Tuesday’s Set Points, WTA Miami Day 8: A Doha final rematch set for the semis, Azarenka’s return

Set PointsThe first pair of quarter-finals was played at the Miami Open on Tuesday. Karolina Pliskova produced a clutch performance to gain revenge on Mirjana Lucic-Baroni who had won their previous match at the same stage of the Australian Open. From a break down in both sets and in a closer match than the scoreline suggested, Pliskova beat Lucic-Baroni, 6-3 6-4. The first set wasn’t a particularly successful one for second serves…

The match was effectively decided on an outrageous pick-up from Pliskova down break point serving at *4-4 in the second set.

Pliskova’s press conference was shared on the WTA Facebook page.

In the second quarter-final, another one where the scoreline didn’t tell the whole story, Caroline Wozniacki beat Lucie Safarova, 6-4 6-3. I’m halfway through watching the match back. Nothing flashy about the first set but it was high quality, decent tennis from both. Safarova had chances for the double break lead but Wozniacki recovered with some brilliant and smart baseline play, notably hitting to Safarova’s backhand with height.

Tennis moves along so quickly but I just wanted to remember Lucie’s first top ten win since 2015 in the fourth round over Dominika Cibulkova. A great week and very encouraging news heading into the clay court season where she’s done well before. The seeding for the French Open is looking promising!

And also wrapping up last 16 action, there was some superb tennis in the Venus-Sveta match.

In the doubles, Sania Mirza and Barbora Strycova were the first pair into the semi-finals and are seeking their first title together in 2017.

Apologies for no post yesterday – I had a work social so wasn’t able to watch any of the tennis. I’m mostly caught up now and ready for the second batch of quarter-finals on Wednesday. A preview is up on the blog for Halep vs. Konta.

The night match on Wednesday will see the world number one, Angelique Kerber face Venus Williams. I love this match-up and the pair have fought out some great matches against each other in the past. Kerber’s having a better week and has always thrived in this match-up, winning four of their five last encounters. Venus though, is having a terrific year and i’m running out of superlatives to describe her battling on court this year. She was excellent against Kuznetsova.

I do like this match-up for Kerber but going against Venus feels chancy. Who you got?

At the ITF tournament in Croissy-Beaubourg, Belinda Bencic won her first round match against good friend, Antonia Lottner, 6-3 6-2. There were also wins for Magdalena Rybarikova and Laura Robson, the former playing her second tournament back following wrist surgery.

Belinda won in the 1st round of Croissy Beaubourg against Antonia Lottner. Pics by me 😊

A post shared by Fan Of Belinda Bencic (@fanofbelindabencic) on

 

Great news for the tour – Victoria Azarenka is planning a return in the US Open series.

Congrats, Jarka!

And finally, I was interested to see Elina Svitolina post some pictures (retrospective, I assume?) from the Isle of Wight in the UK… where I was born and grew up 🙂

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7 thoughts on “Tuesday’s Set Points, WTA Miami Day 8: A Doha final rematch set for the semis, Azarenka’s return

  1. Venus was ruthless and looked super fresh against Kuznetsova. But Kerber becomes a different player against big hitters, so I fancy her to win (possibly in 3?)

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  2. At the risk of again sounding too critical – strange how Kuznetsova was silent when hitting the ball in most of the match, but in the tie-break was yelling. Strange that, eh? Even though she was taking equally strenuous shots a moment before.

    And Venus Williams is usually consistently loud. But in this match managed to be silent in one rally, then loud in the next rally, or in the next game, then silent again… I like variety in tennis, but not this sort…

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    • I just see it as putting an extra 20% into their shots. Kuznetsova, Serena and Venus are all pretty well known for grunting louder during more physical or important points.
      I’d much rather see a player grunt when really going for it than a player who does it all the time.

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      • With respect, I see it very differently. One final example: I’m just watching Halep play Konta. When there are key games or key points, Halep’s shout appears. It goes on for ages after the hitting the ball. If she hits it into the net, it stop – instantly.

        I will say no more, well only this: it isn’t fair, in my view.

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      • It happens on the mens side too. It’s not always as noticeable due to the differences in pitch between men and women, but Nadal, Murray and Djokovic are all part time grunters. There’s really no way of policing it other than stopping grunting completely, but it’s not a black and white matter because sometimes sounds are made naturally when playing.
        What I will say is that personally I don’t find it distracting playing against somebody who grunts. And I can’t really see how anybody would, if I’m honest.

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  3. Venus is playing much better than Kerber. I give Venus a 60 percent chance to win this match. I hope she can cut down on her unforced errors cause when starts making them it’s down hill for her. Baroni double faults and going for to much cause her to post that game.

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