Thursday, June 12, 2014

Defending champion K.O.d in Birmingham

K.O.d as in "knocked out," but also as in Kimiko'd. Birmingham defending champion Daniela Hantuchova couldn't handle being on the receiving end of the Kimiko Date-Krumm grass game. The Japanese veteran/comeback player defeated Hantuchova 6-4, 6-0 today in the second round of the Wimbledon warmup event. Hantuchova was a point away from making the score 5-all in the first set when Date-Krumm began a pattern of complete domination.

Date-Krumm, who came from match point down to win her second round match against Monica Puig, has now advanced to the quarterfinals. This is the first time that she has reached the quarterfinals of a premier-level tournament since returning to the tour in 2008. The 43-year-old Japanese star said that her back "was so tired" when she woke up this morning, but she did some stretches and proceeded. Date-Krumm reached the semifinals of Wimbledon in 1996.

Also gone from Birmingham is 2nd seed Sam Stosur, who was defeated 2-6, 6-2, 6-2  today by countrywoman Casey Dellacqua. The two had not played each other in eleven years; Dellacqua now has a 3-0 record against Stosur.

Yesterday was a better day for Sam. She served four consecutive aces in her match against Christina McHale. I once saw Lindsay Davenport do that--I think it was in the 6-0, 6-0 match she played against Maria Sharapova in Indian Wells in 2005.

Top seed Ana Ivanovic cruised with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Lauren Davis, and 3rd seed Sloane Stephens defeated Alison Riske.

Some talented players were taken out early in this tournament. Gone in the early rounds were Caroline Garcia (def. by Vicky Duval), Lucie Safarova (def. by Barbora Zahlavova Strycova) and Donna Vekic, who lost to fellow phenom Belinda Bencic. Bencic was later defeated by Hantuchova.

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