However with many expecting Johanna to reach the semis that can bring a bit of pressure and despite the ranking Strycova can be a tricky opponent. Tennis can often be about match ups and some players can often fare better with particular styles.
Indeed. A clash of styles can throw out some quite strange games and results in a few sports.
Much being made about the press conference when Konta who was annoyed by one journalist and made her feelings on his line of questioning clear , though obviously it was a bit of a bad time for her. A bit frustrating she could not react in 2nd set though but will hopefully learn from it.
I can see why she was upset. I thought the tone of the journalist’s questioning was odd: it was near accusatory rather than sympathetic or even neutrally inquisitive. I've never heard something like that from a journalist immediately post-match in any sport.
Many have felt the courts are a bit slower this year which helps Simona.
Have there been many rain-breaks this year? I don't remember any - but I haven't been watching the whole thing. Just wondering if the weird weather we've had (hot and humid, then suddenly cold and still somewhat humid, and the occasional burst of rain) might have something to do with that perceived slowness.
Yes agree the journalist was disrespectful, obviously there is going to be some probing in a situation like this but the tone was very negative and players will not be feeling like analysing straight after a tough loss. press conferences are obligatory though on the odd occassion a player will take a fine instead.
The weather may have something to do with the conditions and we have had a right old mixure , no rain delays this year so far. The roof has been used a few times due to darkness. i've now edited my last post to include Andy/Serana doubles.
Men's Quarter Finals/Doubles Round Up
The results of the quarters today gave us the much anticipated match up between Federer and Nadal (which will be at the first at Wimbledon since that memorable 2008 final which finished in dim lighting before they had even one roof).
Roger won his 100 match at the Championships by getting past Kei Nishikori 4-6,6-1,6-4,6-4. The Japanese player caught the switz star off guard with precision on his returns and he also served confidently. When on his game he can take the ball early to pressurise his opponents and Federer took a little while to get into his stride. However the match was possibly effectively decided whrn Kei's level dropped in the second and he has opportunities for quicker points and more forecourt play where he excels. After the 6-1 drubbing Nishikori needed to respond and he was more competitive but Federer was still able to control matters and find the openings to attack a which meant there was little chance of an upset this time.
On paper Nadal had a tricky opponet is yank Sam Querrey who has caused upsets in recent years. The Amrican had only lost his service once in the championships but Nadal was able to read and atack at oportune times so the weapon was neutralised and gradually Querrey became uncertain. The first break occured when Sam ventured forward on the Nadal forehand but was not effective enough and his play was not strong enough to withstand Nadal's passing shots. Querrey did get one break back in the 1st close set but the spaniard was mixing it up and he was unable to penetrate the defences when he was broken again at 5 all. After that Querrey had little effect on Rafa's game as he secured his second consecutive Wimbledon semi 7-5,6-2 ,6-2. Nadal broke him seven times and was in aggressive mode, whilst Querrey could win only one of 7 break points.
The other semi will feature world no1 and defending champion Novak Djokovic against spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut . Early on Djokovic was involved in some long rallies and David Goffin was putting him under some pressure with heavy hiting and his accuracy , he broke to lead 4-3 but was unable to sustain it. In the next game but a double fault and missed forehand gave Novak a route back and he seized the initiative. He upped the pace on the serve, finding greater penetration on his groundstrokes and Goffin was pinned back on the defensive . Djokovic took complete control when the Belgian could not stay with him and with a bagel 2nd set the writing was on the wall, Goffin went through a tough time and could not recover. The Serb into another semi 6-4,6-0,6-2.
Bautista Agut reached his first ever slam semi with a 4 set win over Argentine Gaudio Pella. The spaniard hits the ball flat and tends to take the balll early to try and dominate rallies and also has an effective serve. Against Pella the plan was working to perfection in the first two sets even if it was relatively tight, howsever Gaudio managed to find an opening in the 3rd and having a good Wimbledon himself confidently took the 3rd with his shotmaking. However Roberto got the crucial break for 3-1 in the 4th and kept the momentum going with his powerful game. The 23rd seed in the semi 7-5,6-4,3-6,6-3. The spaniard has had some success against the world no1, beating him in theit two matches this year on hard courts. However in the semis of Wimbledon likely to be a much tougher challenge.
Bautista Augut had originally planned to be in Ibiza for a stag weekend , so Friday will now be a bit different- remains to be seen whether there will be a cause for celebration but been a happy tournament for him anyway!
So on to the Mixed Doubles, Andy/Serena facing the top seeds Soares/Melichar on Court 2- 3 slams for Bruno whilst Nicole won Mixed last year with peya (over Jamie Murray/Azarenka). Whilst it may seem a bit strange this was not on one of the show courts think the reason was due to Serena playing singles semi on Thursday and would likely rather not play in the evening.
Anyway the pairs were closely matched at the start with some good serving, returns and entertaining exchanges at the net. Both teams were up for this, at 3 all Melichar's serve came under pressure and Murena had a break point but were unable to convert when a Williams volley seemed to set it up. The following game the top seeds put Serena's delivery under presssure , broke for 5-3 and Bruno easily held to go a set up. In the second set both teams were strong on serve with few opportunities and a tiebreak looked a possibility, however at 4-5 Murena got their chance as Soares feeling some pressure completely misfired. . With three doubles Andy/Serena did not have to do much to take us to a 3rd.
At this point wondered how much of a blow that would be to the top seeds, however they quickly regrouped. Some great returning on Murray's serve put them ahead and their doubles pedigree showed as the set progressed. Serena was prone to overhitting at times and the team were not as consistent, a relatively poor game on Serena's serve effectively ended the contest as Soares/Melichar went up 4-0 and took the match 6-3,4-6,6-2. A bit of a disappointment but they had met a top partnership, at the momemt unclear if they will team up again at US Open but an enjoyable ride nonetheless.
We still have Brits in Mixed though, Evan Hoyt and Eden Silva are into the quarters having put out the 16th seeds Sharan/Duan in the 2nd Round 6-3,6-4 and Vliegen/Zheng 5-7,7-6, 6-4 in the last 16. Wil now face the 8th seeds Dodig/Chan.
A few vdeo clips here:
Women's Semi Finals/Doubles Round Up
General consensus was that Simona Halep v Elina Svitolina was the best match up and the early exchanges provided some entertainment. A few pulsating baseline rallies saw the players go head to toe with impressive court coverage, in the first game there were two 23 stroke rallies and the first two games took 20 minutes but Halep took both of them. Even though she lost the advantage in the next game as the set progressed Simona was stronger on serve but Elina's was easier to attack and Halep's flat heavy hitting and effective use of angles put Svitolina under pressure. Soon the 7th seed had the first set 6-1, even if that was possibly a bit misleading. Svitolina had more weapons at the start of the 2nd but Halep got the crucial break for 4-3 and win the two final games. Power, touch,accuracy and speed were supperior to her opponent's who was appearing in her first slam final and did not have her best performance.
In the second semi Serena Williams proved far too strong for Barbora Strycova who was also appearing in her first slam semi at the age of 33. It did not take Williams long to get a handle on her serve, whilst her own powerful delivery and baseline play allowed her to dominate. When Strycova missed the first serve she was put her severe pressure and went for too much on key points. She did not get much chance to use her variety effectively, was pinned to the back of the court too often and having to do a lot of running to stay in the points. Once Williams broke for 2-1 was more or less in complete control. At 5-1 the czech player was able to hit few good shots to get her to 40-0 on Serena's serve but the American simply upped the pace on her serve and offered Strycova little chance of staying in the set. The 2nd set followed a similar pattern, Strycova got a few more first serves initially and led 2-1 but once Serena's blasted more winners to break for 3-2 she would not relinquish control. She was through to her 11th Wimbledon final 6-1,6-2 in just under an hour. Williams had knee problems this season but seems healthy right now and big improvement in form from the early rounds, even if not a great test today. Whilst disappointing both semis were fairly short, we did see two players in form.
A straight sets win for Mahut/Roger Vasselin , though needed twoTie Breaks to get the better of Dodig/Polasek. The key to the win was 70% of first serves compared to their opponents 61 and saving all 5 Break points. Cabal/Farah's victory was built on strong serving, volleying and some blistering returns. 73% of first serves went in compared to Klassen/Venus' (finalists last year) 61 and created 18 break point opportunities , even if converting on 20% of them. Did have a blip in the 3rd when lost break and performed relatively poorly in breaker, however regrouped to advance 6-4, 7-6 6-7,6-4. Proceedings were halted dfor short time early in 4th when Klassen was hit by ball and had an ear bleed! However after patching was ok to continue.
The Last Brits in senior competition Hoyt/Silva went down to the 8th seeds Dodig/Chan 7-5,7-6(7-5) in Mixed Quarter. However Evan/Eden had their chances being up a break in each set and also 4-0 in the Breaker. However Eden's 2nd serve proved a bit of a weakness and the 8th seeds had more winners on the big points. The top seeds Soares/Melichar who put out Andy/Serena were surprisingly beaten 6-4,6-3 by unseeded pair Middelkoop/Yang at same stage.
Some entertaining moments from Wimbledon throughout the years
Men's Semi Finals-Look Back at 2008
With Federer /Nadal the big interest in the Men's semi here are some clips from their 2008 meeting which is often talked about.
Men's Semi Finals/Doubles Round Up
The semi more or less lived up to expectations, even if not quite the drama of the 2008 final but great entertainment and found it engrossing. Federer's attacking game paid dividends and he was strong on return, in the forecourt and matched Nadal in the rallies. Surprisingly Roger won around two thirds of long rallies (over 15 shots) where the Spaniard had been expected to excel.
In the first both served well with Federer just having the 1 break point and it was decided on a breaker,Nadal was twice a mini break up including a great lob. However from 3 all Federer took control with great returning and net play. He had a break point early in 2nd but nadal survived and put pressure on Roger’s delivery to move ahead 2-1-some ferocious hitting and the Switz star’s serve was not as effective with the Spaniard getting a look at more second serves. Nadal took the 2nd 6-1 and now it was imperative Federer stopped this momentum shift. Tightening his game he responded with break of his won for 3-1, survived break point with deft backhand and reaching game point coming through a 25 stroke rally. Third set was Federer’s 6-3 . Riding the wave Roger got the break in the 3rd and a deep forehand return gave him his first match point at 5-3 but Nadal forced him to serve it out. The last game was pretty dramatic, Nadal missed a break point with a forehand error and there was tension in Federer’s game with the serve not having quite the same fluency but on the 5th match point Nadal went long and Federer was into his 12th Wimbledon final. With 51 winners and just 27 unforced errors it was a commanding performance , Nadal had 32 winners with 25 unforced errors. Nadal later said his backhand was not as effective and a bit of lack of confidence spread to his forehand and also the serve.
First semi was somewhat overshadowed where Djokovic was the clear favourite to go through against Bautista Agut,even the Spaniard had won the two prior matches this season. Early proceedings went as expected with the Serb dominating with his serve, returns and baseline play, putting the Spaniard on his heels . He soon had the first set 6-2. However lost a bit of intensity with errors creeping into his game and with the Spaniard more relaxed he broke for 2-1 in 2nd .was becoming more aggressive and finishing more points at the net. He held on to take the 2nd 6-4,so the early stages of the 3rd would be important. Djokovic used the slice at the net in a bid to unsettle his opponent, and was able to attack for a 4-2 advantage. However the battle was not over on his serve he had to save 2 break points ,however hit the winning backand on the second in a 45 stroke rally! This was significant as Djokovic took the 3rd set 6-3, some long rallies in the 4th but Novak would not relinquish control and he took the 4th 6-2 to move to his 6th Wimbledon final (won 4 of previous 5, only loss to Andy Murray) Roberto had a great tournament but now on his way to Ibiza for Batchelor party!
The Women's Doubles final was decided and 3rd seeds Hsieh Su-Wei (tapei) and Barbora Strycova (cz) will become the world no1 team if they beat if they beat the 4th seeds Gabriela Dabrowski of Canada and Xu Yifan of China. Dabrowski and Xu put out 2nd seeded czechs Krejcikova and Siniakova 6-1,3-6,6-3. Su Wei and Strycova upset top seeds Babos and Mladenovic 7-5,6-4.
In the Mixed semis Lindstedt/ostapenko beat Middelkoop/Yang 7-5,6-2 to face 8th seeds Dodig/Chan who put out 5th seeds Koolhof/Pescke 7-5,6-4.
Women's Final/Doubles Round Up
So Serena williams was again going for her 24th slam to equal Margaret Court's record, whilst Simona Halep was hoping for her first Wimbledon and 2nd slam. Williams the clear favourite and Halep had only had one win in 10 previous meetings. Pundits were overwhelmingly favouring serena, however whilst I thought it would be difficult for Simona if the American star was on her A game gave her a shot if she was below par and there had been nerves in recent Slam finals. Mind you, I was not quite prepared on what was about to unfold.
Serena did not have the best start, two relatively poor errors in the opening game . Halep's movement was supeb and was forcing Williams to hit extra shots-a backhand error, whilst Simoma comes with a perfect backhand winner to go upa double break. it's the 5th game before Serena has a winner and she gets on the scoreboard when she gets all her first serves in but is still struggling somewhat. Serena comes up with a forehand winner down the line to earn break point but to no avail .At the end of the game great rally and Halep has an awesome forehand winner to go up 5-1, she soon takes the set 6-2.
So will Williams respond, she goes up 2-1 with a love service game but Halep does the same and clearly there has been no let up thus far. Simoma earns two break points with a backhand pass down down the line, followed by a short volley and a forehand pass. A rally now develops and Halep has amazing pick up on drop shot and Serena hits it long.
At 4-2 Serena recovers from 0-30 to game point,however can not convert and another error puts her in trouble and Halep captalises on a 2nd serve by hitting deep and subsequently coming up with a backhand down the line to give her the double break which williams can not recover from. Halep shows no sign of nerves and has great service game, holding to love to take the title.
Whilst fairly one sided, we seen a player firmly in the zone and Serena had few answers, in final analysis a bit disappointing Williams did put up more resistance and was not near her best level, however it was a masterclass from the Champion. Serena would often break down too early in the rallies but some apparent winners were chased down. Halep had 13 winners and just 3 unforced errors, Williams at the end had more winners 17 but 26 unforced . The lack of matches and the fact she had only had to face one top 20 player prior to the final may well have taken toll. Nonetheless full of admiration for Simona's performance, she really was inspired.
The Men's Doubles Final was a lengthy affair and went the distance in a battle between the Columbians Cabal and Farah and the French pair Roger-vasselin and Mahut. Mahut was involved in the longest every match with Isner in 2010 when he was on the losing side of a 70-68 final set (such a scenario now consigned to history).
Both pairs were fairly dominant on serve , however we seem some delightful volleying exchanges and sharp reactions were needed! The French got the opening set with Roger-Vasselin coming out on top in a net duel with Farah and riled a forehand at Cabal’s laces . However the Columbians won the second and third Breakers from behind and whilst a few service breaks in 4th as they connected with more service returns,Farah/Cabal had great chance at 4 all 15-40, the French team though and took the momentum to win the breaker and take us into a decider. This would need to be played under the roof. A break a piece in the 5th with both tems finding power and precision. However at 4-3 Mahut was targeted at the net for crucial break. The Columbians served it out, the winning point being a backhand volley from Farah. Mahut was actually hit three tiimes in the face, requiring attention on the first ocassion.
Men's Final/Doubles Round Up
Much anticipation for this final between the top two seeds, both showing impressive , Djokovic certainly the favourite but Federer had Played very well in the semi finals-question was could he maintain it.
Think few would have predicted the drama that unfolded. Will not detail all the sub plots but the main talking points. A few ups and downs but amazing tennis displayed. Federer tended to dictate play with his attacking game, whilst Djokovic's defence was often remarkable and would come up with killer blows when the opportunity arose. In the first set breaker Roger counter attacked from 1-3 to 5-3 but four backhand errors cost him the set. Djokovic though had a lapse at the start of the 2nd with some uncharacteristic errors whilst Federer was strong, a decisive 6-1 set for the former champion. Novak is often considered to be the best returner and in the 3rd started to connect more often but still could not find a breakthrough. Roger actually had set point but this was saved and the Switz star won a 26 stroke rally with a backhand down the line but we still in another breaker. A few unfortunate errors but Djokovic in the driving seat here as he took it 7-4. In the 4th Djokovic's intensity dropped just a bit and Federer took advantage stepping in on anything short. Novak got one break back but Federer won the set 6-4 with a forehand drive volley.
The deciding set was one of the most exciting ever known. Djokovic blazing on returns and with backhand doing the damage came up with a winning pass for 4-2 lead. However Federer used his backhand slice, pushing Djokovic around the court and a forehand error put them back on level terms. At 4 all Djokovic had a chance for double break point but a forehand hit the net cord and landed wide. An inriguing passage of play developed, at 7 all Djokovic's forehand broke down and Federer ripped a forehand down the line to give him chance to serve for the title. Roger reached 40-15 , however he pushed a forehand wide ,Djokovic had a forehand cross court winner and found a way to break back as a bit tension crept into Federer's play. Still at 11 all Federer had another break point but saved by an approach shot that Roger was unable to handle.
Soon we were into the new 12 all Tie Breaker, a volley error gave Djokovic the mini break which he would not relinquish. At 3-6 Federer still could have put Novak under pressure but on the defensive a mi***** mis hit (see if accepted ) put paid to his chances. In a tussle lasting 4 hours 57 minutes Djokovic had retained his title, for Federer it was a case of so near but so far. Incredible metal fortiitude from Novak to finally come through (he saved match points against Federer previously in Us Open semis) but a bitter blow for Roger,he would later say not sure how he lost it. Sue Barker said it was a final we will all remember, Roger quipped "I will try to forget it" Whilst giving it his all could not come up with enough winners in the crucial moments, even if overall it may seem like he was the better player. His stats were more impressive, 94 winners to 62 unforced errors whilst Djokovic had 54 winners and 52 unforced. Federer actually won 218 points to 204, however Tennis matches are decided by games sets and not total points.
The 8th seeds Ivan Dodig and Latisha Chan were firmly in control in the Mixed Doubles Final which had been moved to Court 1, their unseeded opponents Robert Lindstedt who is 42 and 22 year old partner Jelena Ostapenko were always on the back foot. The Croatian and Chinese Taipei partnership were far stronger on serveeee, returns and net play. Ostapenko in particular could not find the form of previous rounds which included an upset of the 4th seeds peers and Zhang. Whilst the Swede and Lativan partnership found better form in the 2nd and stayed with the favoured team till 3 all, once Jelena dropped her serve at 3-4 there was no way back. Lindstedt had previously lost 3 Men's Doubles Finals but won Australian in 2014 ,whilst Ostapenko won the French Open singles in 2017 (upsetting Halep) and reached the top 5 but ranking has slumped this season.
In the Women's Doubles it was a straight sets win for 3rd seeds Hsieh/Strtcova. winners by Hsieh led to an early lead for her team, breaking Dabrowski’s serve at love to go up 3-2. The player from Chinese Taipei continued to some beautiful shots, coming up multiple lob winners to hold her own serve and consolidate for a 4-2 advantage. Strycova returning then helped the duo achieve the double break, this time when Xu was serving, to go up 5-2. A Hsieh backhand winner and two aces put the czech/Taipei team firmly in control. The second set was a bit closer and a break a piece early on Dabrowski/Xu's serves were more vulnerable and soon a decisive 2nd break was achieved. The canadian/chinese Pair had break points at 4 all but could not advantage. . Serving for the match at 5-4, Hsieh sent a lob long on the first championship point, but an overhead error into the net and long return by Dabrowski gave Hsieh and Strycova the Wimbledon title.
In the wheelchair events success for Britain's Andy Lapthorne in Quad Doubles, though routed 6-0,6-2 by his partner in the singles final https://paralympics.org.uk/articles/lapthorne-makes-wimbledon-history-with-quad-doubles-triumph
Gordon Reid and Alfie Hewett could not win 4th Wimbledon title going down 6-4, 6-2 to Gerard and Olsson https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/tennis/48975021
In the invitational events success for some old favourites,Martina Navratilova along with Cara Black beat Marion Bartoli/Daniella Hantuchova 6-0, 3-6,10-8 to take title. Jonas Bjorkman and Todd Woodbridge got the better of Jacco Eltingh and Paul Haarhuis 4-6,6-3, 10-6 for the honours.