Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Wimbledon QF: Is Halep Lisicki's next victim?

Upset of the previous day:

Angelique Kerber def. Maria Sharapova 7-6(4) 4-6 6-4

Sharapova really collapsed in this match, and one has to wonder if it had to do with her being the new favourite to take the title. Cruising through the first 3 rounds, Maria failed to find the court in most of her rallies, and just couldn't hit through Kerber. Credit has to be given to the relentless German, as some of her gets were amazing. This loss marks yet another early exit for the Russian in Wimbledon, as she failed to reach the last 8 since 2011. Pretty strange given that her first slam title was here 10 years ago.

Match focus:

Simona Halep vs. Sabine Lisicki

 Will Wimbledon Sabine claim another big scalp? Lisicki is embroiled in a controversial medical timeout in her 4th round, where she stopped play in the third set down a break point. Critics have pointed out that she should have finished the game and asked for the trainer instead of disrupting her opponent's rhythm. Well, it worked this time as Shvedova is so mentally weak, that the slightest distractions can derail her. It did appear that Sabine's serve has been affected though, so Simona will be happy to put her out of her misery here. I don't see Lisicki recovering 100% in just 24 hours; so unless a miracle happens, Simona's got this in the bag.

Pick: Halep in 2 sets

Eugenie Bouchard vs. Angelique Kerber

Kerber just had a marathon struggle with Sharapova, and it will be tough against Bouchard, who had a full's day rest before this match. These 2 met in Paris, where Bouchard dispatched Kerber easily. Looking at the signs, it all points to yet another Bouchard victory. Eugenie will be looking at 3 consecutive semi-finals finishes in Grands Slams should she win this. The Canadian's flat strokes and aggressive game suits grass perfectly, and Kerber has to be tired after yesterday's effort.

Pick: Bouchard in 3 sets


Serena Williams's bizzare illness

Serena Williams withdrew from her doubles match in one of the most bizarre showings on a tennis court. The American can barely catch balls from ballboys, and failed to put any kind of serve into the court during her service. The official reason is that she's suffering from a viral illness, but why play when you are obviously sick? I guess Serena didn't want to disappoint Venus, but she was really in no condition to play at all. Besides, her coach Patrick Mouratouglou claims to have not spoken to Serena since her loss to Cornet. It is extremely puzzling that the coach and player didn't communicate after a loss to analyze what went wrong. Maybe Serena was too distraught with her loss that she shut herself out for a couple of days, but everything is just very mystifying now. One point to note is that how caring Venus was during Serena's distress. She held Serena's hand, tried to motivate her, and carried her bag for Serena as they made their way out. Venus really has my respect as a tennis player, and as a human being. What do you think happened to Serena? Will she come back stronger?

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