#SAPStatoftheDay: With her @Wimbledon victory over Venus Williams, @kikibertens recorded her biggest grass court win to date.@SAPSports pic.twitter.com/j8rT1hR9DX— WTA (@WTA) July 6, 2018
Yesterday, I mentioned some clay court specialists who were still in the Wimbldon draw, and I wondered how far they would go. Well, today, the most "clay court specialist" of all of them--Kiki Bertens--went right into the round of 16. And she did it by defeating five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams. It was a long, hard-fought match, in which Bertens suddenly looked as though she does this grass thing all the time. She defeated Williams 6-2, 6-7, 8-6, winning on her third match point.
Meanwhile (literally--they were playing at the same time), seven-time champion Serena Williams had all she could handle with Kiki Mladenovic, but she persevered, 7-5, 7-6.
While these two matches were being played, thee was some very high entertainment going on on Court No. 2. I had really been looking forward to watching Julia Goerges play Barbora Strycova; it felt to me like a possible thriller in the making. I wasn't wrong, but it was really hard for me to concentrate on the match with both Williams matches going on at the same time.
I did get to see a lot of it, though, and it was a great thing to behold. The third set was epic, and featured Goerges serving for the match three times. It finally ended, after almost three hours, and--if I had the time (and I might have to find it)--I'd watch it all in replay because it was the match to watch today. This match had everything--great serving, fine shot-making, crucial breaks, and a very speedy Czech. Strycova darted all over the place, at one point, careening right into the stands, and later, crashing into the chairs and dumping Goerges' stuff all over the court.
Venus Williams wasn't the only major exit today; Madison Keys also went out. Evgeniya Rodina defeated the 10th seed 7-5, 5-7, 6-4.
Also winning were Katya Makarova (def. Lucie Safarova), Donna Vekic (def. Yanina Wickmayer), Camila Giorgi (def. Katerina Siniakova), and Karolina Pliskova (def. Mihaela Buzarnescu). The Pliskova-Buzarnescu match was a bit painful to watch, in that the generally rather even Romanian had a prolonged meltdown and just couldn't summon the steady calm that she has shown for a while.
There were a few upsets in doubles today. The team of McHale/Ostapenko defeated 7th seeds Chan/Yang, Maria/Watson defeated 11th seeds Atawo/Groenefeld, and Rosolska/Spears defeated 5th seeds Chan/Peng.