Wednesday’s order of play at the 2018 Internazionali BNL d’italia was a wild one with 14 second round WTA matches and one, at the time of writing, still to be played between Garbiñe Muguruza and Daria Gavrilova. I’m off to enjoy that match so here’s my recap of the day and what I got to see. Read on for 10 stories from Rome. It was a dramatic day!
Kasatkina d. Collins (Rome, R2)
Clay has long been touted as Daria Kasatkina’s best surface, yet her results have not really demonstrated this. Kasatkina is off to a very promising start in Rome though with two straight set wins. On Wednesday, she beat the ultra-positive, Danielle Collins, 6-2 6-3. Kasatkina was calm and looked in control of her game. Next up is a Dubai final rematch with Elina Svitolina – tasty!
Stephens d. Kanepi (Rome, R2)
Sloane Stephens took the scenic route to beat Kaia Kanepi in her second consecutive three setter of the week, 6-0 5-7 6-4. I actually think the hard fought wins are good for Sloane and while there’s clearly an improvement in her level required, match play is needed. This match is a gentle reminder that Kanepi is still a very dangerous player, despite all the layers of strapping!
V.Williams d. Vesnina (Rome, R2)
Venus Williams scored her first win on clay in 2018 with a typically gutsy display to beat Elena Vesnina in a topsy-turvy third set, 6-2 4-6 7-5. It was an absorbing decider and was never clear which way this match was going to swing. Williams won the last three games after Vesnina failed to serve the match out at *5-4. Vesnina will want that final game back as she made a bundle of errors. Venus gets a rematch with Anett Kontaveit on Thursday.
Sharapova d. Cibulkova (Rome, R2)
Maria Sharapova made it back-to-back third rounds with a great win over Dominika Cibulkova, 3-6 6-4 6-2 in two hours and 30 minutes. I was very impressed with Sharapova’s level in the decider as she served extremely well and was powerful from the baseline. Sharapova, who was totally up for this one, produced two hot shots in the decider – a remarkable get to a Cibulkova drop shot in the final game and the cross court winner linked below.
I had read that Sharapova was feeling her forearm in the previous win over Barty so I didn’t have many expectations for her in this match. After losing four consecutive three setters, Sharapova has now won back-to-back three setters and is looking strong on the clay.
Sakkari d. Pliskova and dramaaaaaaa
Maria Sakkari scored a hugeee win over the number six seed, Karolina Pliskova, 3-6 6-3 7-5. The big talking point of the match, and the entire day, was a disputed call on Pliskova’s serve at 5-5 40-40 in the third set. Pliskova hit an overhead that was called out by the linesperson. The Czech player didn’t realise at first that it had been called out and strongly argued the case with the umpire having clearly seen the ball in.
The umpire couldn’t locate the mark (???) and neither could the linesperson who she called over. Pliskova tried to get Sakkari involved who said she didn’t see the mark either and then suggested to the umpire for the point to be replayed. The supervisor was called who sided with the umpire and the initial call as the mark couldn’t be located so the point went to Sakkari.
Sakkari would go onto break and serve out the match. Pliskova lost it at the end, offering her hand briefly to shake the umpire before thwacking the umpire’s chair several times with intent. Sakkari’s reaction of shock was priceless 😂. Pliskova was hard done by as it was a shocking call (the replay showed the ball was CLEARLY in) but you just can’t be attacking the chair with the umpire sitting right there.
It’s an absolute cracker for Thursday! Thoughts on all of the matches are up on the separate page with polls for my favourite matches below.
Eastbourne Entry List
The full entry list for Eastbourne was announced on Tuesday and it’s another cracker! I’m delighted to see Petra, Angie and Dasha K. all in there. I’m disappointed to see Lucie and Timea have missed the cut and am hoping they could sneak into the main draw, if they are on the list. All the entry lists are now out for the grass and I noticed that Svitolina isn’t currently down to play a grass court warm-up event…
Eastbourne will be my next live event and i’ll be at the tournament from Saturday to Wednesday.
Wimbledon practice courts
My bro got his tickets for Wimby today and I noticed in the ticket holders’ guide that it states there are no practice court viewing facilities this year. To be honest, they’ve never been good at Wimby so i’m really hoping with the master plan that access to the practice courts will improve significantly for the fans.
Tennis on Tuesday
We’re enjoying some nice weather in the UK so we played tennis on Tuesday night. I got in plenty of singles including a first singles set with my bro this year. He won, 6-3 after I had made a bright start and won the first two games. I’d knackered myself out and just ended up retrieving behind the baseline. He was hitting so deep and I couldn’t work out how to stop him! I need to build up my stamina…
14 thoughts on “Wednesday’s Set Points, WTA Rome: Sharapova & V.Williams win in 3, Pliskova-Sakkari dramaaaa!”
Ka Pliskova vs Sakkari
One of the things being missed in this match is how well Sakkari has been playing in the last year. She has now moved up to ‘live’ ranking spot #38, and has wins over many ‘name’ opponents. I always wrote her off as a field filler, but now Sakkari is a real opponent.
Ka Plis’s Navratilova side came out at the end of the match. When Navratilova would get a possible bad call, she would go on a rant and lose the next 10 points. Navratilova’s most feared opponent, when she was in her prime, was…….Navratilova.
Totally agree, if she’s unseeded for RG will be a dangerous floater.
Again, I’d have been furious if I were Pliskova. Poor sportsmanship from Sakkari, claiming not to have seen that the ball was in, when she was two meters away and would clearly have been looking. Even more poor decision making from the umpire not to properly check the mark. And then even more poor calls from the supervisor, not being able to calmly and fairly reassess the situation.
I’d probably have hit the umpire if It were me…
Ha! Yes i can totally understand her frustration with that happening at such a crucial stage of a long match. I laughed when i watched it but you just can’t do that! Guess she will get a big fine. I don’t know about Sakkari, she’s been talked up for being one of the fairest players on tour. She suggested to the umpire that it should be replayed. It did look like she was looking at the ball so hmmm not sure there.
She will get a big fine, but hopefully the umpire is also reprimanded. I haven’t actually seen her before, and I doubt we will be seeing her in any important matches in the near future.
Well, she’s got herself into the papers;
Sad IMO that it takes something like that to get a mention for women’s tennis; none of the broadsheets so much as mentioned Petra’s title in Madrid last week. It was the same when Nick Kyrgios got fined $10,000 for some on-court violation, and the papers mentioned that but not Simona’s first title in Madrid which she’d won the same week.
I remember Aga’s dispute over what she thought was a bad call once from the umpire Kader Nouni. Sh protested vigorously but was never abusive or although she went on to lose the match (against Lucie).
I’m not surprised. It was a big talking point yesterday (even I covered it too!) but I agree with you that this is often what it takes for women’s tennis to get attention in the newspapers. Wimbledon always frustrates me as high quality women’s matches often get overlooked e.g. Kerber-Muguruza from last year
It actually looks like Pliskova has gained more respect and interest than she lost though, funnily enough! The majority of people on social media seemed to love her reaction haha!
Yes, I chuckled at first, cause she was going for her normal ‘zombie’ handshake as her normal ‘zombie’ self but, for once, reactionary emotions. ‘She’s alive!’. I was actually excited for a moment, then immediately filled with dread. The reprimand was going to come hard!
It was Sakkari’s reaction that got me 😂
Sharapova now has a ‘live’ ranking of #31 and could be seeded in the French Open, but I still think the top 64 should be seeded.
Ahh you beat me to it, just wrote that in today’s post 😉
She’s looking good to be dangerous in Paris too. Her game isn’t far from her best, she’s just lacking that intimidation factor she once had.
I think it’s partly because the competition has got tougher.Sharapova used to get intimidated only by Serena, now theres a few other big hitters .