Tuesday’s Set Points, Wimbledon 2017 Day 8: QF round-up, Pliskova #1 & a rant about scheduling

Set PointsThe women’s Wimbledon semi-finals are all set! Garbiñe Muguruza, Venus Williams, Johanna Konta and Magdalena Rybarikova won their quarter-finals on a rain-affected Tuesday.

First into the quarters was Muguruza who produced a clutch display to beat the rain and defeat Svetlana Kuznetsova, 6-3 6-4 on Court No.1. Muguruza’s press conference is linked below from the Wimbledon YouTube page where she discussed handling her emotions on court.

In another clutch display of serving, Venus Williams beat the French Open champion, Jelena Ostapenko, 6-3 7-5, under the roof of Centre Court.

Venus spoke about her experience going into the semi-finals of Wimbledon.

Johanna Konta beat Simona Halep, 6-7(2) 7-6(5) 6-4 in two hours and 38 minutes of gripping tennis on Centre Court. I’ll link some match highlights when and if I see them. Konta’s press conference is linked below.

By virtue of the result, it is now confirmed that Karolina Pliskova will be the world number one next week.

Congrats to Karolina!

I will definitely remember today! Although right now I am not celebrating a victory on the court, I have become the world number one. And this really means a lot to me. Actually, I can’t even realize what I have achieved. I worked very hard, as did all the people around me. Thanks to everyone who believed in me, as well as to those who doubted. Being the world number one is also a big responsibility for me. I’m aware of that and I can promise I will do my best not to disappoint in this role. Hopefully I’ll succeed. Once again I’d like to thank my family, my team of the closest people around me. Without you I wouldn’t be where I am. ❤️🤗 Dnešní den si budu rozhodně pamatovat. Přestože zrovna nejásám po vyhraném zápase přímo na kurtu, stala jsem se světovou jedničkou. A to pro mě znamená strašně moc. Vlastně si ani pořádně nedokážu uvědomit, čeho jsem dosáhla. Pracovala jsem opravdu tvrdě, stejně jako všichni lidé kolem mě. Díky všem, kteří mi věřili a vlastně i těm, kteří o mně pochybovali. Být světovou jedničkou je pro mě zároveň velká zodpovědnost, to si uvědomuju a můžu slíbit, že udělám maximum abych v téhle roli nezklamala. Snad se to povede. Ještě jednou děkuji rodině, mému týmu a nejbližším kolem mě. Bez vás bych nebyla tam, kde jsem.

A post shared by Karolina Pliskova (@karolinapliskova) on

 

In the final match of the day, Rybarikova maintained her 100% record against CoCo Vandeweghe with a 6-3 6-3 win, finishing up on Centre Court. Rybarikova’s speechlessness in her post-match interview was endearing to watch. Well done, Magda!

A selection of the best shots from Tuesday – Ostapenko’s forehand winner was insane!

The issues of scheduling were once again raised after Manic Monday. There are three articles linked below that are well worth a read in relation to this. The articles below articulate the issue better than I ever could but I felt compelled to go on a mini-rant with my jumbled thoughts…

Let me just say that for the record, I am once again disillusioned by the coverage of women’s tennis at Wimbledon, both in the scheduling and media. The schedule for Manic Monday was always going to be an impossible task for the organisers – in the article linked below by Reem Abulleil for Sport 360 and HERE, the All England Club Chief Executive, Richard Lewis, said the following in defence of the Manic Monday schedule.

 “It’s not about men and women, it’s about what are the marquee matches.”

I take issue with the use of the word “marquee” in some of the men’s matches that were scheduled on Centre Court and No.1 Court. Djokovic was playing the world number 51, Adrian Mannarino. This match was originally scheduled on No.1 Court and ended up on Centre Court on Tuesday. Andy Murray played Benoit Paire, who is ranked at #46 in the world, on Centre Court. I get that Murray is a Brit and people want to see him, and for the record I think Murray is great. He’s one of the few players who continually sticks up for the women. Still, Murray has played every one of his matches, along with Federer, on Centre Court.

Placing Kerber vs. Muguruza on Court No.2, a match between the last two Wimbledon finalists and two Slam champions who took home 75% of Slam silverware in 2016, is still beyond me. Add to that, the Kerber-Muguruza match was an absolute cracker. In the lone women’s match on Centre, Venus Williams vs. Ana Konjuh was a surprising choice considering the slate of 4th round matches. The response from Richard Lewis, which was documented in the article by Caroline Davies for the Guardian linked below and HERE, was interesting…

It was the unanimous view that Venus deserved to be on centre, in respect of what she has done in her career

I’d be able to take this seriously if they hadn’t shown a complete lack of respect to Venus throughout the tournament up the 4th round. I was very disappointed that her 3rd round match against Naomi Osaka wasn’t placed on Centre. Oh and let’s not forget that Venus’s second round match against Maria Sakkari at Wimbledon in 2016 was placed on Court 18. COURT 18.

In my opinion, it will just be a continual endless cycle of men’s matches being given priority on the top show courts over the women’s because that’s “what the people want”. This has been driven by the media coverage with the focus on the men and the women treated pretty much as a sideshow. It’s just an endless cycle. Without addressing this, being bold, and giving the women more airtime on the top two show courts, it will just keep going round and round and round like this.

Going deeper, even at my tennis club, I see how women’s tennis is barely mentioned and in a few cases, has been completely ripped on. I saw that a newspaper (I don’t even want to say the name) had an article earlier in the week about the Azarenka-Watson match. This was a fantastic match, yet their spin on it was the sodding grunting. I shouldn’t even been mentioning it because it just gives attention to the ridiculousness but ARGGGH it is so frustrating!

The excellent article linked below by Hannah Wilks mentions the Wimbledon 2016 Review Programme, which raised a few eyebrows for me. I stopped watching in the end because they just completely breezed over the women’s tournament, showing barely any points from the matches, before proceeding to show us extended highlights of all of Federer’s matches.

It is my feeling that the Djokovic-Mannarino match was held over till Tuesday for a reason – to add a men’s match to women’s quarter-finals day. I don’t buy this malarkey about safety concerns. The women’s matches have more than held their own on Centre Court this year and in most cases, have actually been the highlight with a quartet of intriguing and high quality three setters between Wednesday and Saturday. Konta-Halep was fantastic today too.

And with that my mini-rant has become a long one. You get that i’m bitter 😂😂😂. As ever, I will continue to champion the WTA here on this blog, and talk and showcase the actual tennis because I think it is pretty damn great.

The women’s doubles quarter-finals are all set and will be played on Wednesday…

CiCi Bellis and Marketa Vondrousova vs. (9) Chan Hao-Ching and Monica Niculescu

Svetlana Kuznetsova and Kristina Mladenovic vs. Makoto Ninomiya and Renata Voracova

(12) Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Kveta Peschke vs. (3) Chan Yung-Jan and Martina Hingis

(8) Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua vs. (2) Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina

After watching Chan and Hingis at Eastbourne, they’d be my tip for the title. Personally, i’d loveee to see Barty and Dellacqua go all the way. The top half is wide open and Bellis and Vondrousova are an exciting duo.

Loveeeee this from Lucie and Beth 💙💙💙

 

Sadly, today was the last day of my three-week tennis holiday. It’s been an absolute whirlwind and so great to have had the chance to focus on tennis and the blog. I hope you’ve enjoyed all the posts. I’ll try and get a final preview and a Match Points tournament round-up on the site although I will be juggling again with work and I am absolutely shattered. After that i’ll be taking a couple of weeks off… I need a break from tennis!

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24 thoughts on “Tuesday’s Set Points, Wimbledon 2017 Day 8: QF round-up, Pliskova #1 & a rant about scheduling

  1. Just wanted to say thank you James for all your blog posts and updates from the last 3 weeks. I went t Eastbourne for the first time this year thanks to my growing interest in the WTA which has been fed by your enthusiasm. Keep it up, I’ll always be reading!

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  2. I agree with everything you say James in your rant. I much prefer to watch Women’s tennis to the Men’s and I do not get the bias in the media etc towards the male game. Thanks for all the write ups and details on Wimbledon.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I been following your blog as a ghost for years but today I do a first time post. Great job maintaining your site all these years with quality content. Yes tennis always favorite men over women. Even Djokovic himself said that men should get paid more his words. I somewhat agree but it’s not based on gender. I agree that men’s tennis in majors should be favored slightly because mens tennis has to play an extra round best out of 5. That’s the only reason. Other wise the entertainment value is just as high.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks so much for all your coverage and insight. Completely agree with your rant. Wimbledon continues to devalue women’s tennis with court assignments, coverage etc. How can anyone expect buzz/intrigue to generate when the tournament itself doesn’t appreciate their product. I find it so frustrating to watch Wimbledon knowing the extremely high level of talent on the women’s tour not being appreciated at all!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Well I don’t think Wimbledon are just sexist, but simply biased in general.

    They screw Novak Djokovic over by not moving him to Centre Court on Monday when it was obvious that Nadal v Muller was going to run over. They claim they could not change courts due to ‘security reasons’. The day later they change Coco V Rybarikova from Court 1 to Centre Court with no issues.

    Also WHY have Federer and Murray not had to play a single match on Court 1?! I get that Roger is a legend here and Murray is British… but come on?!

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  6. Thank you so much for your all your posts. And please spare a thought for me that I wasn’t able to watch most of the matches 😦 The only day I had time waa middle sunday…

    Sooo I’m going with Muguruza and Vee 🙂 However, it could equally be all other combinations. I think all four of them stand a chance to win.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Murphy! Shame for you that you have not been able to watch the matches and I’ll be mostly with you tomorrow. Going to try and organise my lunch break at work to watch the start of Muguruza vs. Rybarikova!

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  7. Although this happened last year, looking back, its really unfair for Kvitova regarding her 2R match vs Makarova, which she lost after multiple rain delays, and also played on Court 2 (this court is starting to become a nightmare for her since she lost to Brengle this year on that court too). I wondered why Wimbledon schedulers just couldnt buckle up and move that Kvitova-Makarova match to CC which has a roof, and if they could do the same to Djokovic’s match vs Mannarino this year, where they willingly moved it to CC and even place it as the first match of the day before other matches, they should have done the same thing to that Kvitova-Makarova match, plus its a marquee match since Kvitova is a 2x champion and Makarova a former quarterfinalist, even Mannarino has yet to reach a Slam QF 😦 I’d dared say Kvitova-Makarova is more marquee than Djokovic-Mannarino!

    I think all these ranting will be in vain though, sadly, because Wimbledon will never shy away from these traditions and economics etc which are kidna redundant and impractical in some way. The all-white apparel is still bearable, but this economics where they want the big courts to be full and not empty etc, just… meh no words to describe, dont even know why I still call it my favourite Slam still when other Slams manage their scheduling way better!

    Putting those rants aside, keep up on the coverage James!!!! Glad you got to visit Wimbledon this year too!!! #JamesWimbledonDiaries 🙂 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Question..?? Will it be any different from a Wozniacki, or similar should Pliskova or Halep become no.1 without the always ubiquitous ‘has not won a slam’ statement..?

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