Friday, June 28, 2013

Rain delays play at Wimbledon

There was enough rain at the All England Club today to postpone match play, and as a result, some matches in the second round were not completed.

Of note in that category is the match between 2011 Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova and Ekaterina Makarova. When Kvitova won the first set 6-3 and won six games in a row, it would have appeared--to an outsider--that she was on her way to victory. But this was Petra--and....this was Ekaterina Makarova, who is a tough cookie. Kvitova's slump in the second set aside--there wasn't much to stop Makarova, who took control of the set with masterful groundstrokes and big serving. The Russian won that set 6-2.

I so like watching both of these players and wish that one of them didn't have to exit in the third round. Despite oncoming darkness, third set play was begun, and when the match had to be suspended, Makarova was up a break at 2-1.

If fans have to turn away when they see Petra Kvitova "leave the scene," I can only imagine what they have to do if they're cheering for Sloane Stephens. Stephens won (7-6) a tight first set against Petra Cetkovska, then lost every game in the second set. Cetkovska is good on grass, and this was never going to be easy for Stephens, who lost her composure during the second set, but has a chance to start over again tomorrow.

Karin Knapp sent Michelle Larcher De Brito off, Kaia Kanepi upset 7th seed Angelique Kerber (not a surprise), and Marion Bartoli advanced to the next round with a win over Camila Giorgi. Flavia Pennetta overcame an opening bagel set to defeat Alize Cornet, and Carla Suarez Navarro defeated Eugenie Bouchard.

The news was better for Bouchard's friend, Laura Robson, however. Robson defeated Mariana Duque-Marino in straight sets, giving the home crowd some hope. Robson's next opponent will be Marina Erakovic, who likes the grass, and who could give the young Brit a bit of trouble.

Also winning was Kirsten Flipkens, who defeated Vesna Dolonc, and Alison Riske, who beat Urszula Radwanska.

In addition to the Kvitova vs. Makarova and Stephens vs. Cetkovska contests, there's also an unfinished match being played between Monica Puig and Eva Birnerova. Birnerova won the first set and is up a break in the second.

Top seeds Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci advanced to the third round. If Errani and Vinci win Wimbledon, they will have a Career Slam. 2nd seeds Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka also advanced, as did the Australian team of Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua.

The so-called "popcorn" match tomorrow will be between Sabine Lisicki and Samantha Stosur. They know how to hit each other off of the court, but they are both prone to mental lapses. Lisicki, however, has a strong history at the All England Club, and will undoubtedly take some confidence into this match.

Madison Keys faces Agnieszka Radwanska tomorrow, and Kimiko Date-Krumm gets Serena Williams. Tsvetana Pironkova will play Petra Martic. Pironkova leads their head-to-head 3-0, and that number includes a 2011 2nd round win at Wimbledon. Should the Bulgarian make it 4-0, she would get the winner of the Keys vs. Radwanska match in the round of 16. Is there anyone who doesn't want to see Radwanska and Pironkova have a go at each other? Sounds interesting to me.

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