Archive for June, 2011

 

And as for the men…

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

As for the men’s side of things, they haven’t been without their drama either. Bernard Tomic has caused a stir by beating Xavier Malisse in a four set stunner in the fourth round. His biggest upset, though, was his defeat of Robin Soderling on Saturday. This set Tomic on the road to a fantastic Wimbledon run. He is the youngest man to reach this round since 1990, when Michael Chang got to the same point in the tournament. Tomic was first noticed when he won at the US and Australian Open junior tournaments, and seems to have made a dreamy transition into the men’s tournaments. Malisse was under pressure from the word go, and despite some surges he lost 6-1 7-5 6-4 to the 18 year old. Tomic cites his confidence as a men’s player, leaving behind his junior game.

Mardy Fish got through against Tomas Berdych, which was a relative shock seeing as the Czech world number 6 was a finalist at Wimbledon last year. Fish was dominant in serve, hitting 23 aces, and it certainly played a part in keeping Berdych at bay. He has reached the quarter finals of a tournament for the first time since Feliciano Lopez had a scare against Lukasz Kubot, losing the first two sets before rallying to win 3-6 3-7 (5-7) 7-6 (9-7) 7-5 7-5.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga also made it through against David Ferrer, who outranked him but couldn’t outplay him on the day. The big four were up next, with Murray progressing well against Richard Gasquet of France. Britain remain holding their breath. Djokovic played a conv more »

 

Women’s tournament excitement

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

It’s the beginning of week two at Wimbledon, but of course you don’t need me to tell you that. All you need to do is to take a quick glance at the upsets that have made the headlines these last two days to know for sure that we are into a new phase of Wimbledon 2011. The women’s side of the tournament is the most fruitful for fantastic shockers.

First, the Williams sisters went down. Both were knocked out by feisty opponents who refused to see their return to Wimbledon as an excuse to lie down and die. Serena Williams was defeated by the French woman Marion Bartoli, who has caused a stir throughout this tournament after she banished her parents from the court in the middle of a match whilst struggling against Flavia Pennetta. All seemed forgiven though, as it was her parents – sat proudly in the player’s box – who she turned too first when he dream of beating a Williams sister to get through to the quarter finals. Serena was obviously devastated by the loss, but it would be an immense feat for her to return to her former ways after such a long and serious absence.

Her sister Venus, who has won at Wimbledon five times, went down to the Belgian Pironkova, who has only one four matches this season before she arrived at Wimbledon. Before the match she had yet to drop a set. Venus’ game was littered with unforced errors, but it was not just her mistakes that drove the match in Pironkova’s favour. Pironkova played a smart and aggressive game that saw her break and get her nos more »

 

And the rain kick starts again

Friday, June 24th, 2011

Yes, the rain is back in full force, making this year’s Wimbledon not only traditionally damp but wonderfully British once again. And let’s face it, those who are at Wimbledon have nothing to complain about: at least they are not drowning in a field in Glastonbury.

There is a good reason for why I have left the blog to this late in the week, and that is because the early stages of a tournament rarely throw up many gems to talk about. But when the last few second round and first of the third round matches began, Wimbledon picked pick up speed. First, there was the weather. The roof on Centre court has been closed on a number of occasions now, and the match that started out today underneath its shade was Victoria Azarenka versus Daniela Hantuchova. There was an unusually large crowd watching this match, mostly due to the Murray match that was to follow, so there was a great atmosphere as these two faced off. Azarenka is seeded fourth and Hantuchova gave her a run for her money in the three set game. The rain delay seemed to have worked to Azarenka’s favour, however.

There was a third round upset as Feliciano Lopez played a stunning game and knocked Andy Roddick out of the tournament. Roddick had expected to do well, after all the grass court season really is where he has shone the last few years, and many will be rueing his disappearance. In the women’s side of the tournament, there was another upset as Lisicki knocked out Li Na. Li – who recently won at the French Open,  more »

 

And Wimbledon gets under way

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

Yes it’s day two of Wimbledon already. The delightful (sometimes) British summer is now host, and we are at its mercy now until the awards ceremony. So far the weather has behaved itself, with only a few disruptions due to drizzle, and organisers will be hoping for that to remain the same all through the tournament.

The British institution has yet to throw up too many surprises, and all things seem to be running smoothly for the well known players. Britain suffered a simultaneously mild cardiac arrest when Andy Murray dropped his first set, but he soon found the rhythm to make it past Daniel Gimeno-Traver. The Spaniard won the first set 6-4, but the Scot eventually got his head into gear and shifted his tactics according to the man on the other side of the court; which is always helpful.

Other big names: Juan Martin del Potro, Andy Roddick, Ivo Karlovic, Federer and Rafa included, also made it through. Roddick was on impressive form after his disappointing exit at Queen’s and looks set to continue through the tournament with ease at least for now. Delpo looked happy and comfortable with his game which is a relief for his fans after the long wait for recovery. Gilles Simon also made it through to the next round but had a battle on his hands with the feisty Edouard Roger-Vasselin who took him to four sets.

The rematch of all rematches will also take place in day 2, with John Isner and Nicolas Mahut facing one another one year after that mind-boggling score line last ye more »

 

Wimbledon just days away

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

Yes that’s right, we’ve barely had time to catch our breath and already Wimbledon is bearing down on us. We’ve hardly had time to get over our sunburn from the French Open and soon we’ll be on the cool grass of the All England Tennis Club. For us Brits, this is the official start to our summer, and for the rest of the world it is the true start of the grass season and a great midway point in the tennis calendar. Standing at number 3 of the four grand slams, we start to see new faces emerge as those with grass court specialities come to the fore.

But what has been happening in this short rest between the two grand slams? In Eastbourne, the women’s players have been battling it out to prove their mettle in their warm up tournament before Wimbledon. One piece of exciting news is that both Serena and Venus Williams are back in the tournament, which is a particularly special moment for Serena after having a blood clot scare on her lungs during her injury absence.

Despite cries that their return will just place the rankings back into that usual Williams vs. Williams battle, I have faith that in the Williams sisters absence some amazing players have grown and blossomed. They definitely have more competition on their hands this year. Unfortunately, one player that won’t be able to give the Williams sisters a run for their money is Kim Clijsters. She has been ruled out of Wimbledon after injuring her foot, which is a real shame just before the start of one of the most exciting t more »

 
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