Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Here comes Tsvetana--it must be grass season

We don't hear much from Tsvetana Pironkova during the other seasons, but when it's time to play on grass, she can do some impressive things--like take Venus Williams out of Wimbledon two years in a row with exactly the same straight-set scoreline. The Bulgarian player, who has a lovely game, excels on grass courts. Today, in Eastbourne, in the first round, she demonstrated her skills to 2008 Eastbourne champion Agnieszka Radwanska, the tournament's top seed. Pironkova defeated Radwanska 6-2, 6-4. (Perhaps The Radwanska, Aga's darker and potentially very powerful side, is already in London, mysteriously supervising the lawn preparation?)

Radwanska had plenty of company. 2nd seed Petra Kvitova, the 2011 Wimbledon champion, was upset in the opening round, too. Kvitova went out to Ekaterina Makarova, who won the tournament in 2010. Makarova beat the Czech star 7-5, 6-4. And, for good measure, Christina McHale beat 3rd seed Caroline Wozniacki (also in the first round) 6-1, 6-7, 6-4.

Wild card Heather Watson won (def. qualifier Greta Arn), as did qualifier Laura Robson (def. Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez).

Marion Bartoli, seeded 4th, is the highest seed left in the draw. Bartoli's next opponent will be Aleksandra Wozniak.

Meanwhile, at the UNICEF Open, Kim Clijsters advanced to the third round, and Urszula Radwanska upset 4th seed Flavia Pennetta, also in the second round. In the first round, Sofia Arvidsson defeated Birmingham finalist Jelena Jankovic 6-2, 3-6, 6-4.

And we thought clay season was crazy......

9 comments:

Daniel said...

Beware the "The"! :)

Bobby Skipsey said...

Kvitova was up 4-2 and 30-0 on Makarova, having an easy easy time of it. Then, she went away despite having broken Makarova three times. In the second set she went down a break. At 3-5, she broke back at love. Then, serving 30-0 up let the match slip.
Is it conceivable that this is intentional? Why? I don't know but imagine what that could get her. Players coming into Wimbledon with the idea that she's easy pickings? Petra arriving at the AELTC as a big underdog again? The ease with which she went ahead in the first set, and the ease with which she broke to get to 4-5 may lend credence to this somewhat wild theory.

Dean Daggett said...

Maybe. Kvitova went between almost toying with Makarova to indifference and back and forth between those two states of mind. What IS going on with Petra?

Jeppe said...

It has been a while since I watched McHale, and I was very impressed by her game against Woz today. She seems to have added a bit of much needed muscle and her forehand was just killing Caro. Overall, I thought it was a very good match, once Caro found her feet in set 2.

By the way, Christina isn't 3-0 against Caro. Freudian slip?

web dagger said...

Thanks for Sharing...

Check the latest Updates of Wimbledon 2012 Results, Wimbledon 2012 Schedule

Diane said...

Jeppe, you're right. I see nothing Freudian in that slip at all--I'm afraid it's just poor memory. I thought I knew the record. I've fixed it.

Kvitova has become, I fear, a choker. The question is: Why is she afraid to win?

Todd.Spiker said...

After she overcame it last year, it looks like her Czech grand slam "heritage" (the bad side of it, at least) is breaking through the surface a bit now.

Todd.Spiker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Doug Messenger said...

The Czechs, as a rule, take until 23 or 24 to get the picture. Then they become champions. Think Navratilova and Lendl. In Petra's case, I think that her relative innocence has made the intense corporate and media pressures that attend fame very difficult for her to negotiate. It's trial by fire. If she does not lose interest, she will find a way to flourish. After all, she is the best ball-striker on the tour, by a mile. That's a good starting point.