Saturday, July 07, 2018

W.6- Holy Hsieh!

If one survives Hsieh Su-wei's traveling, death-defying roadshow of tennis Sudoku they'll likely end up better off for it. Today, though, Simona Halep did not. Survive, that is.

As has turned out to be the reality for so many top players at this Wimbledon, it just wasn't mean to be for the world #1. Granted, her game is not as proficient on grass as clay. The Romanian has talked about her less-than-perfect comfort level with her movement on the surface, even to the point of thinking during a point about when she'd slide if it was clay that was beneath her feet. Still, she'd managed to often look dominant in her first two rounds this week at SW19, winning while those around her were meeting with Triumph and Disaster and failing to treat those two impostors just the same.

That run ended today. Displaying what was her first truly scratchy form in her first event back since winning in Paris, the world #1 became ninth Top 10 women's seed to fall before the start of the second week of this upset-crazy Wimbledon. Of course, much of Halep's difficulties can largely be place at the feet of her opponent.

Hsieh plays a brannd of tennis that serves as something akin to a rite of passage that it'd be easy to believe that players should have to endure, no matter how much they might not want to. The game of the 32-year old from Taiwan is perfectly aligned to bedevil opponents, and generally must be solved before it can be moved on from. Some just aren't *able* to find a way. What happened today isn't even the first time we've seen this scenario play out at a major this year. In Melbourne, Hsieh badgered Garbine Muguruza into nearly four dozen errors in a 2nd Round win, then won an all-magician battle against Aga Radwanska in her next match. In the 4th Round, she went about twisting Angelique Kerber into a soft pretzel with her varied series of drop shots, slip-sliding forehand slices, hooks, flat change-of-direction winners down the line, angled brain-twisters, curling hand-cuffers, and, of course, her more "normal" corner-to-corner groundstrokes that served to leave the German perpetually out of position for most of two full sets. Kerber was bewitched, bothered and bewildered almost to the point of being on the brink of defeat. Almost. As a tiring Hsieh hit the physical wall in the 3rd, Kerber finally hit *her* stride and pulled away.

As difficult as it was, Angie found a way. That never happened for Halep.

Throughout, and especially when it mattered down the stretch of *today's* 3rd set, the slight Hsieh, who often looks like she's hardly working even while she's expertly running an opponent all over the court, was able to use her great shot anticipation to get to nearly everything Halep threw at her as she positioned herself perfectly during rallies and gave herself just enough extra time to perfectly time her step-in-and-change-direction shots as to leave the great defensive mover Halep flat-footed, unable to read the direction of the incoming ball quickly enough to prevent an appearing-out-of-thin-air winner, or get enough of her own racket on a retrieved ball to produce an *effective* response. Utilizing her double-handed shots to produce some Selesian angles around the court, Hsieh led Halep to be seen performing the same move that so many of her vanquished foes end up doing: suddenly going from being in the middle of an even rally to doing the old one-step-forward-and-then-head-down-turn-back-to-the-baseline move because they have *zero* chance to get to a ball they didn't think to anticipate going *there*.

Add to that Halep not giving a particularly pristine accounting of her own in-match problem-solving skills, and she was set up for a difficult day, win or lose. Her own form was off, and her serve wasn't up to par. She didn't significantly change up her approach as Hsieh's game became more and more effective, allowing herself to be lured into a series of cross court rallies that made her opponent's game plan even "easier" to implement. As a result, when she wasn't off balance or fooled so well that she couldn't even offer a stab at a defensive get, Halep often found herself racing in vain to chase down shots.

Still, though, a frustrated Halep didn't drive herself up an emotional wall, as she might have a few years ago. In fact, she almost won.

The Romanian took the 1st set 6-3 with a break of serve. Even after Hsieh had pushed things to a 3rd, Halep held a seemingly commanding lead (5-2) there, and served at 5-3. Hsieh's four-winner game allowed her to hold for 5-4 in the final set, but a game later Halep upped her aggression and took a 15/30 lead on Hsieh's serve, forcing an error and reaching MP.

Halep's worst mistake may have been to allow Hsieh back into a match she appeared to have on her racket in spite of everything. Having survived the test, she'd have moved on with relief, knowing she wouldn't have to face down trying to solve this particular puzzle again any time soon. But once she *didn't* end the match when she had the chance she was at the mercy of tennis fate, against an opponent whose style (and career of late) laughs at the very notion of such a thing.

After Halep didn't convert her MP, she never saw another. In fact, she didn't win another game.

Halep saved a GP in game #10, but then sailed a forehand to give Hsieh a second chance. She saved *it* at the net (though even then Hsieh's anticipation allowed her to get a significant part of her racket on the Romanian's smash). A netted forehand gave Hsieh a third GP, and a long Halep backhand allowed the veteran to hold for 5-5.

A game later, after falling down 15/30, Halep double-faulted on GP, was forced into an off-balance forehand error on #2, and fired a backhand long on #3. Hsieh converted a BP and served for the match at 6-5. She fell down 15/40, but then proceeded her pull Halep around the court as if she were on the end of a string. Side to side, up and back. Essentially, at times, the Romanian looked like a fidget spinner in all-white tennis gear. Every stroke was a scramble since she didn't really know where any were going, a situation made worse by the ever-present fear that Hsieh might just suddenly step in and pull off a hard down the line shot. The BP's squandered in game #11 left Halep just 7-of-23 on the day, 2-of-10 in the 3rd, and it was here that she paid for it.

A return error gave Hsieh a MP of her own, and another ended it. The 3-6/6-4/7-5 victory puts Hsieh into her third career slam Round of 16 (second this year), while Halep's exit is her earliest at Wimbledon since her 1st Round defeat in 2015.

This wasn't a case of Halep taking an impromptu hike back down the Peaks of Simona to take a gander over The Cliffs, then falling off yet again. While the Romanian didn't exactly *help* her cause, Hsieh would have likely been an Excedrin headache for whichever player might have been unlucky enough to face her today. When she's on her game, defeating her tends to leave her opponent looking like they've been wrestling with a gust of wind on a sunny day: sweaty, exhausted, stressed, and glad it's over.

There won't be another match on Manic Monday to make the memory of this one go away for Simona, though. Thankfully, Halep has a LOT of stored up good will and memories to draw upon from recent weeks as she prepares for the North American hard court season. Come late summer in New York, maybe she even won't have to face a former slam champ and world #1 in the 1st Round. Imagine that.

(Oh no, I guess I just jinxed her and this year she'll draw Vika in the 1st Round at Flushing Meadows, huh?)

For Hsieh, it's another fascinating turn in the spotlight. She seemed to enjoy signing autographs and taking photos after the match as much as the fans she'd been entertaining all afternoon in London enjoyed asking her for them. Her charming personality, injury past and near-decision not too long ago to give up singles and focus on her doubles (talk about a close call) adds yet another intriguing side story to the second week of a slam that already has quite a few going for it that don't even involve anyone named Serena.


Seriously, this first week of the fortnight has been r-i-d-i-c-u-l-o-u-s. So much so that you can't even describe it as "ridiculous," you have to pronounce it "RIDICKALUS" to give it its full due.

...meanwhile, beware The Kasatkina, and make way for Latvian Thunder.

In one of the first matches up on Saturday's schedule, #14 Dasha Kasatkina became the third Russian to advance to the Round of 16 at this Wimbledon, doing so at her second straight major, and third of the last four.

But rarely has a scoreline or simple statement of fact been more of an understatement than simply saying that Kasatkina defeated #17 Ash Barty in straight sets.

While the just-the-facts approach still reveals something impressive on its surface, how the Hordette actually pulled off her 7-5/6-3 victory over the Aussie today says far more about *her*. Winning in two against a good grass court player such as Barty (a former Wimbledon junior champ who was 10-2 this summer on the surface heading into today, with a title in Nottingham) in two sets would be an impressive result at any time, but when one considers that she did it by erasing significant deficits in both of those sets it suddenly becomes a different, but just as important and very Kasatkina-esque, statement of intent as loud and clear as the way Ostapenko has come out trying to rip her opponents into bit-sized, 2017 Paris-flavored chunks the last few rounds.

Kasatkina has a tendency to play the long-game in matches, digging deep and often *going* deep in contests that become battles of attrition that often hurt her chances of carrying her momentum all the way to a title at the end of the week. Through it all, though, the Russian is a fighter. And she put that trait on display today. Barty led 4-1 in the 1st, winning 12 of 12 points on serve, and held a BP for a 5-1 lead. But the Aussie wasn't able to close out the Hordette, who surged back to get the set on serve at 5-5. She carved out a BP opportunity in game #11, secured the break and then served out a 7-5 set. Voila! Like magic, largely because she didn't concede *anything.*

The 2nd set played out in similar fashion, only on a slightly smaller scale. Barty had a BP for a 3-1 lead, but Kasatkina held for 2-2, then broke to take the lead. Barty finally turned around the flow of momentum to get the break back a game later, but as Kasatkina picked up steam down the stretch she couldn't keep up. The Russian broke Barty's serve in two of the final three games of the 2nd set, winning it 6-3, finishing on an eight-point dash, to reach the Round of 16 at SW19 for the first time. While she doesn't blow anyone off the court with huge tennis, Kasatkina's heart is the biggest thing about her game. And it's still beating, maybe more and more loudly in a top half of the draw in which the seed structure is even more decimated than in the bottom.

Not long after Kasatkina was through schooling Barty on Court 3 in what is hopefully the first of many match-up between the two, #12 Alona Ostapenko stepped onto the same patch of grass and played the part of Tasmanian Devil Latvian Thunder, destroying all who dare -- on this day, the unfortunate Vitalia Diatchenko -- to even consider walking across her intended path through this slam.

It's the art of misdirection of the smile that makes her destructive tendencies all the more appealing, I think.

Two days after leaving Kirsten Flipkens no less than Waffle-flavored roadkill via a 1 & 3, 55-minute victory march in the 2nd Round, the 21-year old took on Sharapova-downing Russian Diatchenko and won the first nine games of the match today. Down 6-0/3-0, Diatchenko finally steadied herself amidst the flurry and got a break to get back into the set. But, serving at 4-5, the Russian quickly fell behind 15/40 and Ostapenko secured the love & 4 win after 63 mintues, moving within one victory of matching her post-RG title QF run at SW19 of last year.

Increasingly, the '14 Wimbledon girls champ is looking as if she's more than ready and willing to "throw down!" at this event (hmm, maybe she's heard some of the BBC commentary about her?). And since she's now officially reached the second week, I'll bring up the pre-tournament note that reader/contributor Colt tossed out at the start of the week:

(June 30) "Ostapenko- ...On this list because she is the rare player than can hit through the court off her backhand wing. Also because she won the French Open last year. Why does that matter? Because the last two years (Williams/Muguruza), the previous year's French Open winner won Wimbledon."

Colt didn't say it, but I will: "I'm just sayin'."

...meanwhile, the race to kick almost *all* the seeds out of this slam before the second week heated up again on Saturday. In all, seven of the eight women's 3rd Round matches saw seeds fall. Only Ostapenko, Kasatkina and #Angelique Kerber managed to advance of the seeded players in action, and the latter two were *playing* other seeds so, you know, it was sort of a given.

25 of the women's 32 seeds (and 22 of the men's) are now out before everyone hits the court for the Round of 16 commotion on Monday. Do you hear that? Yes, it's the Tennis Gods snickering derisively at the notion that the majors need to go back to sixteen seeds next year.

While Halep's exit headlined Day 6, the other seeds who followed her out the door by the end of Day 6 included #15 Elise Mertens (taken out by non-#32 Dominika Cibulkova, still stoked by her AELTC passover), #18 Naomi Osaka (simply outplayed by Kerber, who improved to 12-2 in 2018 slams, after going 6-4 last year following her stunning 20-2 '16 run in the majors), #26 Dasha Gavrilova (losing to Aliaksandra Sasnovich, setting up a match vs. Ostapenko which could be all-that-and-a-bag-of-Pringles-and-Pringles-don't-even-come-in-bags-so-you-can-just-imagine-the-spectacle for reasons that don't even necessarily have anything to do with their either's ball-striking abilities), #27 Carla Suarez-Navarro (to Belinda Bencic, still riding high after saved 6 MP in the 2nd Rd. vs. Alison Riske), #28 Anett Kontaveit (falling to Alison Van Uytvanck, following up her win over Garbine Muguruza, and continuing to defy his past slam history which had seen her lose in the 1st Round in 8 of 10 majors since her '15 RG QF, and 12 of 16 in her career)

As it is, the final sixteen women are made up of players from thirteen different countries, as only Russia (Kasatkina/Makarova/Rodina) and Germany (Kerber/Goerges) have multiple participants. Three (Rodina, Sasnovich & Vekic) are in their first career slam 4th Rounds, while a remarkable nine are doing so for the first time at Wimbledon. Kerber is the only player to have reached at least the Round of 16 at all three majors this season, and has the longest active overall slam streak (well, until you factor in Serena's non-consecutive run of twelve, that is). doubles, Bethanie Mattek-Sands & Lucie Safarova won in straights over Kaia Kanepi & Andrea Petkovic.


...junior action got underway on Saturday. #7 Eleonora Molinaro (LUX) defeated Bannerette Natasha Subhash, #16-seeded Pastry Clara Burel took out Daniela Vismane (LAT), and #15 Maria Carle (ARG) advanced past Dianne Parry (FRA). Recent G1 winner Lea Ma (USA) won, as did Slovak Lenka Stara, winning over Russian Sofya Lansere in today's match-up of woulda-coulda-shoulda "Game of Thrones" characters at the All-England Club.

Lulu Sun, in her first major since beginning to represent New Zealand (she'd previously played as a Swiss and resides in Geneva), also was victorious. Of course, Kiwis shouldn't get *too* excited, as she's apparently only making the temporary switch (because of passport issues in Switzerland) in order to play in the Youth Olympic Games this fall in Buenos Aires.

LIKE ON DAY 6: Simple words and actions, really.

But, of course...


LIKE ON DAY 6: The "Let's Take a Photo Together" Queen of Tennis...

LIKE ON DAY 6: Real Dignitaries in the Royal Box (i.e. not those designated as such by birth and/or marriage)

LIKE ON DAY 6: How Osaka's post-match handshakes are either slathered in shared camaraderie or outright awe.

DISLIKE ON DAY 6: Not what people mean when they talk about "equal treatment"...

...and, finally...

[by ranking]
#8 - Karolina Pliskova
#10 - Angelique Kerber
#12 - Alona Ostapenko
#13 - Julia Goerges
#14 - Dasha Kasatkina
#20 - Kiki Bertens
#33 - Dominika Cibulkova
#35 - Ekaterina Makarova
#47 - Alison Van Uytvanck
#48 - Hsieh Su-wei
#50 - Aliaksandra Sasnovich
#52 - Camila Giorgi
#55 - Donna Vekic
#56 - Belinda Bencic
#120 - Evgeniya Rodina
#181 - Serena Williams (PR)
[by age]
36...Serena Williams
32...Hsieh Su-wei
30...Angelique Kerber
30...Ekaterina Makarova
29...Julia Goerges
29...Evgeniya Rodina
29...Dominika Cibulkova
26...Kiki Bertens
26...Camila Giorgi
26...Karolina Pliskova
24...Aliaksandra Sasnovich
24...Alison Van Uytvanck
22...Donna Vekic
21...Belinda Bencic
21...Dasha Kasatkina
21...Alona Ostapenko
[by nation]
3...RUS (Kasatkina,Makarova,Rodina)
2...GER (Goerges,Kerber)
1...BEL (Van Uytvanck)
1...BLR (Sasnovich)
1...CRO (Vekic)
1...CZE (Ka.Pliskova)
1...ITA (Giorgi)
1...LAT (Ostapenko)
1...NED (Bertens)
1...SVK (Cibulkova)
1...SUI (Bencic)
1...TPE (Hsieh)
1...USA (S.Williams)
[by career slam Round-of-16's]
57 - Serena Williams
18 - Angelique Kerber
15 - Ekaterina Makarova
9 - Dominika Cibulkova
6 - Julia Goerges
6 - Karolina Pliskova
4 - Belinda Bencic
3 - Kiki Bertens
3 - Camila Giorgi
3 - Hsieh Su-wei
3 - Dasha Kasatkina
3 - Alona Ostapenko
2 - Alison Van Uytvanck
1 - Evgeniya Rodina
1 - Aliaksandra Sasnovich
1 - Donna Vekic
[w/ consecutive slam Round of 16's]
3...Angelique Kerber
2...Dasha Kasatkina
2...Serena Williams
NOTE: S.Williams 12 in last 12 slam appearances
[by career WI Round of 16's]
15 - Serena Williams
5 - Angelique Kerber
3 - Dominika Cibulkova
3 - Ekaterina Makarova
2 - Belinda Bencic
2 - Camila Giorgi
2 - Alona Ostapenko
1 - 9 players
[w/ consecutive WI Round of 16's]
3 - Angelique Kerber
2 - Alona Ostapenko
NOTE: S.Williams in last 3 appearances (DNP 2017)
[WTA career slam Round of 16's - active]
50...Venus Williams
38...Maria Sharpova
32...Svetlana Kuznetsova
27...Aga Radwanska
23...Victoria Azarenka
22...Jelena Jankovic
21...Patty Schnyder, Caroline Wozniacki
18...ANGELIQUE KERBER,Francesca Schiavone
[WTA slam Round of 16's since 2010 - active]
21...Maria Sharapova
19...Aga Radwanska
18...Victoria Azarenka, ANGELIQUE KERBER
17...Caroline Wozniacki
15...EKATERINA MAKAROVA, Venus Williams
14...Svetlana Kuznetsova, Petra Kvitova
13...Simona Halep
12...Carla Suarez-Navarro
11...Garbine Muguruza
10...Jelena Jankovic, Madison Keys, Sloane Stephens, Samantha Stosur
[2018 slam Rd. of 16's - youngest]
20 - Naomi Osaka (AO)
21 - Belinda Bencic (WI)
21 - Dasha Kasatkina (RG)
21 - Dasha Kasatkina (WI)
21 - Alona Ostapenko (WI)
22 - Anett Kontaveit (AO)
22 - Anett Kontaveit (RG)
22 - Madison Keys (AO)
22 - Elise Mertens (AO)
22 - Elise Mertens (RG)
22 - Donna Vekic (WI)
[2018 slam Rd. of 16's - oldest]
36 - Serena Williams (WI)
36 - Serena Williams (RG)
32 - Hsieh Su-wei (WI)
32 - Hsieh Su-wei (AO)
32 - Barbora Strycova (RG)
31 - Maria Sharapova (RG)
31 - Barbora Strycova (AO)
30 - Angelique Kerber (WI)
30 - Angelique Kerber (RG)
30 - Angelique Kerber (AO)
30 - Mihaela Buzarnescu (RG)
30 - Ekaterina Makarova (WI)
29 - Dominika Cibulkova (WI)
29 - Julia Goerges (WI)
29 - Evgeniya Rodina (WI)
29 - Magdalena Rybarikova (AO)
29 - Carla Suarez-Navarro (AO)
29 - Lesia Tsurenko (RG)
[2018 slam Rd. of 16's - unseeded]
AO - Denisa Allertova, CZE (Q)
AO - Hsieh Su-wei, TPE
AO - Petra Martic, CRO
AO - Elise Mertens, BEL
AO - Naomi Osaka, JPN
AO - Carla Suarez-Navarro, ESP
RG - Yulia Putintseva, KAZ
RG - Lesia Tsurenko, UKR
RG - Serena Williams, USA (PR)
WI - Belinda Bencic, SUI
WI - Dominika Cibulkova, SVK
WI - Camila Giorgi, ITA
WI - Hsieh Su-wei, TPE
WI - Ekaterina Makarova, RUS
WI - Evgeniya Rodina, RUS (Q)
WI - Aliaksandra Sasnovich, BLR
WI - Alison Van Uytvanck, BEL
WI - Donna Vekic, CRO
[2018 slam Rd. of 16's - 1st-time GS 4th Rd.]
AO - Denisa Allertova, CZE
AO - Elise Mertens, BEL
AO - Naomi Osaka, JPN
RG - Mihaela Buzarnescu, ROU
WI - Evgeniya Rodina, RUS
WI - Aliaksandra Sasnovich, BLR
WI - Donna Vekic, CRO
[2018 slam Rd. of 16's - lowest-ranked]
#451 - Serena Williams (RG) - PR
#181 - Serena Williams (WI) - PR
#130 - Denisa Allertova (AO)
#120 - Evgeniya Rodina (WI)
#98 - Yulia Putintseva (RG)
#88 - Hsieh Su-wei (AO)
#81 - Petra Martic (AO)
#72 - Naomi Osaka (AO)
[2018 slam Rd. of 16's]
3...Angelique Kerber (AO/RG/WI)
2...Caroline Garcia (AO/RG)
2...Simona Halep (AO/RG)
2...Hsieh Su-wei (AO/WI)
2...Dasha Kasatkina (RG/WI)
2...Madison Keys (AO/RG)
2...Anett Kontaveit (AO/RG)
2...Elise Mertens (AO/RG)
2...Karolina Pliskova (AO/WI)
2...Barbora Strycova (AO/RG)
2...Serena Williams (RG/WI)
2...Caroline Wozniacki (AO/RG)
[2018 slam Rd. of 16's - by nation]
5...CZE (3/1/1)
5...RUS (0/2/3)
5...USA (1/3/1)
4...GER (1/1/2)
3...BEL (1/1/1)
3...ROU (1/2/0)
2...CRO (1/0/1)
2...DEN (1/1/0)
2...ESP (1/1/0)
2...EST (1/1/0)
2...FRA (1/1/0)
2...SVK (1/0/1)
2...TPE (1/0/1)
2...UKR (1/1/0)
1...BLR (0/0/1)
1...ITA (0/0/1)
1...JPN (1/0/0)
1...KAZ (0/1/0)
1...LAT (0/0/1)
1...NED (0/0/1)
1...SUI (0/0/1)
[2018 slam Rd. of 16's - by region]
25 - Western Europe/Scandinavia (BEL-CRO-CZE-DEN-ESP-FRA-GER-ITA-NED-SUI-SVK)
14 - Eastern Europe/Russia (BLR-EST-LAT-ROU-RUS-UKR)
5 - North America/Atlantic (USA)
4 - Asia/Oceania (JPN-KAZ-TPE)
0 - Africa/Middle East (none)
0 - South America (none)


Hsieh Su-wei/TPE vs. Dominika Cibulkova/SVK
#12 Alona Ostapenko/LAT vs. Aliaksandra Sasnovich/BLR
Alison Van Uytvanck/BEL vs. #14 Dasha Kasatkina/RUS
#11 Angelique Kerber/GER vs. Belinda Bencic/SUI
#7 Karolina Pliskova/CZE vs. #20 Kiki Bertens/NED
#13 Julia Goerges/GER vs. Donna Vekic/CRO
#24 Serena Williams/USA vs. (Q) Evgeniya Rodina/RUS
Camila Giorgi/ITA vs. Ekaterina Makarova/RUS

#1 Babos/Mladenovic (HUN/FRA) vs. #13 Flipkens/Niculescu (BEL/ROU)
#9 Bertens/Larsson (NED/SWE) vs. Rosolska/Spears (POL/USA)
#3 Krejcikova/Siniakova (CZE/CZE) vs. #14 Hradecka/Hsieh
Maria/Watson (GER/GBR) vs. McHale/Ostapenko (USA/LAT)
#8 Mertens/Schuurs (BEL/NED) vs. #12 Melichar/Peschke (USA/CZE)
#15 Begu/Buzarnescu (ROU/ROU) vs. #4 Klepac/Martinez-Sanchez (ESP/ESP)
#6 Dabrowski/Xu Yifan (CAN/CHN) #17 King/Srebotnik (USA/SLO)
Mattek-Sands/Safarova (USA/CZE) vs. #2 S.-Hlavackova/Strycova (CZE/CZE)


A post shared by Maria Sharapova (@mariasharapova) on

*2018 WINS OVER #1*
Australian Open Final - #2 Wozniacki d. #1 Halep
Saint Petersburg QF - #23 Kasatkina d. #1 Wozniacki
Doha SF - #21 Kvitova d. #1 Wozniacki
Indian Wells SF - #44 Osaka d. #1 Halep
Miami 3rd Rd. - #32 A.Radwanska d. #1 Halep
Stuttgart QF - #16 Vandeweghe d. #1 Halep
Madrid QF - #6 Ka.Pliskova d. #1 Halep
Rome Final - #4 Svitolina d. #1 Halep
Wimbledon 3rd Rd. - #48 Hsieh d. #1 Halep

Severine Bremond, FRA (QF)
Olga Govortsova, BLR
Nika Ozegovic, CRO
Tatiana Perebiynis, UKR
Agnes Szavay, HUN
Hana Sromova, CZE (all 2nd Rd.)
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, RUS
Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, ESP
Barbora Strycova, CZE (all 3rd Rd.)
Melanie Oudin, USA (4th Rd.)
Kaia Kanepi, EST (QF)
Misaki Doi, JPN (3rd Rd.)
Camila Giorgi, ITA (4th Rd.)
Eva Birnerova, CZE
Petra Cetkovska, CZE
Michelle Larcher de Brito, POR (all 3rd Rd.)
Tereza Smitkova, CZE (4th Rd.)
Olga Govortsova, BLR (4th Rd.)
Julia Boserup, USA
Jana Cepelova, SVK
Marina Erakovic, NZL (all 3rd Rd.)
Petra Martic, CRO (4th Rd.)
Evgeniya Rodina, RUS (in 4th Rd.)

AO: (3r) Sharapova; (2r) Alexandrova,Kasatkina,Pavlyuchenkova,Vesnina
RG: (QF) Kasatkina,Sharapova
WI: (in 4r) Kasatkina,Makarova,Rodina; (3r) Diatchenko
AO: (QF) Ka.Pliskova; (4r) Allertova,Strycova
RG: (4r) Strycova; (3r) Kvitova,Ka.Pliskova,Siniakova
WI: (in 4r) Ka.Pliskova; (3r) Safarova,Strycova,Siniakova
AO: (RU) Halep; (3r) A.Bogdan
RG: (W) Halep; (4r) Buzarnescu
WI: (3r) Buzarnescu, Halep
AO: (QF) Keys; (3r) Davis,Pera
RG: (RU) Stephens; (SF) Keys; (4r) S.Williams
WI: (in 4r) S.Williams; (3r) Keys,V.Williams
[OZZIES...just tryin' that one out]
AO: (3r) Barty; (2r) Gavrilova,Rogowska
RG: (3r) Gavrilova,Stosur; (2r) Barty
WI: (3r) Barty,Gavrilova; (2r) Stosur

4th Rd. - Denisa Allertova, CZE (AO)
4th Rd. - Evgeniya Rodina, RUS (WI) *
3rd Rd. - Marta Kostyuk, UKR (AO)
3rd Rd. - Luksika Kumkhum, THA (AO)
3rd Rd. - Vitalia Diatchenko, RUS (WI)
2nd Rd. - Caroline Dolehide, USA (RG)
2nd Rd. - Alexandra Dulgheru, ROU (RG)
2nd Rd. - Mariana Duque-Marino, COL (RG)
2nd Rd. - Georgina Garcia Perez, ESP (RG)
2nd Rd. - Magdalena Frech, POL (RG)
2nd Rd. - Rebecca Peterson, SWE (RG)
2nd Rd. - Genie Bouchard, CAN (WI)
2nd Rd. - Alexandra Dulgheru, ROU (WI)
2nd Rd. - Claire Liu, USA (WI)
2nd Rd. - Sara Sorribes-Tormo, ESP (WI)
2nd Rd. - Viktoriya Tomova, BUL (WI)
* - still to play 4th Rd.

TOP EARLY-ROUND (1r-2r): #1 Simona Halep/ROU
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): 1st Rd. - #32 Aga Radwanska/POL def. (Q) Elena-Gabriela Rus/ROU 6-3/4-6/7-5 (wins 14-min.,23-pt.,8-deuce game #10 in 3rd, saving 6 MP)
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)
UPSET QUEENS: United States
NATION OF POOR SOULS: Ukraine (1-4 1st/2nd Rd; year after Svitolina to 4th/Tsurenko to 3rd, Svitolina 1st Rd. is worst slam since '14 and none to 3rd Rd.)
LAST QUALIFIER STANDING: Evgeniya Rodina/RUS (in 4th Rd.)
LAST WILD CARDS STANDING: Katie Boulter/GBR, Ons Jabeur/TUN and Katie Swan/GBR (all 2nd Rd.)
LAST BRITS STANDING: Katie Boulter, Johanna Konta and Katie Swan (all 2nd Rd.)
IT ("???"): xx
CRASH & BURN: #8 Petra Kvitova/CZE (two-time champ, pre-tournament favorite and '18 tour title-leader loses in 1st Rd. to Aliaksandra Sasnovich/BLR, dropping 3rd set at love)
ZOMBIE QUEEN OF LONDON: Katerina Siniakova/CZE (Down 5-2 to Vandeweghe, who served at 5-3 in final set in 1st Rd., wins 8-6; down 5-2 to Jabeur, served at 5-3 in final set in 2nd Round, saved MP and wins 9-7)
SPIRIT OF JANA (NOVOTNA) HONOREE: Nominee: D.Vekic (follows up emotional '17 loss to Konta in 2nd Round w/ 1st Rd. upset of #4 Stephens; advances to first career slam Rd. of 16)
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: As insects swarm the AELTC grounds on Flying Ant Day, reigning AO champ #2 Caroline Wozniacki falls on the infested Court 1 to Ekaterina Makarova, becoming the sixth Top 8 seed to fall in the tournament's first three days. Aga Radwanska flirts with staging a comeback from a set and 5-1 down and force a 3rd set (after having saved 6 MP in the 1st Rd.), saving a MP vs. Lucie Safarova before the Czech staves off a total of seven BP in a game to hold and secure the win. It's Aga's first career "Rad Day" defeat. Later, rain interrupts play for the first time in the fortnight.

All for Day 6. Middle Sunday tomorrow.


Blogger Diane said...

Maria's dress is beautiful! (Also, it looks like something the very fashionable Mugu would wear.)

This tournament has become increasingly interesting. The revelation, for me, has been Kiki Bertens, bossing everyone on grass, of all things.

Both Charleston finalists are still in the draw--really nice to see Julia into the second week. That serve has taken her places.

Sat Jul 07, 08:22:00 PM EDT  
Blogger colt13 said...

Serena will not win Wimbledon. Here is the thought process. Depending on when her draw plays, she is either going to go back to back R16/QF or QF/SF. This was a problem in 2016 at the USO, and might be here too.

Admittedly, of the R16 matchups, Williams over Rodina is probably the biggest discrepancy of talent. Interestingly enough, not only are they the only two mothers left, but they are the two that needed to play into the US Open as the lowest ranked. Rodina is now 83 in live ranking and is in. Serena is at 113, which leaves her out, although we know that the US isn't the French, and would get the WC if needed.

Stat of the Day-8- The amount of women in the sweet sixteen with a WTA grass title.

Since I have been doing this, I have never had a number so low. And when it comes for best results for the field, they aren't that impressive. What that means, is not that the field has underachieved, but that some of them are so young that they don't have the results.

Grass titles WTA
Makarova-Eastbourne 2010
Giorgi- Rosmalen 2015
Bencic- Eastbourne 2015
Kerber- Birmingham 2015
Cibulkova- Eastbourne 2016
Williams- Wimbledon 2016
Vekic- Nottingham 2017
Pliskova- Eastbourne 2017

Hsieh- ITF Mildura 2011/Nottingham R16 2017
Rodina- ITF Ilkley 2016/Hertergenbosch QF 2017
Ostapenko- Jr Champ 2014/Wimbledon QF 2017
Goerges- Mallorca RU 2017/Birmingham QF 2018
Van Uytvanck- ITF Ilkley RU 2017/Mallorca R16 2018
Sasnovich- Wimbledon R16 2018/Hertergenbosch R16 2017
Kastakina- Eastbourne QF 2018/Birmingham R16 2018
Bertens- Hertergenbosch R16 2015/Eastbourne R32 2018

Seems Eastbourne may play the closest to the Wimbledon grounds.

Giorgi's title was over Bencic.

Bencic won Eastbourne and Toronto in 2015, but is still loving for her first WTA title since then.

Had to use R32 results for Bertens because of her lack of grass matches. In fact, take out Wimbledon, and her home Den Bosch, and she has 2 grass events in her career: Eastbourne this year, and Mallorca last.

Speaking of Mallorca, that is where Goerges ended a 5 year, 7 match losing streak on grass that started R16 of the Olympics.

Bertens' 7 career finals have all been on clay.

Serena's last 3 finals, and 9 of her last 13, have been slams or YEC.

Both Kerber's and Cibulkova's titles were over Pliskova.

Sat Jul 07, 08:39:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Will Corby said...

Colt, all the ladies’ quarterfinals are Tuesday so will be R16/QF back to back for all the winners.

Sat Jul 07, 11:25:00 PM EDT  

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