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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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Simona Halep Beats Erractic Anisimova To Reach Wimbledon Semis

The former world No.1 dropped six games against her opponent who produced a series of costly errors.

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Simona Halep has stormed into the last four at Wimbledon after producing a comprehensive win over Amanda Anisimova. 

 

The 2019 champion survived a last-minute resurgence from her rival to prevail 6-2, 6-4, over the American on the Center court. Halep was able to dictate the play throughout with the use of her aggressive shot-making in a match that resembled their meeting in Bad Homburg just two weeks ago. It is the first time she has reached the last four of a major since the 2020 Australian Open.

It’s great to be back in the semi-finals. I am very emotional right now because it means a lot,” said Halep. 
“I played a tough opponent today who could crush the ball in the end and I didn’t know what to do. I just believe in myself. I believed until the end that I could win.”

The 16th seed hit fewer winners than her rival (11-13) but the most telling factor was the unforced error count. Halep’s tally of six was more than four times less than that of Anisimova (28).

Out of the active players on the WTA Tour, Halep is only the third to reach a fifth Wimbledon quarter-final after both of the Williams sisters. Taking on Anisimova, the Romanian got off to a blistering start by breaking just three games into their clash. Producing some powerful ball-striking Halep forced her rival to commit back-to-back forehand errors which granted her the early break. Two games later the lead was extended further after yet more Anisimova errors moved the former champion to 4-1. She took the opener after exactly 30 minutes of play with the help of a serve down the line Anisimova returned.

It was a case of deja vu in the second set with Halep’s game simply overwhelming her error-stricken opponent who looked growingly lost on the court. Anisimova continuously looked towards her entourage out of frustration. It eventually all got too much for the world No.25 who began to cry during a changeover after going down 1-4 once again. 

Halep’s only struggle in the match occurred when she was tasked with serving it out. With Anisimova hitting more freely and with nothing to lose, suddenly she was the aggressor and retrieved one of the breaks to gradually close her deficit to 4-5.  Prompting a big cheer from the crowd. 

After going through a period where 13 out of 16 points played went to her opponent, Halep eventually held her nerve to clinch victory. 

“I am definitely playing my best tennis (since winning the 2019 Wimbledon title),” she said.
“Last year I struggled a lot and now I am just trying to build my confidence back. My tennis here and all I need to do now is to start to believe in myself.”

Halep is yet to drop a set at Wimbledon after five matches played. 

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WIMBLEDON: 10 Facts About Semi-Finalist Ons Jabeur

All you need to know about the Trailblazing Tunisian who has created history at The All England Club.

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image via twitter.com/wimbledon

Second seed Ons Jabeur achieved a new milestone for both her and her country at Wimbledon on Tuesday. 

 

The world No.2 battled back from a set down to defeat Marie Bouzkova 3-6, 6-1, 6-1, to reach the last four of a major event for the first time in her career. Jabeur has now dropped only one set in five matches played and is the highest ranked player remaining in the draw. Her major breakthrough comes seven years after she made her Grand Slam debut at the 2015 Australian Open. 

“I played really good from beginning of the second set, especially having a early break kind of helps me gain confidence,” said Jabeur.
“I know it wasn’t easy playing Marie. She gets all the balls and doesn’t make, to win a point, easy for me. I’m glad I stepped in with my game. I was more aggressive in the second set, and especially tactically I was playing some angles that she didn’t like much.”

To mark Jabeur’s Wimbledon milestone, here are 10 facts to know about her:-

  1. She is the first North African player – male or female – to reach a Grand Slam semi-final. The last woman from the entire African continent to reach a major semi-final was Amanda Coetzer at the 1997 French Open. 
  2. Her win over Bouzkova is Jabeur’s 26th Tour-level win on the grass.
  3. Jabeur has now won 83 matches over the past two seasons. This is more than any other player on the WTA Tour. 
  4. Has won 21 out of her last 23 matches.
  5. She is the only Tunisian woman currently ranked in the world’s top 700.
  6. Jabeur had failed to win back-to-back matches on her three out of her four previous appearances at Wimbledon in 2017, 2018 and 2019. She reached the quarter-finals in 2021.
  7. Coming into Wimbledon she has already earned more than $6.2m in prize money in her career.
  8. She has won three Tour titles in Birmingham (2021), Madrid (2022) and Berlin (2022). 
  9. Has beaten a top 10 player four times in her career – Dominika Cibulkova (2017 French Open), Simona Halep (Beijing 2018), Sloane Stephens (Moscow 2018) and Karolina Pliskova (Doha 2020).
  10. In October 2021 she became the first Arab player (mae or female) to crack the world’s top 10 in tennis. 

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Tatjana Maria – Reaching Wimbledon Semi-Finals is ‘Amazing’ But It Doesn’t Beat Parenthood

The underdog is enjoying her best-ever run at a major 15 years after making her debut.

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Image via twitter.com/wta

Germany’s Tatjana Maria reveals people once doubted her ability to return to tennis after having her first child. Now a mother-of-two, she has secured a place in the Wimbledon semifinals. 

 

The fairytale run of the world No.103 continued on Tuesday when she ousted compatriot Jule Niemeier 6-4, 2-6, 7-5, in her quarter-final match. Until the tournament, Maria had never been beyond the third round of a major event. However, that changed with high-profile wins over Sorana Cirstea, Maria Sakkari and Jelena Ostapenko prior to Niemeier.

“It’s amazing. I mean, I tried to calm down a little bit in the locker room and to realize something, but it’s still hard to realize it,” she said of reaching the last four at Wimbledon.

Whilst some players prepare for their Grand Slam matches in the gym, Maria’s routine is somewhat unique. She began her day by taking her 8-year-old daughter to her tennis lesson. It wasn’t enough to keep her busy, she also has a 15-month-old baby.

“Outside of the court, nothing changes for me for the moment,” she said.  “I try to keep this going, everything the same. We keep going (to the tennis lessons) even if I’m playing the semifinals.”

Incredibly the 34-year-old returned to the circuit following maternity leave less than a year ago. It was during that absence that she decided to switch to a one-handed backhand. She has been ranked as high as 46th in the world and has two Tour titles to her name. 

“A lot of people who never believed I would come back. This was already after Charlotte and when I changed my backhand,” she said.
“I showed it last time already that I am back. I reached the top 50 with Charlotte, and now I’m back with my second child. Still, everybody was doubting.’
“I’m still here and I’m a fighter, and I keep going and I keep dreaming.”

Relishing in her best-ever performance at a major event, Maria is another example of a player having a breakthrough later in their career. To put her run in perspective, in the Open Era only five other women have reached the semifinals at Wimbledon after turning 34.

However, in Maria’s eyes, her achievements on the court can’t beat her top priority off the court.

“To be a mum is for me on the top of my life. So I think it helps me in tennis too because now my priority is my kids,” she explains. “I play tennis, I want to do my best, that’s all that I want. But my kids are the priority.’
“If I go out there, I want my kids to be happy, that they are healthy, that everything is okay. That’s the most important thing for me in my life.”

Maria made her Grand Slam debut back at Wimbledon in 2007. 

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