Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wimbledon Report: Ladies' Quarterfinals

With most of the big names out of the tournament already, the women still put on quite a show today. And with the rain wreaking havoc throughout the day, it was the only show in town.

After upsetting Serena Williams the day before, many expected former finalist Marion Bartoli to use her experience to overwhelm Sabine Lisicki. But it was the 2009 quarterfinalist who took command early under the closed roof of Centre Court. Even after losing the second set where she had opportunities to serve out the match, she just outplayed Bartoli to reach her first ever Grand Slam semifinal. She'll meet Maria Sharapova who has impressively not dropped a set all tournament including her dominant win against Dominika Cibulkova today. This is Sharapova's first Wimbledon SF appearance since 2006.

Petra Kvitova
battled with Tsvetana Pironkova in one of the very few matches that were held and completed on one of the outside courts. Like Lisicki, Kvitova won the first set and then lost the second in a tie-break only to assert her dominance in the final set. This is Pironkova's 2nd straight Wimbledon SF appearance. She is set to meet first-time Wimbledon semifinalist Victoria Azarenka whose match with Tamira Paszek was moved from Court 1 to Centre Court due to rain. Paszek had chances, but ultimately Azarenka prevailed in straights. Their match is the latest woman's match to be played in Wimbledon.

Semifinal Preview: Even with all of the crazy upsets, I still managed to predict 3 of the 4 semifinalist before the tournament began! These four big-hitting blondes though will need to step it up for a chance to win the trophy. Lisicki is quite crafty and if the serve, which has been working quite well, abandons Sharapova, all bets are off. The Azarenka-Kvitova match is a complete toss-up. Rankings say Sharapova-Azarenka for the finals, but I'm rooting for Kvitova-Lisicki if only to salvage my hearing.

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