Thursday was a frustrating day as I had to go back to my day job. I used a lot of my leave during my Australia trip so I knew I would have to make up for it at Wimbledon. Still, I got to see plenty of great tennis and there were more upsets! I’m back in work tomorrow morning but have the afternoon off. Read on for 11 stories from Wimbledon.
Barty vs. Bouchard (Wimbledon, R2)
Ash Barty recovered from 2-5 down in the second set and saved a set point to defeat Eugenie Bouchard, 6-4 7-5. This was a brilliant match and one of the best i’ve watched at Wimbledon so far this year. I haven’t seen Bouchard play with this much confidence in a long, long time. Barty did well to stay with Bouchard in the second set and force her to come down from her level. Winning the last five games with improved serving and super slicing, Barty booked her place in the third round of Wimbledon for the first time in her career.
Barty will play Daria Kasatkina in the third round. I’m disappointed they meet so early because they are two of my favourite players. I can’t really put into words how excited I am about seeing this match-up on tour for the first time! 😍😍😍.
While I was working…
Angelique Kerber came from a set down to beat the very promising American, Claire Liu, 3-6 6-2 6-4. Kerber gets Naomi Osaka in the third round. Fingers crossed for a classic!
Katerina Siniakova saved a match point to beat Ons Jabeur, 5-7 6-4 9-7 in two hours and 27 minutes. This was the second time this week that Siniakova had fought back from a 2-5 third set deficit.
Belinda Bencic saved four match points (!) to beat Alison Riske, 1-6 7-6(10) 6-2. I was really gutted to miss this match as I like both players and particularly on grass. What a great week for BB.
Team Bucie won their first doubles match together in a year, beating Lyudmila Kichenok and Alla Kudryavtseva in straight sets, 7-6(6) 7-5.
Konta vs. Cibulkova (Wimbledon, R2)
I got home from work in time to see Dominika Cibulkova complete the upset win over Johanna Konta on Centre Court, 6-3 6-4. Konta saved four match points in her final service game with some brilliantly bold play. Cibulkova has been known to wobble before when serving for sets and matches. Not on this occasion as she emphatically served out the match to claim back-to-back wins on grass for the first time this year. Next up for Cibulkova is Elise Mertens – intrigued by this match!
Kontaveit vs. Brady (Wimbledon, R2)
Anett Kontaveit twice came from a double break down in the second set to beat Jennifer Brady 6-2 7-6(4). I was worried about Kontaveit pre-tournament after splitting with her coach and losing three matches on the trot. The Estonian player has shown a return to form at Wimbledon and did well to win this one in straights.
Ostapenko vs. Flipkens (Wimbledon, R2)
Jelena Ostapenko produced a lethal display to beat the in-form, Kirsten Flipkens, 6-1 6-3 in just 55 minutes! Flipkens arrived at Wimbledon on the back of a final showing in ‘s-Hertogenbosch and a title run at the ITF $100k in Southsea. I’d tagged this as an upset alert 😂. Ostapenko was just crushing the ball and unlike most of her recent matches, making very few errors. Flipkens tried to change it up in the second set with some serve and volleys. They were kind of successful, but the Belgian player just couldn’t get Ostapenko out of her rhythm in the baseline rallies.
Muguruza vs. Van Uytvanck (Wimbledon, R2)
Take a bow, Alison Van Uytvanck. Scoring her first ever top ten win, Van Uytvanck toppled the defending champ, Garbiñe Muguruza with a 5-7 6-2 6-1 triumph. This was a superb match and wonderful evening entertainment. Van Uytvanck played well in the opener but seemed to lose her focus and throw in an error or two at an important moment. Muguruza was not entirely convincing, yet the intensity and drive was definitely present.
I expected Muguruza to run away with the second set and the match. Nope. Van Uytvanck refocused to storm through the second set with some gorgeous hitting. Van Uytvanck has such a pleasing game and she was really going after her shots with bundles of belief. Muguruza had a nasty slip in the decider but seemed OK. The Spaniard didn’t win another game after that and became increasingly frustrated as Van Uytvanck’s game and nerve held firm.
Exodus of the seeds
It’s been a while since we’ve seen so many shocks at a Slam. Here is the status of the top eight seeds after the first two rounds 😲.
Simona Halep ✔
Caroline Wozniacki ❌
Garbiñe Muguruza ❌
Sloane Stephens ❌
Elina Svitolina ❌
Caroline Garcia ❌
Karolina Pliskova ✔
Petra Kvitova ❌
The second quarter of the draw
I don’t think i’ve ever felt so much love for one section of a Slam draw.
Kvitova Press Conference
Petra’s press conference from Tuesday is up on the Wimby YouTube page and she’s a delight as always. I admire how she can still smile and has perspective on the situation so quickly.
No preview for Friday as i’m playing catch-up on the blog. Polls up for my three favourite matches of the day.
Disappointed by the schedule with all the women’s matches up early. I don’t really understand it as there is no need to get them done quickly with all winners getting two days of rest. I’ve got the afternoon off work so hoping to be back for the second set of Lucie’s match!
16 thoughts on “Thursday’s Set Points, Wimbledon 2018 Day 4: Van Uytvanck’s best win, Barty & Ostapenko impress”
Well that’s both my picks for the title – Garbine and Petra – out by the second round 🙂 I think I’ll give up trying to make predictions (good thing I’m not betting money on them too).
Great win all the same; even though Garbine seemed a little bit below par, Alison had to play at her best to pull it off especially in the final set. Also, Belinda (Bencic)’s through to the third round now with a win over the other Alisoin (Riske); great to see Belinda competing and winning in a slam again.
Domi Cibulkova and Jo Konta; tough luck for Jo (although I’m full of admiration for the dignified way in which she talked about the match, and her praise for Domi, in her interview afterwards), but Domi seems to be a player for whom having something to prove brings the best out of her. In 2016, she was ranked in the sixties and (understandably) felt she deserved to be higher, and battled all the way to the title in Singapore on the strength of that; at the moment, she’s clearly unhappy about the fact that Serena was seeded in her place, and is trying to prove she deserved a place in the seedings. With her fine play today and earlier in the week against Alize, I think she’s more than done that already.
I like Jo, she’s always very thoughtful in press. She can be quite sensitive and dismissive at times. I don’t envy her having to deal with British press.
Agreed. After talking the talk, it’s great to see Domi trying to walk the walk too. It’s competitive out there. Had Serena not been seeded, judging by her play so far, she would’ve have been among those mowing down seeds in the grass. I’m just taking it all in, an intriguing two rounds of tennis. Leaning slightly to the bottom half of the draw, maybe.
Anett was great, so was Belgian Alison, seizing the day(evening) in an exciting display. Wonder how low Buzarnescu is willing to push Pliskova with groundstrokes, because, indeed, Karolina is not for bending! Could be over in a quick two sets.
I’m liking the top half! Lots of upsets but still plenty of top players left who you’d expect to be battling it out at the end. Pliskova-Buzarnescu is my match of the day and it’s likely to be the lone women’s match later on so full focus on it!
Just on the Pliskova low ball thing. A) the ground is really compacting with the heat, and the balls are already starting to bounce higher and b) Vika kept the ball low and Pliskova was fully prepared to get down for it.
Actually agree! he top half is the exciting half, my guilty pleasure half at this moment. I have a bias for a bottom half winner because they still have some of my favorites. Pimms and strawberries will be happening in the top half for sure!
Tend to agree. I prefer the top half but winner probably more likely to come from the bottom half as it stands.
@Andrew, I’m not even sure Mihaela can consistently hit low flat balls to begin with. Surely the warm weather isn’t going to help. If I recall correctly, I think Hsieh Su-wei has tried that tactic on Karolina before catching her around the knees, but she found her way through. Pliskova has played good tennis so far with no machine ace serves. This is good, she is thinking her way through.
Pliskova was pretty awesome against Vika. People make out she has a one dimensional game, but you’re far more likely to see Pliskova throwing in slice and drop shots than big hitters Muguruza andSharapova or even the likes of Halep, Wozniacki and Svitolina. One thing that Id really love to see her introduce is a serve & volley. She has the net skills…
Oh join the club, Graham. I’ve had a bad week of predictions but doubt many are coming out of this week with their draws still intact! I thought AVU was superb and great to see Bencic back winning matches and seemingly healthy again.
To be fair… Kvitova and Muguruza are always going to make unreliable favourites! Serena was my pick, but she’s still got a ways to go. And Halep is obviously still standing and playing the tennis of her career.
True! I wasn’t convinced by Muguruza going deep in this tournament. I think that a potential Serena vs. Madison R4 match could be pivotal for the bottom half.
A few posts ago you mentioned a Tennis with an Accent podcast you were on. I’ve checked their web page for podcasts and can’t find any Wimbledon-related podcasts at all, let alone one with you on it.
Yes you should be able to hear it at the link below. Pretty much all my predictions have all fallen apart but hopefully still an interesting listen. This is my worst EVER draw predictions for a Slam 😂
Thank you James.