Wimbledon: Report and Photos from Magic Monday!

I did not get any tickets for Wimbledon this year in the public ballot, but was very thankful that my brother got tickets and decided to take me! He got tickets for Magic Monday on No.1 Court, which is one of the hottest tickets in the whole two weeks of Wimbledon as both the mens and womens draws come together for the round of 16.  Unfortunately, the weather forecast was completely dire and indicated that it would rain all day… thankfully they were wrong and although we had many disruptions, we got to see some great tennis!

We arrived at Wimbledon train station slightly later than usual due to the forecast, but it was surprisingly dry! For the first time, we decided to walk to the grounds because of the long queue for buses… within about 15 minutes, we were in the grounds and realised what a schoolboy error we had made for years as it is so much quicker to walk.  As we got through security, I immediately spotted Maria Sharapova and as you do, decided to follow her! She was headed to court 11 where she was practising with her coach Thomas Hogstedt and hitting partner, Vladimir Voltchkov.  The most interesting thing to take from the session was that Sharapova was barely making any noise and that there was no grunting/shrieking whatsoever…

Maria Sharapova with Thomas Hogstedt watching on
I think she was looking at me πŸ˜‰
 
Maria Sharapova

As the rain continued to stay away, we headed up to the Aorangi practice courts where the queues were considerably shorter than those during the first week of the tournament.  We saw so many different players practising! Angelique Kerber was laughing whilst hitting with her gigantic coach, Torben Beltz. Maria Kirilenko was hitting with Agnieszka Radwanska, and doubles partners Marina Erakovic and Tamarine Tanasugarn were next to them.   

Angelique Kerber

Agnieszka Radwanska and Maria Kirilenko practising together


Maria Kirilenko and her boyfriend

Marin Cilic and Philipp Kohlschreiber also arrived, meanwhile we spotted Peng Shuai, Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina, and then Andy Murray followed by David Ferrer on other practice courts too.  Two things I noted… firstly how well Kerber was hitting the ball! All her returns were nailed with so much power and depth.  Kohlschreiber too was hitting the ball beautifully and I love his one-handed backhand!

Philipp Kohlschreiber
The backhand is a beauty
David Ferrer

As 1pm approached, we headed over to our seats on No.1 Court ready for our first match, which was a repeat of last year’s semi-final between Maria Sharapova and Sabine Lisicki.  The conditions were tough with swirling winds and overcast skies threatening to break at any moment.  Sharapova won the toss and wisely elected to receive; Lisicki served up three double faults in the opening game to lose serve, but was not to be undeterred as she broke straight back.

Sabine Lisicki in the warm-up
Maria Sharapova’s first service game


It really was an excellent match with some titanic baseline rallies.  Lisicki played a stunning match and really went for her shots.  After watching their last match in Australia, which went to three sets, Lisicki became passive in the decider which was ultimately her undoing.  On Monday, she had a clear gameplan and executed it beautifully to take a 5-3 first set lead.  She could not serve it out, but that was due to Sharapova who raised her level as a champion always does.  

Sabine on the run
Lisicki


Sharapova looked heading to level at 5-5, but a costly double fault changed the face of the match.  Lisicki suddenly believed again that she could win the set and raised her intensity to claim it with some fantastic returns.  In fact all day, Lisicki returned immaculately well, which put immense pressure on the Sharapova second serve.  Sharapova sounded in pain throughout most of the match and was particularly loud. I think that was one of the reasons why the crowd seemed slightly more in favour of Sabine, and also because us Brits love an underdog!

Maria

Not a good day at the office for Sharapova

We then had our first rain delay as Lisicki started complaining that the courts were slippery.  It was that really annoying type of rain, which was barely a drizzle, but enough to stop play.  The players went off, but after having a wander around the other courts we realised play was still going on most of the other courts! They also did not cover the courts, which I have never seen before! Eventually after about a 30 minute wait, the players came back out to continue the match.

My best action shot of Sharapova
Sabine wins the first set
Lisicki came out on fire and quickly gained the upper hand in the second set.  Sharapova was not playing badly, but was simply outplayed by the German who played her best match since her heroics at last years Wimbledon.  As Lisicki served for the match, she encountered some sticky moments, but wrapped up the victory on a truly gutsy second serve ace. 

Sabine wins 6-4 6-3!
Just missed the handshake!

Lisicki was delighted as you can imagine and I love how she pours her emotions out onto court, which is one of the reasons she is so powerfully embraced by the crowd.  Credit to Sharapova who waited for Lisicki at the end of the match and even signed autographs, which was a very classy thing to do.  It was a high quality womens match and I was disappointed it did not last longer because it could have turned into a truly great match.

The biggest win of Lisicki’s career

She was quite happy πŸ˜‰

Laughter/tears? both i think!

Both signing autographs… classy

Andy Murray and Marin Cilic were out incredibly quickly to contest our second match.  The schedule had been incredibly kind to us because many expected Murray to be on Centre Court.  It appeared the organisers felt they had to avoid favouritism being given to Murray, but they should have put him on No.1 Court for one of his first two rounds, not a 4th round match.

Murray vs. Cilic

Andy Murray

Murray gesturing to his box after losing the first game

Murray made a pretty poor start as Cilic won the first two games.  Murray was already negatively gesturing to his box! Cilic though handed the break straight back in what was a pretty dire first set with both playing poorly.  There were some guys who tried to get a mexican wave going with mixed results! The atmosphere was great and although the quality of tennis wasn’t great you could tell the crowd appreciated the opportunity to cheer on Murray.

Marin Cilic

Murray on the run
Cilic
Murray

Judy’s delight at Murray winning the first set

First set in the bag!

The match was improving at the start of the second set, but the players were called off with the heaviest rain of the day.  We knew that was probably it for the day, but were very content at what we had seen.  We left at 6pm when although the Voice of Wimbledon said they would endeavour to get play started if there were any dry spells, it was likely to be the end of play.  It was another great day at Wimbledon and I will never get bored of coming to this place.  I am lucky enough to have got tickets for the Olympics on the Sunday for No.1 Court again so I have my fingers and toes crossed that the weather will be better then πŸ™‚ 

6 thoughts on “Wimbledon: Report and Photos from Magic Monday!

  1. Wow you're so lucky to have such an amazing brother that will take you to wimbledon!Interesting that Radwanska and Kirilenko practised together and then played each other in the next round.Great report of the day and great photos

    Like

  2. Sharapova only grunts when she feels like she needs to in a game, I have seen 1 entire game when she didn't make a noise and she won. Its quite painful watching her play Azarenka

    Like

  3. Well Moo_1989's sister is very upset that she did not get invited! πŸ˜‰ No, in all seriousness great blog Moo! I had great fun watching on tv.

    Like

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