The past two days have been really busy at work so i’ve had to park the blog. I was playing tennis on Thursday evening but it wasn’t a long session so I managed to get back in time to watch plenty of tennis from Stanford and Washington. In stark contrast to Tuesday, I was terrible! It was very windy and I just couldn’t find a groove on either wing. The highlight though was one of the best serves i’ve ever hit – with some assistance from the wind, I hit a serve down-the-tee on the deuce side that my brother barely got his racquet too. Please note my serve is dreadful so this is an achievement for me 😂.
CiCi Bellis made it back-to-back quarter-finals in Stanford with a 7-6(3) 6-2 victory over Veronica Cepede Royg. In a wild first set, Bellis missed three set points at *5-1, before having to save set points to force a first set tiebreak. I got back for the middle of the second set where Bellis came from a break down and just seemed a tad more consistent in the many baseline rallies.
Bellis will play Petra Kvitova in a blockbuster quarter-final for Friday. Petra played a superb match to earn a first win in Stanford, beating Kateryna Bondarenko, 6-2 6-2. All aspects of her game looked good, particularly the serve as she dropped just 11 points behind it and didn’t face any break points.
Petra also produced the shot of the match. Loved the reaction!
While I was sleeping…
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and CoCo Vandeweghe both delivered dominant displays to reach the quarter-finals of Stanford.
This sounds concerning 😟
Rather astonishingly, the quarter-finals in Stanford feature all eight seeds!
First time in a while too…
Quarters day in Stanford should be a good one! Polls are up for all four quarters. I’ll go for Muguruza, Tsurenko, Pavs and Bellis.
In Washington, the conditions were hot, hot, HOT. Seriously, credit to all because I cannot even begin to imagine playing tennis.
Simona Halep and Mariana Duque-Mariño were both clearly struggling in the first match on Stadium court but still managed to produce some super tennis (see great point below). Halep came from a set down to win, 3-6 6-4 6-2 to set up an intriguing quarter-final against Ekaterina Makarova. That’s a tough one.
Andrea Petkovic won back-to-back tour level main draw matches for the first time in 2017 to reach the quarter-finals of Washington. The German player beat Eugenie Bouchard, 6-2 4-6 6-0. I thought Petkovic was very sound in the decider, even with a few rough misses and losing a point coming forward when she touched the net. Bouchard looked a bit frazzled by the end and was on the wrong end of a bagel set for the fifth time since April.
Monica Niculescu edged fellow compatriot, Patricia Maria Tig, 6-4 7-6(2) to post back-to-back wins on tour for the first time since January. Niculescu did a good job in the second set tiebreak to get the slice working a treat and lengthen the rallies against an increasingly frustrated and erratic, Tig.
I do have a soft spot for Monica. I was watching on mute so missed this at the time… my ears! 😲😂
The 17-year-old, Bianca Andreescu scored the biggest win of her career by taking out the number two seed, Kristina Mladenovic. The Frenchwoman was rather out-of-sorts and hit 10 double faults… perhaps an injury? I read she took a medical time-out in her first round match. Take nothing away from Andreescu who never let up and was very confident in closing out the match. It was encouraging to see such composure at the end and Andreescu is another player to add to the long list of talented teens to keep an eye out for.
The weather turned the other way with some epic rain in D.C..
The final second round match did get done and it was a super win for Sabine Lisicki to beat Aryna Sabalenka in three sets.
Enjoyed this press conference with Sloane Stephens. The last two minutes were really good as she discusses WTA TV and her frustration at not being able to stream tennis during her spell on the sidelines. She also talks about teaming up in doubles with Eugenie Bouchard, aka the Genester, on Court 25! 😂
Stephens and Bouchard won their first round doubles match on Wednesday, defeating Duque-Marino and Maria Irigoyen, 2-6 6-3 10-6.
The Washington quarter-finals are all set for Friday:
(1) Simona Halep vs. (7) Ekaterina Makarova
Sabine Lisicki vs. (5) Oceane Dodin
(6) Monica Niculescu vs. (4) Julia Goerges
Andrea Petkovic vs. Bianca Andreescu
I’m impressed to see five seeds make it this far! For the quarters, i’ll go for Halep, Dodin, Goerges and Petkovic.
Maria Sharapova withdrew from Stanford on Wednesday and is also out of the Rogers Cup in Toronto next week.
Petra pics 💚
And finally, US Open qualifying sounds gooood.