My second trip to Wimbledon was on the first Thursday and I went once again with my brother, David. We had tickets for Number one court… thanks Gran :))) I wasn’t feeling quite as excited the night before because I had looked at the weather forecast, which was not looking particularly promising! I was also disappointed that we had missed out on the match including one of my favourite players, Sabine Lisicki against the French Open Champion, Li Na. Despite my disappointment, credit to the schedulers for putting it on Centre Court because it was the best match-up for that day.
Serena complained about her match being put out on Court two but frankly I feel she needs to get a grip! For me, it showed an air of arrogance because the schedulers got it spot on by putting the two best matches on paper on the two top courts. Although we had missed out on Lisicki against Li, we had been scheduled the match between Laura Robson and Maria Sharapova. Unfortunately because the match was scheduled third up on No 1 court, it looked unlikely they would take to the court because of the predicted weather forecast! I had my fingers crossed though!!!
We arrived at Wimbledon just before 11am by taking advantage of a shorter queue for the bus! We immediately noticed how much emptier the grounds were compared to Tuesday. We weren’t sure if this was because we were into the 2nd round matches or whether people had been put off by the weather forecast. I managed to find out on the BBC live text that the nets were being put up Court 11. We headed straight over there to find one of my favourite players, Sabine Lisicki practising with Sam Stosur!
Sabine Lisicki practising on Court 11
Sam Stosur in action
There weren’t many people watching so we managed to find two seats and watch their full practice. I was really impressed with both players but in particular, Sabine who was striking the ball with such force and precision. You could see that this was a player who was playing with such confidence following her victory in Birmingham. Lisicki and Stosur are playing the Women’s Doubles together and looked totally at ease as they smiled and laughed their way through a really enjoyable practice. Lisicki’s dad told them during the practice that they were playing like Doubles Champions… I would totally agree!
Lisicki was hitting the ball beautifully in practice
As I said to David how well Stosur was volleying she then decided to miss every volley under the sun!
As they wrapped up their practice session to a few drops of rain, I decided to dash to the other side to try and get Sabine’s autograph! She was surrounded by several guards but I managed to get her autograph and wished her luck for today’s match. She gave me an awkward smile as she raced off back to the locker rooms… it’s safe to say I was very excited to have got my first ever autograph at Wimbledon!
Stosur and Lisicki were all smiles during their practice
We had studied the Order of Play the night before and decided the most exciting match on the outside courts was between Nadia Petrova and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. It was on Court 17, which is rather tucked away from the main walkways between Centre Court and Number one Court . Thankfully, there were a number of seats available on the court with about fifteen minutes until play began. We also had a prime view of a scoreboard on the side of Centre Court so we could keep up to date with all the scores!
Pavlyuchenkova and Petrova in action on Court 17
Nadia Petrova was kept waiting by Pavlyuchenkova who came out ten minutes late to the court. From the outset, Pavlyuchenkova did not look at the races. Petrova raced into an early lead as Pavlyuchenkova struggled to keep balls in the court and could get nowhere near Petrova’s menacing first serve. There were a number of long, drawn-out games that went to deuce but Petrova had the edge in the first set and won all the big points to claim the set, 6-3.
Petrova’s first serve was too hot to handle for Pavlyuchenkova
Pavlyuchenkova started the match poorly
Pavlyuchenkova raced to 40-0 on her serve at the beginning of set 2; however she produced a number of poor errors and sloppily gave away her serve. She slammed her racket in frustration as the grey skies piled in overhead. To Pavlyuchenkova’s credit, she dug deep on Petrova’s service game at 2-1 and 30-30 as she produced two stunning passing shots to break the Petrova serve for the first time. We were cheering her on throughout the match and I think she noticed us!!
Pavlyuchenkova came alive at 2-1 down in the 2nd set
Unfortunately, Pavlyuchenkova couldn’t use the momentum of that great game at 2-1 down and ended up losing her service game at 4-3. It was all Nadia from there as she held and then put extreme pressure on Pavlyuchenkova’s next service game at 6-3 5-3. She saved two match points but it was just delaying the inevitable as Petrova wrapped up a routine 6-3 6-3 victory. I was very disappointed that Pavlyuchenkova lost, but to be honest she did not deserve to win based on this performance. There was one frustrating issue with watching on Court 17 and that was that people kept entering and leaving the court during the points. I wish they would have security for this court!
Petrova was too solid for an error flowing Pavlyuchenkova and wrapped up a straight sets win
After the completion of the match, we headed straight to our seats on Number One Court to catch some of Novak Djokovic who was playing against the talented South African, Kevin Anderson. We missed the first set, which Djokovic won 6-3 but were in our seats ready for the start of the 2nd set! Surprisingly, the rain hadn’t arrived and there was glorious sunshine 🙂
NEXT – DJOKOVIC IN ACTION!