Thursday, June 2, 2016

So many Kikis--so little time

This French Open has given us a plethora of Kikis. Kiki Mladenovic made it to the third round in singles, and played a very respectable match again world number 1 Serena Williams, which Williams won, 6-4, 7-6 (10). That was a good showing in itself, but since then, the Frenchwoman (who, unlike some others, appears to love playing to the home crowd) has reached the semifinals of the women's double competition with partner Caroline Garcia.

Mladenovic also reached the semifinals in mixed doubles, but today, she and partner Pierre-Hughes Herbert, lost to Sania Mirza and Leander Paes.

Meanwhile, another Kiki--Kiki Bertens--did what apparently shocked a lot of people, though I wasn't one of them. The unseeded Bertens reached the semifinals in singles when she defeated 8th seed Timea Bacsinszky in straight sets (7-5, 6-2). Bertens, who continues to astonish in Fed Cup competition, has previously shown that she's able to translate that success onto the regular tour, but not often enough. Lately, though, she's been doing it.

Consider her French Open run. So far, she has defeated 3rd seed Angelique Kerber (not a bad way to start a tournament), often-dangerous Camila Giorgi, 29th seed Daria Kasatkina, 15th seed Madison Keys, and Bacsinszky. During her match today, the physically tough Bertens had to take a medical timeout to have her left calf re-taped. Bertens has played a whole lot of tennis lately. At this event alone, she's played twelve sets of singles and nine sets of doubles--she and Johanna Larsson took out the Williams sisters in the third round.

There's a bit of a twist in doubles. Bertens and Larsson advanced to the quarterfinals, only to be beaten by Caroline Garcia and--of course--Kiki Mladenovic. Garcia and Mladenovic have reached the semifinals, in which they will face off against the Russian team of Margarita Gasparyan and Svetlana Kuznetsova.

Kiki "The Beast" Bertens is a very hearty type, but even she might be a bit tired by now. She'll have to deal with that left leg, and she'll also have to deal with another matter--her opponent in the semifinals is top seed and defending championSerena Williams. (You can beat Serena, but she just pops up again in another venue--kind of like the Kikis.) Williams, whose only real weakness is her footwork, had somewhat of a footwork nightmare against Yulia Putintseva earlier today, but after dropping the first set, worked it out.

In the other semifinal, 2010 champion Sam Stosur will play Garbine Muguruza. Stosur is seeded 21st and Muguruza is seeded fourth. Each of these players has a tendency to "go away," but if neither takes a mental vacation, this could be a very fine match.


Anonymous said...

i have only been able to watch kiki bertens matches through highlights on the rg website, but i have been impressed. actually i have been impressed for a few years except when she fell off due to health issues. i do remember seeing the whole match between serena and bertens on the uso live streaming last year. at her presser or the post-match interview, serena said she was impressed with bertens talent and fight. so at least with bertens the situation of playing serena at a grand slam won't be a new experience. of course bertens will be playing this time in serena's territory-the late stages of a grand slam. that is entirely new for bertens. hope the injury doesn't play a part.
i am sure the above will be the one that nbc concentrates on (at 4 am, my time) but hope to see some of muguruza and stosur.

Diane said...

I hope the injury doesn't play a part, too, but Kiki has been playing a whole lot of tennis and may be vulnerable. Serena seems to be a bit vulnerable in the leg part, also. It's 6 am my time, which I don't like, but I can handle :)

Anonymous said...

well i haven't been able to watch the semis as they were on nbcsn not nbc. but i haven't been able to get back to sleep :)