Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Venus, Serena, Angie, and Elena--the last four standing

Yesterday, my operating system obliterated my blog post on the round of 16 Wimbledon competition. I wrote about the magnificent match played by Dominika Cibulkova and Aga Radwanska, but that magnificence is best summed up here.

One of the things I said was that, at the end of the year, we'll be talking about this as one of--if not the--match of the year. Today, when Cibulkova went out in straight sets to Elena Vesnina, I was reminded of another Radwanska match (there are so many great ones), from the 2014 Australian Open. It was in that match that The Ninja played what some called the greatest set of tennis ever played by a woman (I don't go in for "greatest" anything, but that one makes sense to me). The next day, however, Radwanska came out flat and lost easily to Cibulkova. The Polish star had apparently given all she had in her defeat of Azarenka. It was a sad occasion, but I understood the defeat.

Today, the tennis shoe was on the other foot, as Cibulkova was outplayed by an on-fire Vesnina. The way the Russian was playing, she very well might have won the match under any circumstance, but-- within the context of Cibulkova's highly emotional and physical match the day before--it wasn't a shock that the Slovakian star lost.

We can say that the bride wore white--up to the last minute. Cibulkova is getting married on Saturday, the day the women's final takes place. She was prepared to postpone her wedding--and there was a very good chance that she would have to do just that--but now she can go forward with it. That's an awful lot of emotion for one woman to carry, however.

For the charming and entertaining Vesnina, the victory marks her first semifinal in a major (today was her first quarterfinal). It won't be an easy one--she plays defending champion and top seed Serena Williams.

Williams skillfully defeated a game Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-4, 6-4 in today's quarterfinals. On another court, Venus Williams defeated Yaroslava Shvedova, marking the first time in seven years that the five-time Wimbledon champion has appeared in a Wimbledon semifinal. It's not at all reaching to say there could be another all-Williams Wimbledon final, a phenomenon that would bring down much more than the Wimbledon tennis house.

But then there's Angie Kerber. In my lost post, I said that Kerber was so under the radar, she could launch herself into the night sky over Centre Court and go undetected. The Australian Open champion has yet to drop a set. Her performance today against Simona Halep was, at times, breathtaking. Halep played really well, too, and came so close--Kerber won 7-5, 7-6.

Venus and Serena were busy today. After achieving victories in singles, they defeated Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka in their third round doubles match. Vesnina was busy, too. She and partner Ekaterina Makarova (whom Vesnina beat to reach the quarterfinals in singles) won their second round doubles match. Vesnina is also playing mixed doubles, and is a member of the 2nd-seeded team.

Here is the semifinal singles draw:

Serena Williams (1) vs. Elena Vesnina
Angelique Kerber (4) vs. Venus Williams (8)


Todd.Spiker said...

You know, before the Vesnina/Cibulkova match today, I remembered how Radwanska performed after that Azarenka match, as well how she's sometimes been totally flat after other particularly spectacular efforts. I realized that had she won, that very well could have happened to her today. It would have been really disheartening to see that.

So, at that moment, I was almost glad that she lost. Almost. ;)

Diane said...

Me, too--but I also hated to see it happen to Domi. She was looking spectacular up until today. The up side is that Elena pulled through both matches without going away at the end!