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.