Monday, July 02, 2018

W.1- Future Not-So-Shocking

While a number of seeds (six in all) would ultimately fall on Day 1, none were as highly seeded as #4 Sloane Stephens. Yet, still, her 1st Round exit at the hands of Donna Vekic wasn't an earth-shattering surprise.

And it wasn't because the 22-year old Croat has some grass court results of note in her past, including a Birmingham final five years ago and a Nottingham title (def. Jo Konta) in 2017, either.

No, it was because Stephens, for all she's done in her "second" act (yeah, she's still only 25, but there was certainly a lull and injury-related comeback since her initial breakout results five years ago), still has something to "prove." While she was able to string together consistently good results at majors when she was in her early 20's -- including six straight 4th Rd.+ results at slams from 2013-14, and nine straight 3rd Rd.+ going back to 2012 -- she's still yet to show that she can follow up a SUPERIOR major result with, well, anything.

Stephens returned from an eleven-month absence due to a foot injury and surgery exactly one year ago, debuting at Wimbledon with a 1st Round loss to Alison Riske. It was fairly well expected, considering the circumstances, and Riske would have been a tough out even on a healthy day for Sloane considering her countrywoman's past grass success. Over the course of last summer, Stephens, with a combination of energy, calm and renewed desire collected during her time away from the game, and refined between the lines, improved by leaps and bounds. After being ranked outside the Top 900 at one point (less than a year ago, in fact), she ended her blazing opening months back with a U.S. Open title.

Then she lost eight straight matches, not winning again until February of this year, after having lost in the 1st Round of the Australian Open in her first major since her New York title run.

Sloane didn't seem concerned about the slump, as she adjusted to the new opportunities and pressures that came with a maiden slam crown. And her lack of worry proved to be right on target, as she soon "brought the Future" all over again, taking the Miami crown on hard court and reaching the Roland Garros final on clay. She arrived at the All-England Club having not played a match since, opting to go with no grass court tune-up while she once again tested the waters to see if she could follow up a huge slam result with, well, again, *anything.* It turned out that she couldn't.

Vekic jumped out on top early in the 1st set, going up 3-1. She saved a BP in game #5 and held for 4-1 en route to a 6-1 win. The thought was that as soon as Stephens got her "grass legs" things might change. And they did, for a bit. She led 2-0, but then the Croat stormed right back. Vekic broke to lead 3-2, lost the edge, then broke again (at love) to get it back. Up 5-3, she held a MP. Stephens finally found a bit of her dominant Flushing Meadow magic, thwacking a crosscourt forehand winner to save it. But it wouldn't be enough. Vekic's forehand error into the net squandered her second MP, but on #3 it was an error off the Stephens forehand wing that ended things.

Vekic's 6-1/6-3 victory gives her her third career Top 10 win (the second on grass), and her first over a Top 5 player. This is the Croat's third 1st Round win at Wimbledon (2014 & '17), and she's one more victory away from matching the career best slam result of a 3rd Round finish, attained at last year's U.S. Open and in '15 at Roland Garros.

A year ago, Vekic's Wimbledon ended in the 2nd Round after she'd backed up her Nottingham title run by gamely battling Johanna Konta for over three hours in a match in which the two combined for nearly 100 winners, with the Brit ultimately holding a mere three-point advantage on the stat sheet in a 7-6(4)/4-6/10-8 contest. As we once learned at this event thanks to Jana Novotna, tears that flow in defeat are sometimes rewarded with great triumphs in the future.

On the flip side, it took just 1:11 for Stephens' Wimbledon to end, as she maintains her feast-or-famine string of major results -- 1r-W-1r-RU-1r -- since her return. She lost today despite Vekic's nine DF and 50% first serve percentage. Vekic made up for her own difficulties by winning 87% of the first serves she got in (Sloane won just 47% of hers) and by carving out seventeen BP chances (converting six) on the day. Sloane had a higher conversion rate, but had just three BP on the day (going 2-of-3).

Sloane was one of the handful of women who started the fortnight with a chance to finish it ranked #1. That won't happen now, of course.

Hmmm, but maybe this *does* mean that her chances of a nice run at the Open have increased exponentially, though.

...the opening hour or so of Day 1 at any slam is always a Neighborhood Watch to see which player will be the first to win (or lose) her 1st Round match, and which of the seeded players will be the first to be sent packing.

Monday at Wimbledon featured a three-headed race about an hour and a half into the day's play, as three women closed in on becoming the first to advance to the 2nd Round. While Antonia Lottner led the all-qualifier contest vs. Evgeniya Rodina 6-3/5-4, Yanina Wickmayer had a 7-5/5-4 advantage over qualifier Mona Barthel, and Andrea Petkovic was looking to extend her 6-4/4-4 lead over #31 Zhang Shuai. While Zhang surged ahead late and forced a 3rd set, and Rodina turned the tables and did the same, Wickmayer staved off BP and served out a 7-5/6-4 victory over Barthel, who'd saved a MP in the Q-rounds en route to reaching her 30th consecutive MD at a major only to become the first player to see her tournament end on Monday. Wickmayer reached the Round of 16 eight years ago in 2011, but this is just the fifth Wimbledon MD win posted by the Belgian since.

Soon after, the First Seed Out was identified. It wasn't Zhang, but was instead #19 Magdalena Rybarikova, a semifinalist at SW19 a year ago and a finalist just two weekends ago at Birmingham. The Slovak fell to Sorana Cirstea, 7-5/6-3. The Romanian reached the 3rd Round last year. Rybarikova, for all her perceived grass court credentials, has seen this sort of result at the AELTC before. She lost in the 1st Round in her first seven MD appearances at Wimbledon, and has alternated with similar one-and-done results the last four years, as well. With this result, her career Wimbledon "stat line" looks like this: 1r-1r-1r-1r-1r-1r-1r-3r-1r-SF-1r. So there's that.

Petkovic did go on to complete her upset of the 31st seed, jumping out to an early lead in the 3rd and winning 6-4/4-6/6-2.

In the other match that seemed destined to end quickly less than a hour earlier, Lottner, who'd been a game away from securing her first career MD slam victory went on to down in defeat to Rodina. The Russian, whose best Wimbledon result came a full decade ago (3r in '08), when her German opponent was all of eleven years old, took the all-qualifier clash in comeback fashion, 3-6/7-5/6-4.

...while all that was going on, the Pliskova twins were having their own issues. Both were included in the list of first-up matches for Day 1, and neither had a particularly easy time of things.

While Kristyna was losing the 1st set to qualifier Alexandra Dulgheru, #7 Karolina had her hands full with British wild card Harriet Dart, who last week in Eastbourne posted her first career tour-level MD win with a victory over, yes, Kristyna. While Karolina has a history of good grass results (though not at Wimbledon, where she's never advanced past the 2nd Round), the Czech last week only grudgingly acknowledged as much, admitting that she has no particular liking of the surface. She looked to be off to a good start vs. Dart, though, and served for the 1st set at 5-4. Then things got a little complicated.

Karolina dropped serve, then Dart held and ultimately forced a tie-break. Pliskova won it 7-2, and all seemed good. But then Dart quickly took a two-break lead in the 2nd at 3-0. She gave back one break, then immediately took it back a game later. She claimed the set 6-1, and suddenly the contest looked suspiciously like a weekend World Cup knock-out match.

At the same time, Kristyna forced Dulgheru to a 3rd.

With a pair of dueling finals sets, the Pliskova twins ultimately split the difference. Kristyna went down 6-2 to Dulgheru, who notched her first SW19 MD win since 2011 and became the first qualifier to advance to the 2nd Round at this Wimbledon. Karolina faired better with Dart, finally jumping out early at 3-1, and the coasting to a decisive 6-1 set. In the end, Dart actually out-aced the tour ace leader (9-6, as Pliskova served at just a 54% clip), and scored just four fewer points (100-96).

Now Karolina enters the real "danger zone" -- the 2nd Round of Wimbledon, where she's lost five straight years. Her opponent this time? None other than an unseeded Victoria Azarenka. Azarenka had a bad (2013-like) looking fall on the Court 18 grass early in the match and had to have her right knee heavily wrapped, and the slipped and went down again later as her footwork was tentative, but managed to hold off Ekaterina Alexandrova (who made her SW19 two years ago by upsetting Ana Ivanovic in the 1st Round) in straight sets, 7-6(4)/6-3.

The two have split a pair of matches in 2018, with Azarenka winning on hard (Miami) and Pliskova on clay (Madrid). Vika leads the overall series, which began back in 2008 (but oddly didn't have match #2 until '15), 3-2.

...while Stephens' Wimbledon ended on Day 1, all three of her fellow Bannerette U.S. Open semifinalists also played on Monday. Two-thirds of them were more successful, too.

#10 Madison Keys, who drew the Short Sloane Stephens Slam Straw at the Open (losing to her friend in the final) and this year's RG (losing to her in the semis), handled Ajla Tomljanovic 6-4/6-2. #9 Venus Williams, the SW19 runner-up to Garbine Muguruza in '17, had more difficulty with Johanna Larsson. She slipped in the backcourt (falling forward w/o injury) on the slick Court 2 surface in the opening set, but still ultimately recorded career Wimbledon match win #88 (third all-time on the women's side behind only Navratilova and Evert) by coming back strong after dropping a 1st set TB, winning 6-7(3)/6-2/6-1.

Later in the day, #16 CoCo Vandeweghe battled Katerina Siniakova for over three hours despite a bum ankle, and a nasty looking fall (she raced forward to reach a ball, slid on the grass and ended up flat on her back, partially under the net and beside the net post on the AD court side). While limping and wincing throughout, she managed to take the 1st set TB from the Czech, then take control in the 3rd set after Siniakova had won the 2nd. She served for the match at 5-3, but failed to seal the deal, then saw Siniakova play her more straight-up without thinking about her injury down the stretch. She pulled even and then ahead, finally taking the win 6-7(3)/6-3/8-6.

...after what proved to be a disasterous Roland Garros for the tour's top two Latvians, Alona Ostapenko and Anastasija Sevastova, this Wimbledon get off to a very hot start, either. In Paris, both women lost in the 1st Round in singles, then also combined to go 0-3 in doubles and mixed, as well.

#21 Sevastova hit the court on Day 1 and promptly fell behind 5-0 to Camila Giorgi. The Italian took the set 6-1, though the Latvian won a 6-2 2nd to force a deciding set. It didn't work out, though, as the nation's winless slam spring/summer continued as Giorgi served out a 6-1/2-6/6-4 victory. Giorgi reached the Round of 16 at Wimbledon back in 2012, and has reached at least the 3rd Round in four of her previous seven appearances.

...elsewhere, Eastbourne champ #2 Caroline Wozniacki, once again with a shot to end a slam at #1, didn't have much time to savor her first grass court title run in nine years. She didn't spent much time on the court today, either. The Dane, the '06 SW19 girls champ, defeated Varvara Lepchenko love & 3 to notch a 1st Round win for the tenth time in fourteen MD appearance.

...making her first appearance at Wimbledon since defending the title in 2016, and anywhere since pulling out of her scheduled Roland Garros Round of 16 match with Maria Sharapova with a pectoral muscle ailment, the installed #25-seed Serena Williams faced off with Arantxa Rus, a one-time 3rd Round participant (2012) at the AELTC, but one without a MD win at *any* major since that six-years-old run. Rus has lost in qualifying nine times in the stretch, and before today her only 1st Round MD appearance since the '13 Wimbledon came at this year's RG.

Throughout the 1st set, the Dutch woman made (nearly) the most of her appearance in such an eyes-on match on Court 1, making Williams work to win points in rallies. Serena went up an early break, but Rus got it back and the two were on serve late into the set. Serving down 4-5, love/30, Rus' ball ticked off the net cord, directly to a waiting Williams, who promptly dumped a backhand into the net rather than set up triple set point. Rus went on to hold, forcing Serena to wait two more games, win a few more moderately long rallies, huff-and-puff a bit from all the running and deal with some tricky wind before she finally let out a yell when an error from her Dutch opponent finally got her the set at 7-5.

In the 2nd, Rus again held her own. After being able to re-play a point on which Serena put away a smash at game point, Rus managed to get a break of serve to lead 2-1. She held for 3-1, but Williams worked her way back, running off four straight games to serve for the match at 5-3. Again, Rus refused to go quietly. The #105-ranked Dutch woman saved five MP, including with a solid return winner, before Williams finally secured the 7-5/6-3 win, her 87th at Wimbledon (fourth behind Martina, Chrissie & Venus). It's her fifteenth straight overall victory at the AELTC, and her 18th consecutive in the Wimbledon 1st Round, improving her career slam mark to 67-1 in opening rounds.

In a match-up of beloved vets, #23 Barbora Strycova defeated Svetlana Kuznetsova 7-6(6)/7-5, which isn't all that surprising considering the Russian has yet to gain any real traction since returning from wrist surgery. She's now 4-10 on the season. But, still... this isn't good.

Does Sveta have one more big comeback push in her?

...while putting up good tune-up grass court event results is nice, it doesn't necessarily mean anything when it comes to Wimbledon. I've already mentioned losses today from Rybarikova (Birmingham RU), and Sevastova (Mallorca RU). Also out on Day 1 were Nottingham semifinalist Viktoria Kuzmova (in two TB to Rebecca Peterson), Rosmalen champ Aleksandra Krunic (in three sets to Madison Brengle) and Eastbourne finalist Aryna Sabalenka.

Sabalenka played five straight five-setters before falling to Wozniacki in the final at Devonshire Park on Saturday, as well as having reached the doubles semis. It seemed almost inevitable that she'd run out of gas at the All-England Club. And she did, kinda sorta. She still gave #29 Mihaela Buzarnescu all she was worth. The Belarusian saved a BP at 5-5 in the 1st set, then won the opening TB 7-3, sweeping the final four points. After dropping the 2nd 6-1, then falling behind 5-1 in the 3rd the moment has seemingly arrived. But she broke the Romanian when she served for the match at 5-2. Soon it was 5-4 and Buzarnescu had to hold to win the match or see things knotted at 5-all and suddenly being anyone's victory to claim. She went up 40/15 and finally got it done, adding a Wimbledon MD win to her growing list of career firsts in 2018. She saved six of seven BP chances on the day vs. Sabalenka.

Of course, sometimes grass success carries over to the season's third major, too. It did today for Mallorca champ Tatjana Maria. After taking her maiden tour singles crown at age 30 two weeks ago in Mallorca, the German (another of the many moms on tour who don't get mentioned as often for being as such), Maria wiped #5 seed Elina Svitolina (a new London native, no less) from the draw with a 7-6(3)/4-6/6-1 victory.

Svitolina was not really much in the conversation as a contender at this major, as she's done far better on hard and clay surfaces in her career, but with Simona Halep now removed from the "slam-less" list the Ukrainian entered this event as the highest-ranked player without a major title. She hasn't even yet reached a slam semifinal, and another blowout final set ushering her out the door is now officially becoming a "thing" of late. It's happened three times in her last seven slams -- 2017: love 3rd vs. Halep in RG QF; 2018: love 2nd vs. Mertens in the AO QF, and now a 6-1 3rd to Maria at Wimbledon, in a match where she had fallen behind 4-0 in the final stanza -- and this loss gives Svitolina two consecutive first week exits at majors, following her 3rd Round loss to Buzarnescu in Paris. Her last 1st Round slam defeat was at the 2014 U.S. Open, before she'd yet reached the Top 20, so today ends a 14-slam stretch of relative, though unspectacular, consistency in the season's biggest events.

ESPN's Rennae Stubbs wondered today if Svitolina's training regimen might have something to do with her recent lapses, noting that she may have lost TOO much weight and muscle over the last year or so (she *is* noticeably much thinner than she was), losing some of the power behind her shots for the sake of quicker movement on the court.

...late in the day, one that had already seen two Top 5 seeds ejected, added a dose of Radwanskian magic for a little *more* spice.

A number of Swarmettes had already flexed some muscle on Monday, and then 20-year old qualifier Elena-Gabriela Ruse made her slam MD debut (after having made it through qualifying in her first slam WS matches of any kind). She very nearly placed her name at the top of the list of accomplished winners on Day 1. But she was facing #32 Aga Radwanska and, well, Aga has a way about her on grass, especially so at this event, where's she's won a junior title and reached the women's final. So much so that it's almost as if she has some "extra" assistance sometimes shadowing her every step.

Yep, it happened *again* today. After returning from a two-month break while dealing with back/hip injuries (she missed RG, ending her 47-slam streak), Radwanska put on a semifinal run last week at Eastbourne that brought back memories of some of her bag-of-tricks past. She even survived multiple MP when her opponent DF'd twice.

But that was just a prelude to Day 1 at Wimbledon.

Against #197 Ruse, Radwanska jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the 1st. But the Romanian began to find her footing, playing fearless tennis and going for all her shots. She managed to close to within 5-3 in the 1st before Radwanska finally finished off the set at 6-3, then carried over her improved play into the 2nd. Ruse served at 5-3, was broken, but then broke back to level the match via a Radwanska DF (oh the irony) on BP/SP. The two were locked in a tight battle in the 3rd, as well, tied at 4-4. Pulling Aga in to the net, then firing passing shots by her, the Romanian converted a GP with a net cord shot that ploppped onto Radwanska's side of the court (oh the irony, again) to go up 5-4.

Then it happened.

Game #10, with Radwanska serving to stay in the tournament, with her worst-ever Wimbledon result potentially at hand, not to mention a rare one-and-out slam experience (she'd only exited in the 1st Round of a major three times, and just one since 2010), turned out to be a showcase for all the "murky" things that seem to happen around the Pole on the AELTC grounds. It wasn't quite of the Konjuh-steps-on-a-ball-and-turns-her-ankle variety, but it was surely memorable in its own right. The game lasted fourteen minutes, had 23 points, went to deuce eight times, saw Ruse hold SIX match points... and then ended when Radwanska, somehow, managed to hold for 5-5. Perhaps the key point, Ruse's 6th and final MP, came when after she'd gotten into position for a career-altering win by hitting out and going for shots, she tried to drop shot Radwanska to end the match. Oh, no. The ball failed to make it over the net, and the sense of a lost opportunity swept over the windswept SW19 landscape.

A game later, Ruse went up 30/love, but soon found herself BP down. An error off the Romanian's racket got Aga the break and the chance to serve out the match at 6-5. Radwanska did so, winning 6-3/4-6/7-5.

I'd say it was a shock. But, well, we've seen it too many times before.

WISH ON DAY 1: If only the WTA did as much (or as well) with video presentation as Wimbledon.

LIKE ON DAY 1: Evonne knows...

LIKE ON DAY 1: One year later...

"SERIOUSLY, PAM?" ON DAY 1: When commentating the Vandeweghe/Siniakova match, ESPN's Pam Shriver noted that CoCo is being coached by Pat Cash, "One of the greatest Davis Cup players ever."

Really, you're sitting down broadcasting a match at WIMBLEDON, and that's the first career bio note that leaps to mind when you think of Cash? Seriously?

Later, on Wozniacki, Pam said, "Wozniacki doesn't really like grass. It's her least favorite surface."

Well, except for (set to start at 1:35)...

(Granted, you can't take those post-match comments *totally* at face value. But, still... if the two quotes weren't such almost word-for-word opposites of each other it wouldn't be nearly as funny.)

LIKE ON DAY 1: When fans are won, even (or especially?) in defeat...

LIKE ON DAY 1: Another British Tennis Katie is celebrating on the grass...


"Friends, maximum repost ???? found a kitten, the area Sanatorium Rus, Beach Albatross. With a collar, running around the beach, looking for the owners, while taken to his home, but if suddenly someone lost. It's a girl black with a pink collar and a bell">

...and, finally... as this Wimbledon marks the twentieth anniversary of the late Jana Novotna's triumphant, long-awaited title run at the All-England Club, it will also mark this space's inaugural "Spirit of Jana" honoree. Essentially it'll go to the player who strikes a particular fancy during the fortnight for her display of perseverance, grass court expertise, serve-and-volley technique (well, maybe not that) and/or heartfelt enthusiasm and support. In other words, something that reminds me of Jana.

For example: Donna Vekic became the first nominee for her resounding win today over Sloane Stephens in her return to the All-England Club following last year's emotional loss to Jo Konta in a hard-fought 2nd Round encounter that concluded with the tearful Croat being consoled at the net by the victorious Brit.

Just a reminder of Jana's Wimbledon journey...

Good start at @wimbledon today! #pojd #teamsafi #letsgo @robsteckley ??????

A post shared by Lucie Safarova (@lucie.safarova) on

Verdant. Venus. . ??: Joe Toth #Wimbledon #tennis #sport #instasport

A post shared by Wimbledon (@wimbledon) on

2005 #10 Patty Schnyder, SUI (Ant.Serra-Zanetta/ITA)
2006 #28 Sofia Arvidsson, SWE (Birnerova/CZE)
2007 #30 Olga Puchkova, RUS (Vesnina/RUS)
2008 #30 Dominika Cibulkova, SVK (J.Zheng/CHN)
2009 #23 Aleksandra Wozniak, CAN (Schiavone/ITA)
2010 #5 Francesca Schiavone, ITA (Dushevina/RUS)
2011 #22 Shahar Peer, ISR (Pervak/RUS)
2012 #16 Flavia Pennetta, ITA (Giorgi/ITA)
2013 #5 Sara Errani, ITA (Puig/PUR)
2014 #17 Samantha Stosur, AUS (Wickmayer/BEL)
2015 #24 Flavia Pennetta, ITA (Diyas/KAZ)
2016 #25 Irina-Camelia Begu, ROU (Witthoeft/GER)
2017 #31 Roberta Vinci, ITA (Kr.Pliskova/CZE)
2018 #19 Magdalena Rybarikova, SVK (Cirstea/ROU)

2009 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova/RUS (L: Cetkovska/CZE)
2010 Chan Yung-Jan/TPE (L: Schnyder/SUI)
2011 Kimiko Date-Krumm/JPN (L: O'Brien/GBR)
2012 Samantha Stosur/AUS (L: Suarez-Navarro/ESP)
2013 Lesia Tsurenko/UKR (L: Arruabarrena/ESP)
2014 Elena Vesnina/RUS (L: Mayr-Achleitner/AUT)
2015 Victoria Azarenka/BLR (L: Kontaveit/EST)
2016 Dasha Kasatkina/RUS (L: Duval/USA)
2017 Wang Qiang/CHN (L: Chang/TPE)
2018 Yanina Wickmayer/BEL (L: Barthel/GER)

TOP EARLY-ROUND (1r-2r): xx
TOP QUALIFYING MATCH: Q2: #8 Mona Barthel/GER def. Oceane Dodin/FRA 6-3/1-6/8-6 (saves a MP in game #12 of the 3rd w/ Dodin DF at 6-5)
TOP EARLY-RD. MATCH (1r-2r): xx
FIRST VICTORY: Yanina Wickmayer/BEL (1st Rd. def. M.Barthel/GER)
FIRST SEED OUT: #19 Magdalena Rybarikova/SVK (lost 1st Rd. to S.Cirstea/ROU)
LAST QUALIFIER STANDING: Day 1 wins: Dulgheru/ROU, Rodina/RUS, Tomova/BUL
LAST BRIT STANDING: Day 1 wins: Swan
IT ("???"): xx
CRASH & BURN: Nominees: #4 Stephens (RG finalist/U.S. Open champ; lost 1r to Vekic), #5 Svitolina (lost 1r to Maria), #19 Rybarikova ('17 semifinalist; lost 1r to Cirstea)
ZOMBIE QUEEN OF LONDON: Nominee: #32 Radwanska (saved 6 MP in 14-minute, 8-deuce, 23-points game vs. Ruse in 1r)
SPIRIT OF JANA (NOVOTNA) HONOREE: Nominee: D.Vekic (following up emotional '17 loss to Konta in 2nd Round w/ 1st Rd. upset of #4 Stephens)
June 26 official: In Eastbourne, Aga Radwanska, playing in her first event in two months, saves 2 MP vs. Dasha Gavrilova (both via DF), win a 2nd set tie-break, then takes the 3rd set at love. Gavrilova has 17 DF on the day.
Day 3 observed: xx

All for Day 1. More tomorrow.


Blogger Diane said...

Remember when she was Commander Sloane and there was that time machine? Uh-huh. She is, I believe, stuck in it. Current Sloane and Future Sloane time-travel so rapidly that light-speed has overtaken their personae and tossed then into some Radwanskian-like dimension.

I mean--it's one explanation.

Mon Jul 02, 08:23:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

Now that's a story I can get behind. :)

Mon Jul 02, 11:19:00 PM EDT  
Blogger splashwog said...

OMG !!! That video of Jana Novotna was brilliant!! I was a young boy when I stayed up at 1am to watch this match live! Feels like yesterday! Eassily my all time fave wimbldeon champion! Thanks Todd for keeping her memory alive!!

Tue Jul 03, 06:46:00 AM EDT  
Blogger colt13 said...

Maria's style is fun to watch, but Svitolina played poorly. 50+ errors.

Caroline Dolehide got in for Diyas and lost. In related news, Courtney Dolehide was hired as Georgetown's coach.

Stat of the Day-66- the amount of women in both the singles and doubles draw.

With 64 teams, you would assume 128 players, though if you saw Taylor Townsend in Team Tennis a few years back, that isn't a given.

However, Top 10 players need not apply. With Ostapenko's French Open points off, she is 12th, leaving her the highest ranked singles player to play. The others in the Top 20? Rybarikova-19, and the alliteration twins- Mertens-15 & Bertens-20.

Tue Jul 03, 08:46:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Todd.Spiker said...

Colt, you'll hopefully appreciate this: with Pavlyuchenkova's latest slam exit, I've got an interesting/frustrating little statistical list that she's on the cusp of joining. Details in today's post. ;)

Tue Jul 03, 10:06:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Leif Mortensen said...

Maria Sharapowa ousted by qualifier Diatchenko after being up a set and 52 in the second. A terrible match to se as they both were howling - luckily I was not at the stadium but watched on TV - but honestly they (WTA) have to do something about it.

Tue Jul 03, 04:15:00 PM EDT  
Blogger colt13 said...

Diatchenko wins her first slam match since French Open in 2015 when she beat Voegele. Was crushed in 2nd rd by, you guessed it, Sharapova.

This now passes the infamous Johansson match as her biggest slam win.

Tue Jul 03, 04:22:00 PM EDT  

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