Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Wimbledon, Day 9--the news that is ignored

Television commentators, at least in the U.S. rarely talk about doubles action, but there was plenty of it today at Wimbledon, as teams tried to catch up from the many rain delays. Number 1 mixed doubles seeds Mike Bryan and Lisa Raymond were upset by the British team of Melanie South and Alex Bogdanovic, and Kateryna Bondarenko and Jordan Kerr upset number 4 seeds Kevin Ullyett and Liezel Huber.

In women's doubles, Shuai Peng and Yan Zi defeated number 3 seeds Yung-Jan Chang and Chia-Jung Chuang. Yan usually plays on half of the very successful team of Yan and Zheng, but Zheng Jie was injured and had to withdraw from Wimbledon. The Williams sisters were playing doubles for the first time in years, but gave their opponents, Anabel Medina Garrigues and Virginia Ruano Pascual, a walkover because of Serena Williams' injuries.

Notice that I said "injuries." We were all expecting Williams to have trouble moving because of the terrible leg injury she sustained in her round of 16 match against Daniela Hantuchova, but it was a thumb injury that gave her trouble, and that possibly caused her to lose her quarterfinal match against Justine Henin. Williams had a lot of trouble executing her backhand, except for her one-handed backhand slice. It was tough to see Williams lose this way. Final score: 6-4, 3-6, 6-3

Meanwhile, Venus Williams turned on some kind of inner switch and mowed down Maria Sharapova, 6-1, 6-3. And Marion Bartoli, who looked so exhausted after her victory yesterday over Jelena Jankovic, proceeded to get a second wind and take out Michaella Krajicek in three sets. Krajicek won the first set easily, with Bartoli looking rather sluggish, but after a rain break, Bartoli once again dominated with her bizarre but powerful serve, and her abilty to find wicked angles at all parts of the court. It would have been exciting to have either of these fine players enter the semifinals. Final score: 3-6, 6-3, 6-2

Bartoli also played doubles today with her partner Meilen Tu, and they defeated Nicole Vaidisova and Barbora Zhalavova Strycova, 7-5, 7-6.

Player of the day: Venus Williams, looking like the Wimbledon champion she has been three times in the past

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