Tuesday, October 6, 2020


What a pleasure it is to use that hashtag again, and to have it infused with so much meaning. Yesterday, Petra Kvivova reached the quarterfinals of the French Open for the first time since 2012. And when she won her match against Zhang Shuai, there on Court Philippe Chatrier--where she made her triumphant (and earlier than expected) return in 2017--she was clearly overcome with emotion. 

After that return (in which she won her opening round match), I nominated Kvitova for the Wilma Rudolph Courage Award. She didn't win, which disappointed me (though the winners, I should add, were quite worthy, in my opinion), but she was recognized by her peers, and by the tennis world, for her courage.

Also advancing to the quarterfinals today was Laura Siegemund, whose career has been riddled with serious injury. The German is an outstanding clay competitor, and it's nice to see her finally reach the quarterfinals. She defeated Paula Badosa 7-5, 6-2.

Sofia Kenin stuck to her own playbook in her round of 16 match against France's Fiona Ferro (what a great name!). Ferro easily won the first set, 6-2, and the crowd--of course--was ecstatic. But in true Kenin form, the Australian Open champion approached the second set as if nothing amiss had occurred, and won it 6-2. Totally in control, she then won the third set 6-1. 

The unfortunate occurrence was that Kenin's coach (who is her father) was constantly gesturing and speaking in Russian, and the chair umpire gave Kenin several warnings about illegal coaching. This is not the first time that Kenin's father has inappropriately interfered with his daughter's performance, and it needs to stop; Kenin needs to put a stop to it. Possessed of a steely nature and an enviable ability to forget the last point, the U.S. star doesn't need this kind of distraction, and it reflects poorly on her.

Ons Jabeur and Danielle Collins tried to play their match, but rain interfered, so they played it today. Collins dominated for a set and a half, going up 6-4, 3-0, but Jabeur staged a comeback and won the second set. The third set was tense, and Jabeur--serving at 4-5, committed her first double fault at 30-all. Collins took advantage, broke her, and emerged the winner, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4. There was probably little expectation for the U.S. player to do this well on clay; perhaps her brand new coaching partnership with Nico Almagro is already paying off.

Here is the quarterfinal singles draw:

Iga Swiatek vs. Martina Trevisan
Elina Svitolina (3) vs. def. Nadia Podoroska
Danielle Collins vs. Sofia Kenin (4)
Petra Kvitova (7) vs. Laura Siegemund

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