Wimbledon Ladies Draw: Serena looking for the "Serena Slam" in London - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

WTA

Wimbledon Ladies Draw: Serena looking for the “Serena Slam” in London

Avatar

Published

on

Serena Williams (1) is in the top half of the draw and could meet Maria Sharapova (4) in the semifinals. Serena could face her sister Venus in the 4th round. In the bottom half Petra Kvitova (2) could meet Simona Halep (3). Diego Sampaolo

 

Serena will be looking to win her sixth Wimbledon title and her third major of the year after winning the Australian and French Open titles. She is also en route to winning her 4th major in a row for what she has dubbed the “Serena Slam.” In the past two editions of Wimbledon, Serena has not managed to reach the quarterfinals. Last year she lost to Alizé Cornet in the 3rd round.

She will start her campaign against Margarita Gasparyan before possible clashes against either Timea Babos or Petra Cetkovska in the 2nd round and either Caroline Garcia (32) or Heather Watson in the 3rd round, her sister Venus in the fourth round, Ana Ivanovic (5) in the quarterfinal and Sharapova in the semifinal. Sharapova has not beaten Serena since 2004 and is 2-17 lifetime, including 16 straight losses.  

Ivanovic should have a easy start against Yi Fan Xu before a possible match against Tsvetana Pironkova. A possible big third round match could feature Viktoria Azarenka (23) and Carla Suarez Navarro (9). This section of the draw features the all-Italian match between Sara Errani (19) and Francesca Schiavone and the winner could meet another Italian Roberta Vinci who will start against Aleksandra Krunic.

Sharapova won Wimbledon in 2004 as a 17-year-old player, reached her last final at the All-England Club in 2011 but has not advanced past the fourth round since then. The Russian super star will open against Joanna Konta from Great Britain who reached the quarterfinal this week in Eastbourne. Sharapova could take on Andrea Petkovic in the 4th round. The German could meet Italian Flavia Pennetta who will play against Zarina Diyas in the first round.

2015 Roland Garros finalist Lucie Safarova (6) looms in the background as a possible quarterfinalist for Sharapova. Safarova recently beated the Russian en route to the French final. The Czech No. 2 will play American Allison Riske in the first round, possibly Kaia Kanepi in the second round, Barbora Strycova (27) in the 3rd round and in the 4th round yet another Czech Karolina Pliskova (12) who recently made it to the finals of Birmingham grass court event.

Caroline Wozniacki (5) will open against Saisai Zheng before a possible third round match against Camila Giorgi (31) who recently won her first title on grass in s’Hertogenbosch. Wozniacki’s possible rival in the quarterfinal could be Halep who will open against Jana Cepelova in the first round before meeting Svetlana Kuznetsova in the third round and former Wimbledon finalist Sabine Lisicki in the fourth round. Angelique Kerber (10) who won three tournaments in Charleston, Stuttgart and Birmingham, could meet Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the 2nd round and Garbine Muguruza (20) in the 3rd round.

Kvitova, winner at Wimbledon in 2011 and 2014, will play her first match against Dutchwoman Kikki Bertens in the fourth quarter of the draw. The Czech player could also meet Jelena Jankovic (28) in the 3rd round and Agniezska Radwanska (13) in the 4th round. However, Radwanska would have to get past Elina Svitolina (17) in the 3rd round. Kvitova is also on collision course for a possible quarterfinal encounter against either this year’s Australian Open semifinalist Ekaterina Makarova (8) or last year’s Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard (12) who was forced to withdraw from Eastbourne earlier this week.

WTA

Garbine Muguruza Routs Konta In Rome

Garbine Muguruza confidently dispatched Johanna Konta 6-4 6-1 to set up a mouth-watering fourth-round clash with Victoria Azarenka in Rome.

Avatar

Published

on

Garbine Muguruza confidently dispatched Johanna Konta 6-4 6-1 to set up a mouth-watering fourth-round clash with Victoria Azarenka in Rome.

 

It was a surprisingly comfortable win for the Spaniard, 26, against an opponent she has found troublesome in the past. Muguruza and Konta have each won two of their previous matches, and all four of those encounters were lengthy three-set affairs.

During the first eight games of this match, it looked like it might go a similar way. The opening exchanges were closely-fought and both players produced high-quality tennis and served well for the most part.

On occasion, Muguruza and Konta got themselves into trouble by making errors and falling 0-30 or 0-40 behind on their own serves. However, they always responded well and executed high-quality points to turn those games around.

Eventually, the whole set came down to one game. When Muguruza led 5-4, Konta again slipped 0-40 behind on serve. The Brit managed to save one break point, but the Spaniard took control of the next point and forced an error to seize the first break of the match.

Muguruza storms to victory

After Muguruza confidently held at the start of the second set, Konta missed a tricky high volley that would have secured the second game. Then she gave away the break with a double fault and an unforced error.

The next game turned out to be the most important of the match. The Brit hassled and harried the Spaniard and earned three break points. But the two-time Grand Slam champion held firm. She delivered big first serves when she needed them most to save all three and go on to secure the hold.

After that, the match ended quite quickly. Konta held to reduce the deficit to 3-1. Then Muguruza served and rallied superbly to win three games in a row and clinch an impressively comprehensive victory.

The Spaniard will face Azarenka in the last 16. The Belarussian was locked in a fascinating battle with Daria Kasatkina when the Russian took a nasty fall in the first tie-break and was forced to retire due to an ankle injury. Touchingly, Azarenka helped Kasatkina to her chair and comforted her after the accident.

Halep sees off Yastremska

Simona Halep (@InteBNLdItalia on Twitter)

Simona Halep advanced to a fourth-round clash with Yulia Putintseva in Rome courtesy of a 7-5 6-4 win over Dayana Yastremska.

The Romanian, 28, looks to be such a calm figure on court these days. And she did not seem bothered at all when the Ukrainian went 3-0 up after a blistering start to the match.

Halep responded by working her way into the match and capitalising whenever Yastremska made errors. The Romanian hit a backhand winner to break back. Then she played a series of intelligent points to claim the crucial break in the eleventh game and secure the set.

The Ukrainian made the worst possible start to the second set. She made a series of errors and dropped serve twice in a row to give herself a mountain to climb. Yastremska managed to get one of the breaks back immediately after that but Halep gave nothing else away and eventually closed out the set.

The Romanian will play Putintseva in the last 16. The Kazakhstani overcame talented young compatriot Elena Rybakina 4-6 7-6(3) 6-2 in a pulsating first-ever meeting.

Continue Reading

WTA

Garbine Muguruza Edges Gauff In Exciting Rome Showdown

Garbine Muguruza held off a strong challenge from Coco Gauff to win a riveting second-round match 7-6(3) 3-6 6-3 at the Italian Open in Rome.

Avatar

Published

on

Garbine Muguruza held off a strong challenge from Coco Gauff to win a riveting second-round match 7-6(3) 3-6 6-3 at the Italian Open in Rome.

 

The Spaniard, 26, rediscovered some of her best form to reach the Australian Open final in January. And she produced arguably her strongest performance since the restart to overcome the precocious 16-year-old.

There was very little to separate the two players in the opening set. Both Muguruza and Gauff were sporadically excellent. Each hit superb winners at times. But they balanced this out by making sloppy errors.

Consequently, neither player was able to break away. When the American broke in game four, the Spaniard responded immediately to rein her in.

Even though most of the games were closely-contested in the rest of the set, there were no breaks. Therefore, the only way to decide who would take the lead was a tie-break.

It was Muguruza who rose to the occasion. She produced one of the most impressive six-point sequences you are ever likely to see. First, the Spaniard hit a forehand winner that landed on the baseline. Then she hit a huge unreturnable serve followed by an ace. Next, she forced an error from Gauff with a deep backhand. And at 6-3 up, she clinched the set in style with another ace.

Gauff fights back

Gauff approached the second set with steely determination. She did not give anything away and gradually cranked up the pressure on Muguruza.

In game three, the American’s efforts were rewarded. She earned two break points and seized the second with a precise passing shot back behind the Spaniard.

Unlike in the first set, Gauff then held serve to move 3-1 ahead. And the pressure of being behind had an effect on Muguruza. She made a couple of errors to give the American three chances to gain a double break.

The Spaniard dug in and saved the first two. But she was unable to prevent Gauff from taking the third with a powerful backhand followed by a forehand winner.

Cori Gauff (@ChannelNewsAsia on Twitter)

Muguruza was in no mood to let the second set slip away. She hit a brilliant lob and a stunning forehand winner to earn two break points in game six.

Although the American saved them both, the Spaniard soon earned two more. And she eventually took her fourth break point of the game courtesy of a double fault from Gauff.

Muguruza held comfortably to reduce the deficit to 4-3. However, she did not manage to retrieve the second break, as the American held to move 5-3 ahead. Gauff then profited from a sloppy service game from the Spaniard to clinch the set.

Muguruza stays strong as errors cost Gauff dearly

When Gauff broke to establish a 2-0 lead at the start of the decider, it looked like she was on course for a famous win over the two-time Grand Slam champion.

However, the American wasted her opportunity. She made three consecutive double faults to gift Muguruza three break points. And the Spaniard took the third to break back immediately.

After a steady hold from Muguruza, Gauff made two more double faults in game six. Once again, the Spaniard capitalised. She then held again to open up a 4-2 lead.

The American found her range on serve to reduce the deficit. But the end came quickly for her. Muguruza withstood everything Gauff threw at her during a hold that put her 5-3 up.

The Spaniard then went on the attack. She drove the American back behind the baseline and then hit a forehand winner. Then she forced a couple of errors to make it 0-40. At that stage, Gauff was completely demoralised. She hit a forehand into the net to surrender the match to Muguruza.

In the next round, the World No.17 may get a chance to resume a fascinating rivalry. All four of her meetings with Johanna Konta have gone to three sets. So if the Brit can beat qualifier Irina-Camelia Begu, it could lead to another entertaining encounter.

Continue Reading

Latest news

Victoria Azarenka Relishing Challenge Of Quick Turnaround In Rome

Avatar

Published

on

Victoria Azarenka (image via https://twitter.com/InteBNLdItalia)

Within four days Victoria Azarenka had gone from playing in her first Grand Slam semi-final since 2013 to hitting on the clay courts of the Italian Open in Rome.

 

The former world No.1 returned to competitive action on Wednesday fresh off her solid run in New York that has elevated her back up the rankings to inside the top 15 for the first time since 2017. Her latest challenger was veteran player Venus Williams who she disposed of 7-6(7), 6-2, to record her 12th win within the past month. Despite the straightforward score, Azarenka was tested throughout after being broken four times and had to fend off a set point during the opener.

“Obviously playing on a different surface was definitely challenging, but I feel like I have adapted pretty well,” said Azarenka.
“I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. I knew I wasn’t going to play a perfect game. But it was all about trying to find the right intentions to do today. I think it worked out okay. “

Azarenka is the only US Open semi-finalist to have made it to Italian capital this year with the others instead opting to skip ahead to the French Open. Which will begin a week on Monday. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the tennis schedule has been revised with tournaments bunched closer together than they normally would. Nevertheless Azarenka sees the positive side to the current situation.

“I think the best way to transition is to play matches. I know physically it’s quite challenging, on your body it is quite challenging but I wanted to do this. I knew I was going to come no matter what.” She stated.
“I’m very happy that I did. I think there is no better way to adapt than playing matches. You know, staying in the bubble is tough, but might as well commit to these few more weeks that we have left in the year and then go back home.”

The 31-year-old Belarusian hasn’t had much success on clay so far in her career. Only one out of her 21 WTA titles has been won on the surface back in 2011. Furthermore, she has won less main draw matches at the French Open (22) than any other Grand Slam.

For Azarenka she admits that playing on the clay requires her to adapt both mentally and physically in the coming days.

“On hard courts I’m pretty comfortable with staying and hugging the baseline and taking everything early. And I think you have to be a little bit more adaptive on clay where sometimes you need to move back and have that transition, a little bit longer rallies. The building of the point has to be a little bit more constructive,” she explains.
“Mentally, I believe there is also an adaptation where the rally may be longer. Some balls may not bounce as well as on hard courts.”

Azarenka will play Sofia Kenin in the third round in what will be a battle of the Australian Open champions.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending