Wednesday’s Set Points #2, WTA Eastbourne 2017: Peng and Strycova beat seeds to reach R3

Set PointsAfter a brief break to catch up on photos, I headed back out to Court 5 to watch Timea Bacsinszky’s first singles match since her semi-final run at Roland Garros. The Swiss player was taking on Peng Shuai. While twice up a break in the first set, Bacsinszky couldn’t consolidate either time. Overall, it was an up-and-down set from both players and it was decided on the tiebreak – Peng having been down 2-6 and saving five set points.

I went for a wander and returned during the third set of Bacsinszky-Peng, which was of a much, much higher quality. In the end, it was just one break of serve with Peng making her move at 3-3 and coming out on top of one of the longer rallies of the match to set up the break point. Bacsinszky had a break back point in the next game but she couldn’t take it. There were a couple of stunning shots from both players – Bacsinszky hit a gorgeous slice winner and Peng hit one of the best lobs i’ve seen this week. The latter came after a drop shot, which wasn’t so good, but the lob was special!

Peng served out the match to love, making a tremendous recovery on a net cord on match point. I was sad for Timea as she was my favourite player left, but all the credit to Peng who played some, fine aggressive tennis at the end to win, 7-6(7) 2-6 6-4.

During the second set of Bacsinszky-Peng, I heard the matches being called featuring Caroline Wozniacki and Naomi Osaka, and Garbiñe Muguruza and Barbora Strycova – what a day! Wozniacki-Osaka was on court 2 which normally gets quite busy so I ended up watching the first set of Muguruza-Strycova where I managed to get a decent view. This was a bizarre one!

The first three games all went to deuce – Strycova won all three, even with Muguruza having a 40-0 lead in the two of them. The Spaniard immediately called Sam Sumyk, who I was standing near to. Sumyk and another member of her camp (i’m sorry I don’t know her name!) were constantly cheering support for Muguruza, practically after every point. I felt that Muguruza was passive for much of the set and didn’t seem to be hitting the ball with her usual intensity. Sumyk did say once to her “hit the ball, Garbiñe”. I thought the Spaniard looked a little distant and it was such a stark contrast to years ago when she always used to be every emotional on court.

This is taking nothing away from Strycova who stayed pretty level mentally and had a great intensity about her. I left the match after the first set and was surprised and not surprised, if that makes any sense, to see the final scoreline with Strycova winning, 6-1 6-0 in 61 minutes. It was a surreal experience to see a match-up like this on court 4!

After Bacsinszky-Peng, I moved back onto Court 3 to see Agnieszka Radwanska take on Lauren Davis. It was Aga’s first match since a disappointing one-sided defeat to Alizé Cornet in Paris. After four successive breaks, the set went with serve until Davis pulled out a superb return game to break to lead *5-4 and bring up an opportunity to serve for the set. I was impressed with Davis who hit a bundle of powerful winners. It then began to darken and spit with rain – it was barely even raining, but enough to call play. And then that was it for the day.

In other results on a wild Wednesday, Angelique Kerber, Johanna Konta, Kristina Mladenovic, Caroline Wozniacki and Elena Vesnina all reached the third round. Kerber needed three sets to get past Kristyna Pliskova, 7-5 in the decider, while Wozniacki overcame Naomi Osaka in straights, 6-2 7-6(5).

This has left an even more manic schedule for Thursday – to be honest, it makes me a little sad to see that so many great match-ups are up at the same time but still exciting. The winner of Radwanska-Davis could have to be play three singles matches which I don’t think i’ve ever seen before! Also, i’ve never seen “unknown” before on the OOP. It really has been the worst year for the ATP to return and even more so with less show courts.

Also, well spotted from Tyler below that Lauren could potentially play five matches!

Seven of the third round matches are set and the two i’m most excited about are Kristina Mladenovic vs. Svetlana Kuznetsova and Johanna Konta vs. Jelena Ostapenko. Who you got?

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6 thoughts on “Wednesday’s Set Points #2, WTA Eastbourne 2017: Peng and Strycova beat seeds to reach R3

  1. Ostapenko vs Konta should be a slam bam affair.
    Halep vs Pironkova. Halep was up 5-4,40-0 on her serve and lost the game. Halep was up 6-4 in the tie break and lost the first set. At match point 5-6, Pironkova was struggling the whole point and from behind the baseline hit a running backhand which just caught the edge of Halep’s baseline. Pironkova has a decent career grass court w/l record of 36/25. On UT search Pironkova.
    Is it possible that some top players could withdraw due to “injuries” just to get out of this mess.
    After watching the Ostapenko vs CSN full match video( in 4 parts, jerky video) on UT, I have much more appreciation for The Ost’s game. When she hits to the sideline, Ost, generally, gives herself a one foot margin for error, and with her power this makes for a very effective shot.

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    • I would probably pull out with injury, if I were wanting/expecting to have a good run in Wimbledon.
      A lot of the players are in questionable form though, either from mixed results as late or simply very little match play on grass so far.

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      • It’s been probably her most consistent year, despite the fact that she’s yet to have a real standout result in any one tournament. But she just doesn’t seem to be playing with any of the fire that she had in 2014 & 2015.

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