Wimbledon Day 8 Preview: The Ladies’ Quarter-finals - UBITENNIS
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Wimbledon Day 8 Preview: The Ladies’ Quarter-finals

For the first time in the open era, none of the top 10 seeds advanced to the quarter-finals in a singles draw.

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But what the quarter-finals lack in top seeds, they make up for in Major singles championships. There are 26 in total, with Serena Williams of course holding the vast majority. These quarter-final matches also feature eight of the fiercest competitors on tour, all with different strengths and styles which result in four distinct and intriguing matchups. And as a bonus on Tuesday, Juan Martin Del Potro will complete his fourth round match against Gilles Simon, where he was up two-sets-to-one before play was suspended due to darkness.

 

Angelique Kerber vs. Daria Kasatkina

This will be the first match of the day on Centre Court, and is a rematch from just 15 days ago on the grass of Eastbourne. That quarter-final was a tense battle that went to a third set tiebreak, which Kerber won 7-3. Overall they’ve split their six career meetings, with the balance all taking place on hard courts. For Kerber, this is her third straight Major quarter-final. Kasatkina is in her second consecutive one, after getting to her first Major quarter-final last month in Paris. It’s been a breakout year for the 21-year-old Russian, who beat two top 10 players to make the final in Dubai, and three top 10 players to reach the final at Indian Wells. Kerber’s also had a strong year with consistent results, landing her in fourth place in the year-to-date rankings. Both players’ games are extremely pleasant to watch, and often create complex rallies. Pair that with the confidence they both have right now, and this match could be special. Kerber is the more accomplished player, with much more experience on big stages like this, especially on Centre Court. Her recent victory over Kasatkina on grass will be fresh in her mind, and may help her get through this tough opponent. But this match could go either way, and will likely be another extended, tight contest.

Jelena Ostapenko vs. Dominika Cibulkova

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Remember how I mentioned fierce competitors? Well two of the fiercest will open the day’s schedule on No.1 Court. Neither of these players were on anyone’s radar going into this fortnight, yet both are yet to drop a set in this tournament. Ostapenko has cited Wimbledon as her favorite tournament. Jelena was the 2014 junior champion at Wimbledon, and also made the quarterfinals here just last year. She’s playing with a lot more freedom with the defense of her 2017 Roland Garros title behind her. Cibulkova is playing her best tennis since her career-best title at the 2016 WTA Finals. This is her third quarterfinal at SW19, and a victory today for either player will find them in their first Wimbledon semifinal. Cibulkova has won both of their previous matches, including on grass in 2016 at Eastbourne. But I have a feeling Ostapenko may notch her first victory over Cibulkova on this day. Her huge groundstrokes are extremely effective on the grass, and the higher ball bounces this year give Jelena more time to set up her shots. And it doesn’t hurt that no one’s been talking about Ostapenko’s chances of winning this title, as it alleviates a lot of pressure. If Dominika is going to prevail, her superior defensive skills may be the deciding factor. Either way, neither player is likely to hand the victory to the other. This quarterfinal should be another good one.

Serena Williams vs. Camila Giorgi

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In the second match of the day on Centre Court, the 23-time Major singles champion will face one of the only players on tour who hits the ball as hard as she does. Giorgi’s go-for-broke philosophy can have very different results from match-to-match, but she’s been on a lot more than she’s been off thus far in this tournament. Wimbledon has been the most successful Grand Slam event in the career of the 26-year-old Italian. She made her first Major round of 16 here in 2012, and is now into her first quarterfinal. Giorgi is fully capable of outhitting Serena Williams, though she’s also capable of littering the stat sheet with errors. The biggest challenge for Giorgi will be to execute her high-risk game on this stage, and against this opponent. Centre Court is a place where Serena has a huge experience edge. And in contrast to Camila, this is Serena’s 48th Major quarterfinal, and her 13th at Wimbledon. Williams is still not back to her best form, but she’s playing smart, composed tennis. Serena is yet to drop a set in this fortnight, and has never dropped a set against Giorgi in three meetings. The GOAT is the favorite to advance here.

Julia Goerges vs. Kiki Bertens

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Here are two players who have rather quietly compiled strong results over the past year. Goerges won three straight titles between the end of 2017 and the start of this year, but had never found success at a Major. After going 0-5 in the fourth round of Grand Slam events, she finally broke through yesterday, and is into her first Major quarterfinal at the age of 29. Goerges hit 41 aces through her first four rounds. It’s surprising she’s never done better at Wimbledon considering her big-serving game. In fact, prior to this year, she had lost in the first round of The Championships five years in a row. Likewise, Bertens had a losing record at Wimbledon heading into this tournament, but is into her first quarterfinal after consecutive upsets of two top 10 seeds, Venus Williams and Karolina Pliskova. This will be a rematch from the Charleston final earlier this year. Bertens won that encounter, as well as their other previous match, though both were on clay. That surface has been very kind to Bertens in the last few years. Since May of 2016, Kiki has four titles and a Roland Garros semifinal to her name on clay. In theory, the grass should favor Goerges. The difference here will be who is more prepared to handle this moment. Though she’s the lower-ranked player, Bertens is the one who has been in a Major quarterfinal before. In addition, she’s already played on No.1 Court during this fortnight, while all of Goerges’ matches have been on outer courts. Kiki’s level of comfort and confidence may be enough to land her in her second Major semifinal.

Selected order of play

CENTRE COURT – SHOW COURT – 13:00 START
1 Daria Kasatkina (RUS) [14] 48 vs Angelique Kerber (GER) [11] 49
2 Serena Williams (USA) [25] 104 vs Camila Giorgi (ITA) 119
3 Raven Klaasen (RSA) / Michael Venus (NZL) [13] 8 vs Jamie Murray (GBR) / Bruno Soares (BRA) [5] 16

No.1 COURT – SHOW COURT – 13:00 START
1 Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) 12 vs Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) [12] 17
2 Kiki Bertens (NED) [20] 73 vs Julia Goerges (GER) [13] 81
3 Robin Haase (NED) / Robert Lindstedt (SWE) 39 vs Dominic Inglot (GBR) / Franko Skugor (CRO) [15] 41

No.2 COURT – SHOW COURT – 11:30 START
1 Richard Krajicek (NED) / Mark Petchey (GBR) vs Patrick McEnroe (USA) / Jeff Tarango (USA) (OD)
NOT BEFORE 13.00
2 Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG) [5] 97 vs Gilles Simon (FRA) 107 T/F 7/6(1) 7/6(5) 5/7 0/0
3 Ben McLachlan (JPN) / Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) [14] 24 vs Frederik Nielsen (DEN) / Joe Salisbury (GBR) 28
4 Na Li (CHN) / Ai Sugiyama (JPN) vs Tracy Austin (USA) / Anne Keothavong (GBR) (SL)

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Kontaveit upsets Bianca Andreescu in Eastbourne

Anett Kontaveit knocked Bianca Andreescu out of Eastbourne.

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Anett Kontaveit (@ribella96 - Twitter)

The Estonian beat the Canadian on Center Court in straight sets in an hour and six minutes.

 

Anett Kontaveit only needed 66 minutes on Center Court to dispatch the world number seven and the third seed at the tournament Bianca Andreescu 6-3, 6-3 firing 16 winners while the Canadian hit 28 unforced errors.

“I thought I played a really good match today and I was consistent throughout the whole match and I feel like I kept my level up and played some good tennis”.

It was the world number 27 with the aggressive start earning the first breakpoint of the match in the opening game with a stunning forehand winner and on the following point ripped a forehand return winner to take a 1-0 lead.

The Canadian was keen to bounce back and earned her first breakpoint the following game with a backhand winner up the line and broke right back to go back on serve.

The Talinn, Estonia native once again responded by breaking right back and this time was able to consolidate the break until 3-2 when once again the Toronto native broke again to level the first set at 3-3.

Once again the Estonian broke Andreescu serve to take another lead and at 5-3 had two set points set up by a powerful backhand winner and took the first set 6-3 in 31 minutes.

The second set started with both players holding serve for the first three games until the 25 year old earned three more breakpoints and got the first break of the set.

After that it went back on serve until 4-2 when the Canadian once again had two chances to go back on serve and she broke when the Estonian struggled with her serve.

Again the resiliency and the determination of the Estonian kept her going and she broke right back the following game and served out the match. In her post match press conference she was asked how she was able to keep bouncing back in the face of adveristy.

“I think I am a pretty good returner and she is as well so sometimes it’s difficult when the other person so consistent hitting deep returns off your serve so I just tried to stay with it especially in the second set and she never gives up so I had to keep playing and be ready for it”.

Kontaveit will now face the Swiss player Viktorija Golubic who pulled off another upset beating the number six seed and fellow Swiss player Belinda Bencic.

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PTPA Outline Vision After Appointing Executive Director And Advisory Board

The PTPA has announced a new executive director and advisory board.

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(@DjokerNole - Twitter)

The Professional Tennis Players Association has outlined their vision for the future after appointing an advisory board and an executive director.

 

Vasek Pospisil made the announcement last night as he and Novak Djokovic look to secure a legitimate players voice at the tennis political table.

In the main core of the statement they announced the make-up of the PTPA’s backroom board, “PTPA co-founders Vasek Pospisil and Novak Djokovic have named Adam Larry executive director, enlisted Carrie Gerlach Cecil to lead Brand and Communications and appointed Bill Ackman, Michael Hirshfeld, Rebecca Macdonald, Katarina Pijetlovic and Anton Rabie to its Advisory Board,” the statement read.

“Created by the players for the players, the PTPA is an integrated association for professional tennis players. The PTPA movement is uniting and mobilizing tennis players in order to create transparency and fairness throughout decision-making in professional tennis.”

The move is an interesting one as up until now it was a mystery as to what the PTPA’s strategy was and who was involved so far with there being no idea from the ATP or WTA’s side what the PTPA was trying to achieve.

Now there is an advisory board there may be sharp movement and progress made into how the PTPA can secure more player-related decisions in Tennis and ensure that there is a level playing-field in terms of decisions affecting the players.

In the statement Vasek Pospisil, Novak Djokovic and new executive director Adam Larry all gave strong hints about the PTPA’s future vision as they look to challenge the establishment in providing change for tennis.

“With the establishment of our advisory board, our branding and communications team and the appointment of Adam Larry as executive director, we have taken one step closer to toward our goal of facilitating a fair and sustainable competitive environment for tennis players today, and for generations to come,” Pospisil said.

“We are working toward growth to help all players, not just the top 100, to make sustainable livelihoods and have their rights protected on and off the court. From top to bottom, we must use our collective voices to help players today and tomorrow,” stated world number one Novak Djokovic.

“The PTPA wants to work with all of the tennis governing bodies to inspire collective reform to better the sport,” new executive director Adam Larry claimed.

What comes next for the PTPA nobody knows but this new board means that business is expected to pick up very quickly in the latest twist in the political tennis game.

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Novak Djokovic Confirmed For Olympics But Del Potro Pulls Out After Medical Advice

The Serbian will be bidding to win gold in Tokyo later this year for the first time in his career.

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This year’s Olympic tennis tournament has been given a boost after officials confirmed world No.1 Novak Djokovic will be playing at the Games.

 

The 19-time Grand Slam champion had been contemplating whether to play at the event or not amid ongoing COVID-19 conditions. Djokovic previously said he would reconsider travelling to Tokyo if fans weren’t allowed to attend. Since that comment, organisers have given the green light for up to 10,000 domestic fans to attend Olympic venues. Although foreign fans are banned from attending this year due to the pandemic.

Amid questions over Djokovic’s participation, the Serbian Tennis Federation has told Sportski Zurnal that he has pledged to play. It will be the fourth time the 34-year-old has represented his country in the Olympics. So far in his career, Djokovic has only won one medal which was bronze back in 2008. He also finished fourth in 2012.

“Novak has confirmed his desire to participate in the Olympic Games and we have already sent a list with his name on it to the Olympic Committee of Serbia. It will be forwarded from there,” the Tennis federation told Sportski Zurnal.

As it currently stands Djokovic is on course to achieve the calendar ‘golden slam.’ A rare achievement where a player wins all four Grand Slam titles, as well as the Olympics, within the same year. In singles competition the only person to have ever achieved this was Stefi Graf back in 1988.

“Everything is possible, and I did put myself in a good position to go for the Golden Slam,” Djokovic said after winning the French Open
“But, you know, I was in this position in 2016 as well. It ended up in a third-round loss in Wimbledon. This year we have only two weeks between the first round of Wimbledon and the finals here, which is not ideal because you go from really two completely different surfaces, trying to make that transition as smooth as possible, as quickly and efficiently as possible.
“So obviously I will enjoy this win and then think about Wimbledon in a few days’ time. I don’t have an issue to say that I’m going for the title in Wimbledon. Of course, I am.”

Del Potro’s comeback delayed again

There is less positive news for Juan Martin del Potro, who was the player who beat Djokovic to win a bronze medal back in 2012. The Argentine hasn’t played a competitive match on the Tour since June 2019 due to a troublesome knee injury. Back in March the former US Open champion said playing at the Olympics again was motivating him during his rehabilitation.

However, since then progress has been slower than what Del Potro would have liked. As a result, he has been advised not to play in the event and continue his recovery.

Delpo won’t be able to play the Olympics Games. The knee rehab is going well according to the doctor’s plan but he suggested Juan Martin to go on with his rehab process and training, and skip Tokyo 2020,” a statement from Del Potro’s communication team reads.

Since 2010, the former world No.3 and two-time Olympic medallist has undergone eight surgeries.One on his right wrist, three on his left wrist and four on his knee. He has won a total of 22 ATP titles so far in his career.

The Olympic Tennis event will start on July 24th at the Ariake Coliseum.

RELATED STORY: Why Are So Many Tennis Players Skipping The Olympics?

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