Wednesday’s Set Points, WTA Eastbourne: Ostapenko and Sabalenka through to the QFs

Wednesday was my last day in sunny Eastbourne. I don’t think we will ever get a better weather week than this one. It was another memorable week – the highlight was definitely the one-to-one interview with Johanna Konta. While a good week, i’m happy to be home and eager to catch up on sleep. Eastbourne is always very rewarding, but exhausting. I’ve got two days at work and then i’m off next Monday to Wednesday for the first week of Wimby. Read on for 7 stories from Wednesday’s action in Eastbourne.

Morning practices

I will miss my morning wander around the grounds watching players practice. This morning, Daria Kasatkina and Elise Mertens, and Agnieszka Radwanska and Mihaela Buzarnescu were practising together. Jelena Ostapenko was out on Court 6 with her new coach, Glenn Schapp who is Anett Kontaveit’s former coach. Ostapenko was very frustrated with her serve this morning and bounced her racquet after missing a couple into the net.

Kvitova withdraws from Eastbourne

It was announced this morning that Petra Kvitova had withdrawn from the tournament with a hamstring injury. I was going to try and get on Centre Court for her third round match against Agnieszka Radwanska as had yet to see Petra. Oh well!

Match Recap – Ostapenko d. Buzarnescu (Eastbourne, R3)

As expected, I couldn’t get onto Court 3 for Kasatkina-Sevastova so opted to watch Jelena Ostapenko vs. Mihaela Buzarnescu on Court 1. I’d love to see these two play each other when they are both at their best. Sadly, Buzarnescu’s heavy schedule finally caught up with her as she looked flat and was struggling with a shoulder injury. This translated into the service stats as Buzarnescu held serve just once out of seven tries.

Ostapenko played a pretty solid match and dropped just four points behind her first serve. She clearly got it together after practice! I’m pleasantly surprised to see Ostapenko playing well after nearly a month away from the tour. Granted, she hasn’t been properly tested yet this week.

Match Recap – Sabalenka d. Mertens (Eastbourne, R3)

Aryna Sabalenka reached her first Premier quarter-final with a hard fought win over the number nine seed, Elise Mertens, 7-5 2-6 7-6(4) in two hours and 40 minutes. I watched the first set which was a humdinger!

The first two games of the match took nearly half an hour with a combined 19 deuces! It’s common to see some quick matches and retirements/withdrawals in Eastbourne the week before a Slam so it was refreshing to see such a well contested match. I noted the improvement from Sabalenka compared to when I saw her in the first round as she played with controlled aggression to lead *4-2 *40-30. However, Sabalenka started to get frustrated and the errors soon came. Mertens, who was annoyed at a number of line calls, eventually levelled up in the scoreline. I was impressed with her defence up close as she moved really well to track down balls into the corners.

Sabalenka battled hard to hold onto serve, saving two break points at 4-4 and one at 5-5, getting out of the latter with some excellent serving. Sabalenka then broke Mertens for the set on her third set point with a super point finished with a dinky drop shot. I had to leave after the first set. It was a nice way to end my Eastbourne trip as this was one of the better sets I saw all week.

Tuesday’s Photos

For Tuesday’s photos from Eastbourne including Ostapenko, Sabalenka, Rybarikova, Hsieh, Goerges, Strycova, Kerber, Kasatkina, Van Uytvanck, Barty and Mladenovic, check out the MTB Facebook page.

Wednesday’s Photos

For Wednesday’s photos from Eastbourne including Mertens, Kasatkina, Radwanska, Buzarnescu, Ostapenko and Sabalenka, check out the MTB Facebook page.

QFs in Eastbourne

Eastbourne’s quarter-final line-up is all set for Thursday and it’s a cracker!

Caroline Wozniacki vs. Ash Barty

Angelique Kerber vs. Daria Kasatkina

Jelena Ostapenko vs. Agnieszka Radwanska

Karolina Pliskova vs. Aryna Sabalenka

I’m going for Barty, Kerber, Ostapenko and Pliskova to reach the semi-finals. I’m hoping to get back in time for Kerber-Kasatkina which is not before 5pm. Kasatkina has owned Kerber of late, but the German player is much more comfortable and experienced on the grass so i’m intrigued to see how that balances out.

And that’s a wrap on my live coverage from Eastbourne!

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12 thoughts on “Wednesday’s Set Points, WTA Eastbourne: Ostapenko and Sabalenka through to the QFs

  1. Question for our on-the-spot tennis reporter
    I read someplace that Doc Buz travels by herself. Did our ace reporter see any coaches, aides, or family members with Doc Buz at her practices or matches? Most of the players in the top 50 players have a traveling team to help them.

    Kasatkina def Sevastova 6-4,6-4
    Sev was up 4-1 in the 1st set and had a hard fall on her knee, on the baseline. Sev was hampered and lost the 1st set 4-6.

    Kerber def Collins 6-1,6-1
    Surprised at the scoreline. I thought the hard hitting Collins would give Kerber a match on grass.

    Ka Pliskova def Strycova 6-3,6-4
    Ka Plis wins the “You stole my coach!!!” match.

    What’s the Moo’s media status at Wimbledon?

    Wimbledon Qualies
    Kostyuk, Dolehide, Zhuk, Kalinskaya, Bouchard still alive
    Some Qualies matches (6 hrs) are posted on YouTube — Wimbledon Qualifying Day 2
    (Dolehide vs Kato, Bouchard vs Zhu, Lisicki vs Kalinskaya)

    Like

    • Good question. I didn’t see any team with Buzarnescu. She practised with Radwanska yesterday morning and turned up by herself.

      Ahh didn’t know about Sevastova, thanks for the info. Couldn’t get onto court 3 for that match.

      Moo’s media status for Wimbledon is watching at home with a chilled beverage! I’ll be there on the first Wednesday on No.1 Court so will have another batch of photos to share.

      Will try and follow qualifying today, Dolehide vs. Zvonareva stood out to me!

      Like

  2. Radwanska vs Ostapenko —- The Rematch
    1st match New Haven 2016, Penko lost 5-7,1-6
    Ostapenko in an on court coaching with coach/mom
    Penko — “She does nothing, She doesn’t do anything. — She hits the ball without any pace. — She plays like an amateur. — I play way better than she does. I’m just making errors. — She doesn’t play at all. She plays like an amateur. Our amateurs in Latvia play better. — She is playing so sneaky. — Next time, I’m not even going to step on the court to play against her.”

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      • Deja vu all over again. Ostapenko hit about 38 UFEs. Penko’s coach/mom told her how to play The Rad in their 1st match, but she just won’t listen to reason.

        Like

      • Not surprised at all. Conditions were not heavy, so Radwanska would not be at the immediate disadvantage she is, when they are heavy/humid. Ostapenko doesn’t move her feet well enough on the grass, she needs more experience on this surface (for sure). She also needs to stay lower. It’s a tricky surface for a lot of players. Although it got dicey at the end, because Radwanska in the 7th game, played one of her usual loose service games (when she is ahead); and Ostapenko got a little lucky in the 9th game (with the net cords), but she hung in, for the break. Ostapenko’s recent form, has been what it was last year at this time.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Tsk…we all know how ever so ‘precious’ Ostapenko can be. What Radwanska does is exactly how you play a power player who loves pace, especially when you need to disrupt their rhythm. I remember thinking in her victory against Halep at the french, that was how Halep was going to play her game. Simona is such a warrior so much so that she often tries to match the power play of the hitters, which wasn’t helpful there. The result is not surprising at all.

        It’s a shame I can’t assess Radwanska’s chances based on her performance here, I do hope she is improving. Along with Cibulkova, they haven’t been up to par this season.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m hoping the weather stays similar or better for Wimbledon. If it is nice and relatively warm, I feel we’ll be in for a terrific round of tennis and more surprise results.

    Like

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