Wimbledon 2014: Women's preview - UBITENNIS
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Wimbledon 2014: Women's preview

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TENNIS WIMBLEDON 2014 – On Monday the most famous event on the grass is about to start, with Wimbledon opening its gate once again. White cloths, strawberries and cream, and long queues are all ready to be featured as every year, but who are the favourite for the women’s title? Are there any must-watch in round one? Let’s find out. Giulio Gasparin

 

Results, Order of Play, Draws and Interviews from The Championships

On Monday the most famous event on the grass is about to start, with Wimbledon opening its gate once again. White cloths, strawberries and cream, and long queues are all ready to be featured as every year, but who are the favourite for the women’s title? Are there any must-watch in round one? Let’s find out.

Top Quarter:

As everyone would expect, this section is dominated by the world number one and first seed, Serena Williams. After failing to achieve the Roland Garros-Wimbledon combination in 2013, the American is very likely to be going to fight heart and soul for her most beloved slam of the season, especially after the early upset in Paris.

For her, there is an easy couple of early rounds, with a possible third match against Alize Cornet and then Eugenie Bouchard for a place in the quarter finals. Nor the French nor the Canadian player seem to pose a major threat to Serena on the surface.

Quite more uncertain seems to be the name of the opponent she might face at that stage, as the bottom half of this quarter is packed of good players on grass.

The French Open champion, Maria Sharapova, has not showed great skills on it for a long time and after two easy rounds to start with, she is likely to face either Camila Giorgi or Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, and both already beat her this year.

For the Russian then there could be another big challenge coming from Angelique Kerber, former semifinalist at Wimbledon and recent runner up at Eastbourne, or less likely from grass court specialists like Tamira Paszek or Kristen Flipkens.

Must-not-be-missed round ones:

-Heather Watson vs Ajla Tomljanovic: two youngsters taking on, very likely to be on a main court after the good run of Watson in Eastbourne.

-(24) Kristen Flipkens vs (q) Tamira Paszek: Last year’s semifinalst will face a former quarterfinalist and grass specialist in a match that could be as good as a round one can get.

-(26) Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs Alison Riske: the Russian is coming to Wimbledon strong of a win over Agnieszka Radwanska at Eastbourne, but the American is a natural grass courter and her serve and volleys have taken down big names many times.

Second Quarter:

Simona Halep is the highest seed to dominate this section of the draw and to be honest there seems to be no real challenge for the French Open finalist until the quarterfinals, as no grass specialists were drawn in that section and the seeds in there are either out of form or not naturally good on grass.

The bottom section of this quarter is on the contrary very much open to surprises, where the highest seed is Jelena Jankovic, whose difficult relationship with the grass is well known. The Serb could find it very hard to come past a round one match against Kaia Kanepi, but even if so, names like Yaroslava Shvedova, Monica Puig and Madison Keys are all there to cause an upset.

Ana Ivanovic is in the same part too and her opening match against Francesca Schiavone could be closer than one would expect, but most of all, there is Sabine Lisicki for a possible round three.

Must-not-be-missed round ones:

-(11) Ana Ivanovic vs Francesca Schiavone: the Italian might not be the same player that won Roland Garros a couple of seasons ago, but she is a big fighter and loves the big stages.

– Madison Keys vs Monica Puig: two of the most interesting youngsters are facing each other on a surface that both clearly love. Puig won their latest match just a few weeks ago on clay, but Keys will come strong of a title run in Eastbourne.

Third Quarter:

Agnieszka Radwanska and Victoria Azarenka are the highest two seeds on this section, but both of them have several doubts in terms of their form heading towards the Championship.

Both players lost in their opening match at Eastbourne, but if for Azarenka that was a comeback from months outside of the tour and she was tested by a true specialist like Giorgi, for Radwanska it was a very bad display against Pavlyuchenkova.

For the Belorussian the opening match could be quite hard, as Mirjana Lucic-Baroni is a grass courter and though her form is missing lately, she is not new to causing upsets.

The most dangerous floater in this section is surely Coco Vandeweghe, who has just captured her first career title in ‘s-Hertogenbosch and has served most aces than anyone else on tour in the past two weeks (more than 110!).

For Radwanska the opener should not be too difficult as she will play Romanian qualifier Andreea Mitu, but as usual it is hard to know what to expect from Svetlana Kuznetsova, the first seed she might face.

Must-not-be-missed round ones:

-(27) Garbine Muguruza vs Coco Vandeweghe: the rematch of St Hertogenbosch quarter finals.

-(22) Ekaterina Makarova vs Kimiko Date-Krumm: because both love grass and Date is always amazing to watch on the green fields of Wimbledon.

Bottom Quarter:

This is the quarter that lacks a clear favourite, but does not feature any foreseeable outsider. Li Na is the second seed and her draw seems very kind until a possible fourth round with what looked like a reinvigorated Caroline Wozniacki.

The main favourite for the semifinal could be Petra Kvitova, who has an easy draw until a possible clash with Venus Williams in the third round and then a probably easier fourth round with either Flavia Pennetta or Sloane Stephens.

Must-not-be-missed round ones:

-(18) Sloane Stephens vs Maria Kirilenko: if there is a surface where Kirilenko can find her game, it is probably grass. After her knee injury the Russian has not produced any notable tennis, but she is still one to watch.

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Anastasya Pavlyuchenkova is ready to play in November if the season is extended

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Anastasya Pavlyuchenkova said that she would be ready to play in November and December, if the season is extended once the WTA circuit resumes after the long suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic.

 

The season may be extended to November to make up for the events, which were called off due to Covid-19.

Pavlyuchenkova opened her 2020 season with early defeats against Petra Kvitova in the first round in Brisbane and Ashleigh Barty in the second round in Adelaide. The Russian player produced a major upset when she beat Karolina Pliskova in the third round at the Australian Open, scoring her first win in seven head-to-head matches over the former world number 1 player. She came back from a set down to beat Angelique Kerber reaching the sixth Grand Slam quarter final of her career. In the quarter final Pavlyuchenkova lost to former Roland Garros and Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza. She recently split with 53-year-old French coach Sam Sumyk.

Pavlyuchenkova is a former world number 1 player and won two junior Grand Slam titles at the Australian Open and at the US Open in 2006. She lifted twelve singles titles and five doubles titles on the WTA Tour.

“If it is necessary to play in December, I will be ready. In any case it is necessary to change to change this calendar where we play without stopping from January to November. We have announced a resumption date but there is no agreement. Everything can change. It does not look like as an offseason at all as some say because the only thing that I can do is to motivate myself physically and hit the ball because I am lucky that I have a court not far from home. Some people can’t even do all that”, said Pavlyuchenkova to TennisActu Website.

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Tour Suspension A ‘Dire And Bleak’ Situation For Players, Warns Johanna Konta

The world No.14 also comments on the decision to move the French Open to September.

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British No.1 Johanna Konta admits that any system put into place to financially support players in the wake of the tour suspension will only have a ‘minimal’ effect.

 

Tennis is currently at a standstill due to the Covid-19 pandemic with doubts cast over when play will resume again. As a consequence, many players are looking into alternative ways to generate an income. Unlike team sports where athletes have a contract, those in the world of tennis are essentially self-employed. Meaning they will only earn money in the sport if they play at tournaments. Although the top players have the luxury of endorsements to also support them.

Weighing in on the situation, Konta has described it as ‘fire and bleak.’ She is one out of 90 female players to have made more than $100,000 in prize money this year before the tour was suspended. Her current earnings for the season stands at $105,703.

“The reality is that there is no tennis player earning any money right now; all the tennis players have taken a 100 per cent salary cut,” Konta told The Evening Standard.
“Everyone is trying to find the best way possible to stand by a team and support the people you work with and feel close to while not bankrupting yourself.
“[A support system] is being worked on right now, but the reality is that even if it is possible – and let’s hope it is – it’s going to be very minimal.
“It’s a very bleak and dire situation especially for the lower ranked players.”

In light of the financial concerns, world No.371 Sofia Shapatava recently set up an online petition on change.org calling for support from the ITF, WTA and ATP. More than 1300 people have signed the petition.

“I started the petition to help tennis players to be heard by ITF, after I talked to many of the people I know and about their plans for the next three months, I realised that some people won’t even be able to have food,” Shapatava told the AFP News Agency.
“My problem is that my sport will die as it is, it will die, because players who are ranked lower then 150th in the world will not be able to play.”

In comparison to Konta, Georgian player Shapatava has made $2,896 so far this season. That works out as 0.09% of what prize money leader Sofia Kenin has made ($3,012,043). Kenin is one of four players to earn more than a million in 2020 on the women’s tour. The other are Garbine Muguruza, Simona Halep and Ash Barty.

The WTA have said they are looking into the possibility of extending this year’s calendar is order to provide players with more earning opportunities when the sport resumes.

French open approach disappointing

Konta has also criticised the French Tennis Federation (FFT) over their management of the French Open. Officials at the FFT recently announced that the major would be delayed until September due to the Covid-19 outbreak. A move that caught many off guard, including some governing bodies. Konta reached the semi-finals of the French Open last year after previously losing in the first round four times in a row.

“It’s a really sad situation and it’s very disappointing for them to release their decision in the way that they did,” she said.
“It’s not the act itself, but the manner which was disappointing to everybody in the tennis community. It’s left a sour taste in a lot of people’s mouths.”

Lionel Maltés is the economic director of the FFT. He has defended their approach to the situation by saying the organisation had no choice but to act. Arguing that their (the FFT) first priority is French tennis. The controversy surrounding the date change is that it will take place a week after the US Open ends. Leaving players with little chance to prepare for the switch of surfaces.

“The decision was not made overnight, it was far from an outburst. We had been clear for some time that it was going to be impossible to play the tournament on the established dates and we knew we had to do something.” Maltés recently told French newspaper L’Equipe.
“There was no hint of conversation collective with the other Grand Slams so we did the only thing we had to do for French tennis. Don’t doubt that Wimbledon and US Open would have made the same decision if they could. In fact, other tournaments have backed us up by saying they understood us and that if they had been in our position, they would have done the same.
“We were aware that we would be highly criticized for this, but the safeguard of French tennis is above all,” he added.

The French Open was scheduled to run from 24 May to 7 June. Officials are now hoping that the tournament will start on September 20th.

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Naomi Osaka Vows To Be ‘Stronger Than Ever’ In 2021 Following Suspension Of The Olympics

The former world No.1 has given her reaction to decision to delay the four-year sporting event due to the covid-19 pandemic.

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Two-time grand slam champion Naomi Osaka has said she is ‘disappointed’ but supports the decision to delay this year’s Summer Olympic Games.

 

Earlier in the week it was confirmed that the Tokyo games will now take place during the next year with a date to be confirmed. Making it the first time the Olympics have been suspended until the following year in its 124-year history. Although the games have been cancelled three times before during the first and second world wars.

Osaka had been one of the athletes authorities have used to promote the event. Featuring in a promotional campaign that also included a video. The 22-year-old is the first Asian player in history to become world No.1 in tennis. Despite the delay, she has committed to playing in the event next year.

“Everyone knows how much the Olympics means to me and how proud I will be to participate in my home country,” Osaka wrote on Twitter.
“Of course, I am disappointed that it won’t happen this year but we’ll all be ready to stronger ever in 2021! I support Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s brave decision and the IOC 100%. Sport will eventually unite us again and be there for us always, but that time not now,” she added.

The world No.10 has called for the world to unite in the fight against the coronavirus. There have been more than 660,000 cases of the virus worldwide, according to John Hopkins University. The disease is particularly dangerous to the elderly and those with underlying health conditions.

“This is the time for people from all countries, backgrounds and races to rally together to save as many lives as we can. To me, that is the Olympic spirit. To the people of Japan: stay strong, hang in there, and let’s the show the world our beautiful country when time is right in 2021,” said Osaka.

Osaka pledged full allegiance to Japan in 2019 after having dual citizenship in according to a national law. She was born and is currently based in America, but has a Japanese mother and Haitian father.

Prior to the suspension of the WTA Tour, Osaka has started her 2020 with a win-loss record of 5-3 (including Fed Cup). She reached the semifinals of the Brisbane International before losing to Karolina Pliskova. Then at the Australian Open, she was knocked out in the third round by Coco Gauff.

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