Thursday, July 4, 2019

Another former champion out of Wimbledon

vintage London taxi (photo by Diane Elayne Dees)

Today, defending champion (and 5th seed) Angie Kerber joined Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova and Garbine Muguruza--all former Wimbledon champions--in making an exit from the tournament. Kerber, looking lost much of the time, and making multiple errors, was defeated by the unseeded Lauren Davis. Davis is a big stage player whom we often don't even notice until a major pops up on the calendar.

The German star can be unpredictable, but today's performance was something I just didn't see coming.

There are still two former champions standing---Serena Williams and Petra Kvitova. Williams had a tough time of it against Slovenian qualifier Kaja Juvan, who played with confidence, and who did her best to take advantage of a sometimes foot-frozen Williams. In the end, it was the champion who came through--2-6, 6-2, 6-4--but Juvan's poise and grit will be remembered.

Davis's win was today's only upset, but what looked, for a while, like an upset in the making was Taylor Townsend's assault on 4th seed Kiki Bertens. Bertens eventually took control of the match and walked away with a 3-6, 7-6, 6-2 victory, showing yet again what a difference it makes to be a champion and to know how champions win.

There were a couple of upsets in doubles today. Maria Sakkari and Ajla Tomljanovic defeated 11th seeds Lucie Hradecka and Andreja Klepack, and Alize Cornet and Petra Martic defeated 14th seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Alona Ostapenko. This also means that Ostapenko was eliminated from competition in the first round of both events.

The singles draw is now getting quite interesting, and some potentially fascinating--perhaps thrilling--matches are scheduled for tomorrow. There are several, but my top picks to watch are: Simona Halep vs. Vika Azarenka,  Elina Svitolina vs. Maria Sakkari, Dayana Yastremska vs. Viktorija Golubic and Petra Martic vs. Danielle Collins.

No comments: