Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Age of Mugu is not quite upon us

I had this feeling that Garbine Muguruza was going to go old school on us and win Wimbledon. I was wrong. She went very Mugu on us instead, and crashed out in the second round, courtesy of a healthy Jana Cepelova. Cepelova isn't healthy that often, but when she is, she's pretty dangerous on any surface. Today, she took it to Muguruza, who offered little resistance--like the inconsistent Muguruza we've come to know.

The whole Muguruza thing reminds me too much of the whole Kvitova thing, but I'll cut Garbi some slack, since it's so soon after her French Open win.

I won't cut Karolina Pliskova any slack, however. Pliskova Czechs out at all the majors, and her second round loss at Wimbledon is painfully underscored by her victory in Nottingham and her runner-up placement in Eastbourne. I give all credit to Misaki Doi, who has turned into a very formidable opponent, but Pliskova just can't get it done at the majors.

Speaking of Czechs: Commentators assumed that Caroline Garcia would win her second round match against the unseeded Czech, Katerina Siniakova, which only further confirmed my belief that commentators don't watch tennis. Garcia and Siniakova went three sets, which was to be expected, and Siniakova won, which was not at all unexpected.

Eastbourne champion Dominika Cibulkova kept her grass court campaign alive by defeating Daria Gavrilova, and Genie Bouchard took out British hope, Johanna Konta. Heather Watson went out, too, defeated by Annika Beck in a truly strange scoreline: 3-6, 6-0, 12-10.

The event of the day, however, was the victory of Aga Radwanska over Ana Konjuh. I had a lot of things going on today and had to leave my television to do other things. I kept it on, though, on the match played between CoCo Vandeweghe and Timea Babos, and occasionally, I would take a break from my tasks and check on that match. I knew that Radwanska was playing, and though Konjuh is an impressive young player, I just assumed that Radwanska would sail through.

At one point, I bothered to check the live scores, and was stunned to see that Radwanska and Konjuh were at 6-all in a third set. I quickly dried my hair and and tuned into the match. I was watching at 7-all when Radwanska hit one of her delicious drop shots and Konjuh--rushing to get to it--stepped on the ball and turned her ankle.

Now, if you haven't followed the four-year saga of The Radwanska, or if you're just not a "believer," then that ankle roll looked like garden variety bad luck. But Todd has been warning us that The Rad is back, wreaking more havoc at Wimbledon like it did in 2013--all the signs were there. And that makes Konjuh's ankle roll something beyond bad luck--something scary and malevolent. And when you put it in the context of Muguruza's loss, well--check the Threat Level Chart.

Konjuh held three match points in that match. After taking an MTO, she proceeded to continue playing, but her pain and disability were obvious, and she lost the last set 7-9. It was painful to watch, too, and while it's very nice to see Radwanska advance to the third round, it's hard not to feel very bad for Konjuh, and for what might have been.


Anonymous said...

I was listening to radio wimbledon and was alerted to the radwanska match from the commentator, so i listened to the match i was on and watched the live score of radwanska. i saw konjuh win nottingham last year so i knew that she was capable of some inspired play. i just hated the possibility of seeing another high seed go out.
there was a "to-do" supposedly on twitter and other places regarding putting venus on court 18 today. i see that she will be on court 1 tomorrow. another thing i don't understand is why kvitova has not been on center court or court 1. a 2 time champion. the closest she will be is on court 2 tomorrow. nishikori was on center with a lower ranked player and he has not ever been beyond the 4th rd. i know there probably have been scheduling problems with the rain but nishikori vs venus today?-a no brainer.

Diane said...

The reason for those things is, quite simply, that Wimbledon has almost total disregard for women. This happens every year, and will happen every year that Wimbledon exists. I'm always so glad when it's over.

Anonymous said...

we must have just crossed in the "mail". i was writing as yours came on. venus was gracious about the situation as she did not care about bumping or being bumped by other women. she just wondered whether men were put in the same position. i like what she said especially about the culture: "I'm sure that the WTA supervisors have done their best to try to make the schedule equal. But also the All England Club has to have a culture where they want to have equality, as well. They need to want to pursue that."

Diane said...

I don't know what the tour will do when Venus retires (and Sania, for that matter). Someone will have to actually speak out on behalf of women amd not just say "nice," empty things about equality. Good luck with that.

Todd.Spiker said...

She may not be of as high a stature, but at least there is Nicole Gibbs, who seems to have taken it upon herself this year to speak her mind.

Diane said...

Yes! Gibbsy is the biggest breath of fresh air to blow in since Sania. If she were to gain in stature, she'd be a worthy successor to Venus. Thanks for reminding me!