Thursday was quarter-finals day in Eastbourne with two of the four matches going all the way to a third set tiebreak. The focus on Friday will be the semi-finals and the Wimbledon draw. I will be eagerly listening at 10am on Wimbledon radio and hoping no one bothers me at work 😂. Read on for 10 stories in Thursday’s Set Points post for Eastbourne including other tennis-related news from the week that caught my eye.
Radwanska d. Ostapenko (Eastbourne, QF)
In her first tournament in over two months, Agnieszka Radwanska is into the semi-finals of Eastbourne with a 6-2 7-5 victory over Jelena Ostapenko. I was surprised by the result, even on Radwanska’s favourite surface, having been away for so long. I caught the last few games of the match during my lunch break where I thought Ostapenko was rather wild.
Sabalenka d. Ka. Pliskova (Eastbourne, QF)
Aryna Sabalenka scored the first top ten win of her career, beating Karolina Pliskova, 6-3 2-6 7-6(5). I caught the first five games where Sabalenka was very impressive. From the fleeting visits to the top courts, i’ve noticed that Sabalenka seems to like the big stage and this was a fantastic win. I like her attitude on court and she’s a really gutsy player. I thought Sabalenka’s game would match up nicely to the grass and that’s definitely proving to be the case this week.
Wozniacki d. Barty (Eastbourne, QF)
Caroline Wozniacki advanced to her sixth semi-final in Eastbourne with a 6-4 6-3 victory over Ash Barty. The match felt closer scoreboard watching with the only break in the first set coming at *4-5 with Barty serving. The Aussie was also up a break in the second set. Wozniacki has neatly navigated her way through a very challenging draw with wins over Camila Giorgi, Johanna Konta and now Barty.
Kerber d. Kasatkina (Eastbourne, QF)
I got home in time for the final match of the day which was bizarre! Angelique Kerber beat Daria Kasatkina to level their head-to-head at 3-3 with a 6-1 6-7(3) 7-6(3) victory. Kerber rolled through the opener against a dire, Kasatkina who won just two points in the first four games! The Russian player slowly made her mark on the match and survived the second set tiebreak. Kerber’s tactics were baffling as she kept on persisting with the drop shots.
Kasatkina looked to have the edge in the third set, leading 4-2 *40-15. However, as we’ve seen time and again, and i’ve talked about it this week, Kasatkina often strays from a gameplan and backs off. Kerber scored some forehands to level up. The pair traded more breaks as Kerber twice failed to serve out the match. Kerber kept going for the drop shot in the third set tiebreak (I was screaming at the TV 😂) but to her credit, the tactic worked this time as she won two points in a row with drop shot. Winning the last six points of the match and finishing on a sensational forehand winner, Kerber booked her place in the semi-finals.
Strange match but the third set was very entertaining. I’m glad that Kasatkina got some more time on the grass. I still feel there’s a long way to go for her to feeling comfortable on this surface.
Agnieszka Radwanska will play Aryna Sabalenka, followed by Caroline Wozniacki up against Angelique Kerber. Tough ones to call. I do like Sabalenka but she’s had a brutal week and Radwanska could drive her mad with the variety. Plus, Sabalenka is still in the doubles. Wozniacki-Kerber is always a coin toss. The player I think will win tends not to… so therefore i’m going with Kerber 😂😂😂.
The third and final round of qualifying for Wimbledon finished on Thursday. I do like how the qualifiers are all set before the draw. The qualifiers were…
Sara Sorribes Tormo
Really enjoyed the latest No Challenges Remaining podcast with the Birmingham Media Manager, Eleanor Preston. I’m seriously thinking about trying out Brum next year.
The first two teams have been announced for the Hopman Cup next year and no surprises that the two finalists, Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic, and Sascha Zverev and Angelique Kerber have both committed. I absolutely LOVED attending the Hopman Cup this year and couldn’t recommend it enough.
CiCi Bellis posted an update… get well soon, CiCi!
Beautiful video 💓.