 - Lucie Safarova (1-1)
2 - Barbora Strycova (1-1)
2 - Christina McHale (0-2)
2 - Francesca Schiavone (0-2)
2 - Silvia Soler-Espinosa (0-2)
2 - Caroline Wozniacki (0-2)
# - [Remembrance Day history]
2013: June 26 (Wimbledon Day 3)
2014: June 26 (Wimbledon Day 3)
2015: June 26 (Eastbourne) & July 1 (Wimbledon Day 3)
2016: June 26 (no WTA matches) & June 29 (Wimb.Day 3)
2017: June 26 (Eastbourne) & July 5 (Wimb.Day 3)

2008 Serena Williams & Venus Williams, USA/USA
2009 Serena Williams & Venus Williams, USA/USA
2010 Vania King & Yaroslava Shvedova, USA/KAZ
2011 Kveta Peschke & Katarina Srebotnik, CZE/SLO
2012 Serena Williams & Venus Williams, USA/USA
2013 Hsieh Su-Wei & Peng Shuai, TPE/CHN
2014 Sara Errani & Roberta Vinci, ITA/ITA
2015 Martina Hingis & Sania Mirza, SUI/IND
2016 Serena Williams & Venus Williams, USA/USA
2017 ?

TOP EARLY-ROUND (1r-2r): x
TOP QUALIFYING MATCH: Q3: Petra Martic/CRO def. #1q Aleksandra Krunic/SRB 3-6/7-6/7-5
TOP EARLY-RD. MATCH (1r-2r): x
FIRST VICTORY: Wang Qiang/CHN (def. K.Chang/TPE)
FIRST SEED OUT: #31 Roberta Vinci/ITA (1st Rd. - lost to Kr.Pliskova/CZE)
REVELATION LADIES: GBR (two women -- Konta & Watson -- in 3rd Rd. for first time since '86; WC Boulter played well vs. McHale)
NATION OF POOR SOULS: Nominee: RUS (4-7 1st Rd.; Vesnina out 2nd)
LAST QUALIFIER STANDING: In 2nd Rd.: Abanda(L), Hercog, Martic, Ar.Rodionova, Sabalenka(L)
LAST WILD CARD STANDING: In 2nd Rd.: Diyas, Mattek-Sands, Watson(W)
LAST BRIT STANDING: In 3rd Rd.: Konta, Watson
IT ("??"): x
COMEBACK: Nominee: Azarenka
CRASH & BURN: Nominee: Pavlyuchenkova (1st Rd. loss to A.Rodionova after having 7 MP, one year after Wimb. QF and "Career QF Slam" completed at this year's AO; won two titles '17)
ZOMBIE QUEEN (TBD at QF): Nominee: Ar.Rodionova (1st Rd. - saved 7 MP vs. Pavlyuchenkova; won 9-7 3rd); Witthoeft (1st Rd. - down 0-5 in 3rd vs. #26 Lucic-Baroni)
June 26 official: Eastbourne DC Dominika Cibulkova loses opening match to WC Heather Watson; 4 LL's win MD matches (one LL vs. LL match-up); LL Tsvetana Pironkova advances to 2nd Rd. w/ 1st Rd. bye when Petra Kvitova withdraws, gets 2nd Rd. win
Day 3 observed: On "Flying Ant Day," newly-emerged insects swarm the AELTC grounds. Meanwhile, six women's seed fall, including two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova.

All for Day 3. More Tomorrow.


Blogger Diane said...

I don't know--there's something a bit "Arbus" about that Pliskova photo shoot on the beach. It's lije they were "let out" from Radwanska Abbey for an afternoon in the sun.

Wed Jul 05, 09:56:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

Hmmm, now that you mention it. ;)

Thu Jul 06, 12:45:00 AM EDT  
Blogger colt13 said...

Ostapenko will now be referred to as Wallenda, for her repeated high wire acts.

Stat of the Day-29- The amount of slam wins for Eleni Daniilidou.

Now you may be wondering why Eleni is getting a mention. Maybe because Sakkari is the first woman from Greece to make the 3rd round here since 2005? Maybe because if she wins, she will be the first since Eleni to reach the 4th at any major since 2004 USO?

Yes, plus Maria Sakkari is a virtual baby on the scene. Eleni has more slam wins than Sakkari has md wins on the WTA level-20. Only in her 2nd full year on tour, the 21 yr old has picked up two big Top 50 wins this week in Siniakova and Pliskova. But Konta will be tough, as the highest ranked win in her career was over #34 AK Schmiedlova.

Eleni had an injury marred career, but some highlights were 5 WTA titles, a career high of 14 in 2003, when she went 34-25, and 7 ITF finals in Greece, including winning in her hometown of Thessaloniki in 1999.

Thu Jul 06, 01:13:00 PM EDT  
Blogger tennisings said...

Are the poor Czechs in the running for Nation of Poor Souls? Safarova's the only one left (for now) in singles but BMS's horrific injury surely means they're out of the doubles (and the non-calendar Grand Slam). And even though Kvitova, Strycova and both Pliskovas lost to tricky opponents, to have all four go out in 2R is brutal — especially with their potential on grass.

Thu Jul 06, 01:27:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

Wow, there can't be too many with a stat to their name like Sakkari's.

Daniilidou (who's actually still playing in challengers) also had two wins over Henin in her career, both on grass (w/ one at Wimbledon).

Yep, I've added them to the list today. Safarova's fate, if she loses, would surely decide it (no Czechs in the 3rd Rd. for the first time since '09, and second time since '04), but it probably doesn't matter.

Kuznetsova's win likely single-handedly saved the Russians from Poor Souls status. ;)

Thu Jul 06, 02:42:00 PM EDT  

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