Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Halep makes straight-sets move to Wimbledon semifinals

Sabine Lisicki, last years Wimbledon runner-up, got off to a 4-1 lead today in her semifinal against Simona Halep. The 3rd seed, not one to panic when things don't go well, replied by winning eleven straight games. Moral of story: A cornered Simona is a dangerous Simona. (Also, Halep probably watched last year's final.)

The whole thing took only 57 minutes. So far, Lesia Tsurenko is the only player to take a set off of Halep, and Halep has delivered two bagel sets, one to Zarina Diyas, and the other to Lisicki. The Romanian's quick 6-4, 6-0 victory gives her some mental and physical rest, as she awaits her semifinal against Genie Bouchard, who will be a much tougher customer than the labile German could ever dream of being.

Bouchard, with a straight sets win over Angelique Kerber, has now reached her third consecutive major semifinal. The Canadian star, even without her army to cheer to her on, defeated Kerber 6-3, 6-4, in a match Kerber was probably expected to lose. The German (bad day for Germany) played her heart out yesterday for almost three hours against Maria Sharapova, then had to come back at noon today to take on Bouchard.

Bouchard has taken to the grass courts at Wimbledon and is emphasizing--in case anyone didn't notice before--that she is the talent of the current wave of young-"youngish" players. She'll have her hands full with Halep, though, and that promises to be a special match.

I've never been a "half full" kind of person, so the possibility that Halep and Petra Kvitova will have to play each other in the final is enough to make me consider paying someone to watch it for me. It would be so hard for me to see either of them lose.

But that's just one possible scenario. We could get a Bouchard vs. Kvitova final, a Bouchard vs. Safarova final, or a Halep vs. Safarova final. Of the four women, only Kvitova has won a major (Wimbledon, in 2011). Halep has been to a major final, just recently--the 2014 French Open.

For Bouchard or Safarova, playing in the Wimbledon final would be the most challenging mentally. And while I'm sure that many people think that Bouchard would not be that affected by finding herself in the final, I'm not so sure. Halep certainly handled her first major final well, but that's not the usual scenario.

7th seeds Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears (one of the longest-running--if not the longest-running--doubles teams on the tour) lost in the third round today to 11th seeds Alla Kudryavtseva and Anastasia Rodionova.

The big news, however, is that top seeds and defending champions Hsieh Su-Wei and Peng Shuai were upset today in the third round by 14th seeds Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic. (This blog had incorret information earlier; I was unable to access the Wimbledon site and looked at a score report that had Hsieh and Peng winning. It turns out that two of the scores were backwards.) Mladenovic, with partner Daniel Nestor, also won her third round mixed doubles match.


sunny nine said...

Did you see the Halep match? The last I checked last night it was scheduled for 5 am PDT. Also that is when ESPN said they were coming on. So when I turned it on at 5am I was surprised to hear that Wimby had started it earlier. I have not seen a match of Halep's all tournament save for about 5 minutes.
Sogn and I have our favorites but this is the first time that we can say that we wouldn't mind anyone in the final four of the women's or men's winning it all. There are definitely favorites but...this has been an interesting tournament.
I think Halep is the only who has played 3 days in a row.
Bouchard got to claim the 1st Canadian Wimbledon quarterfinalist and semifinalist by being just ahead of Raonic in the scheduling.
Do you think that because Kvitova can now "smell it" she will not go off the rails? Safarova tends to be ruthless to higher ranked players if that happens.

Diane said...

I set my clock for 6 a.m., which is when it was scheduled to start, my time (CST). I was so exhausted that I couldn't get up. Finally, at 6:30 I dragged myself up but I don't remember what the score was so I don't know whether it started early. I was so tired I had trouble focusing, anyway. Someone else may be able to tell you if it started earlier than scheduled. I watched each of them, back and forth.

I'm hesitant to predict anything about Petra, but she sure has been playing like 2011. As I wrote, I have all this angst about Petra and Simona having to play in the final; I want them both to win!