Friday, July 1, 2011

Finally, we get some semifinal drama!

The Wimbledon semifinals haven't offered us much in the way of thrills--until today. However, the unseeded team of Sabine Lisicki and Sam Stosur, along with lucky losers Marina Erakovic and Tammy Tanasugarn, took care of that problem. Earlier in the day, 2nd seeds Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik had a surprisingly routine straight-set win over 4th seeds Sania Mirza and Elena Vesnina, but there was nothing routine about the second semifinal.

In the course of play, Tanasugarn argued repeatedly with officials about the impending darkness on the court, and Erakovic also questioned the officials' decision to have the players stay on the court. Tanasugarn was hit twice with the ball, courtesy of both opponents, and Erakovic had to have a medical timeout when she hurt her arm.

The first set lasted 32 minutes, and Lisicki and Stosur won it, 6-3. Erakovic and Tanasugarn then went up 5-1, but it wasn't until their 11th set point that they were able to put the set away at 6-4. Needless to say, the level of tension was very high. That set lasted just six minutes short of an hour. By the time the third set began, there was quite a bit of anxiety in the air. Lisicki and Stosur got off to a fast start, and were soon up 5-2. Their opponents were still complaining about the lack of light, but were told to play on. Play on they did, breaking Lisicki's serve, to go up 3-5.

Erakovic and Tanasugarn then went up 30-love, after which Erakovic double-faulted. They went up 40-15 when Tanasugarn hit a winning volley, and then, on Erakovic's second serve, they won the game. At 4-5 in the third, they asked one more time for play to stop, and--one more time--their request was denied. Lisicki and Stosur then served for the match again, and this time, it was Stosur's serve that was broken, at 15, as Tanasugarn repeatedly hit to the Australian's backhand.

Then the match was postponed because of darkness, after the participants played 48 minutes of the third set. Play will resume tomorrow.

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