The attention switched back to the bottom half of the women’s draw on Wednesday. It was my favourite day of the tournament so far with half the number of matches compared to Monday and Tuesday’s madness, and some quality tennis across the grounds. I’m off to Wimbledon for the next two days (yay!) so the blog will probably go a bit quiet until the weekend. I’m on No.2 Court on Thursday and No.1 Court on Friday so stay tuned for some pictures on the blog. Read on for a bumper Set Points post from Wednesday at Wimbledon….
Match of the day 🎾
(24) Petra Martic d. Anastasia Potapova, 3-6 6-3 6-4
There were some fun matches on day 3 and my favourite was Martic-Potapova which was an absolute thriller on a sun-drenched Court 16. For the second match in a row, Petra Martic rallied from a set down as she came through in three sets against a peaking Potapova. The 18-year-old Russian player was absolutely tremendous in the first set as she produced an array of hot shots – stunning winners down-the-line, return winners, lobs, you name it. Potapova was just on her game and didn’t give Martic much of a look in.
It’s not the first time we’ve seen it during this grass court season but Martic did so well to stay with her opponent and get stuck into a match. She extended the rallies with her backhand slice (omg there were so many memorable rallies!!!) and slowly managed to temper the power coming from Potapova. I think Martic is one of the most versatile and tactically astute players on the tour and I adore watching her construct tennis points. Martic toughed out the second set and then defended her early break superbly in the decider as she successfully served out the match.
I really warmed to Potapova today and I admit that I underestimated her in this match. She reminds me a bit of Daria Gavrilova with her energy and intensity, but she’s got some real power. While she did back off, partly down to how Martic played, she remained pretty positive and upbeat. I liked that on three separate occasions, she racquet clapped shots of Martic. There was a nice respect between the pair at the end with Martic quick to congratulate Potapova on a super showing.
Match reviews 🎾
(8) Elina Svitolina d. Margarita Gasparyan, 5-7 6-5 ret.
I’m still absolutely gutted about this. Margarita Gasparyan was two points away from beating Elina Svitolina for the second time in three weeks but was forced to retire deep in the second set when she landed awkwardly after hitting a serve. I wasn’t sure if it was cramp, or to do with the troublesome knee as she had looked to being moving gingerly on occasion. Thankfully, there have been quotes shared by Ilya Ryvlin on Twitter (see below) to confirm that it was cramp and not the knee.
It was such a huge shame because this was a captivating contest and had been my favourite match of the tournament. There were so many great, extended rallies. Unfortunately the injury and the way it ended kind of took the joy out of it! Gasparyan played a great match and built the points beautifully, ending with some sensational down-the-line winners off both wings. The one-handed backhand is not only glorious to watch but created openings for Gasparyan to then attack with the forehand.
I thought Svitolina played a decent match. She was aggressive in spurts, but still seems hesitant to commit to this gameplan consistently. Credit to Svitolina for hanging tough in the rallies when Gasparyan was on the verge of victory.
(3) Karolina Pliskova d. Monica Puig, 6-0 6-4
Karolina Pliskova produced a significantly improved display to blast past a mostly erratic, Monica Puig in exactly an hour. Pliskova had been on the ropes in her first round match against Zhu Lin where she was forced to save three set points. While she did fail to serve out this match with a late surge from Puig, Pliskova broke for the win in what was more of an Eastbourne-esque performance. Pliskova dropped just 11 points on serve, returned superbly and finished with 23 winners to just 5 unforced errors. Pliskova gets Hsieh Su-Wei in the third round. BRING. IT. ON. 😀
(14) Caroline Wozniacki d. Veronika Kudermetova, 7-6(5) 6-3
Caroline Wozniacki turned the tables on her first round loss at Roland Garros with a hard fought straight sets win over Veronika Kudermetova. The most shocking statistic from the match was that Wozniacki didn’t face a single break point! It was such a steady display from Wozniacki who hit just six unforced errors and played with great depth, especially in the first set tiebreak. Kudermetova managed to draw Wozniacki out wide and open the court, but just made a few too many unforced errors. The draw has opened up a bit for Wozniacki – dare I say, could this be the year that she finally breaks through the last 16 barrier?!
Seeded upsets 😲
Nothing quite like the carnage from day 1 but another three upsets in the bottom half…
Dayana Yastremska d. (27) Sofia Kenin, 7-5 4-6 6-3
In a first time match-up between two of the brightest prospects on the tour, Dayana Yastremska scored a huge win over recent Mallorca champ, Sofia Kenin. It was an intriguing match with Yastremska ultimately rewarded for being clutch on serve and more aggressive in the decider. Yastremska saved four break points in the decider and played the final two games brilliantly. Yastremska broke serve at 4-3 with some bold returns and then surprisingly, served out to love with an emphatic hold!
Kenin directed many balls down the middle of the court which didn’t allow Yastremska early on to create many angles. While she battled hard as always, I thought Kenin became increasingly passive as the match wore on and was too reliant on Yastremska’s error. I fancy Yastremska to go much deeper in this draw…
Polona Hercog d. (17) Madison Keys, 6-2 6-4
Polona Hercog continued her superb year with a surprisingly routine straight sets win over Madison Keys. Hercog dominated on serve and unsettled a rusty Keys with her highly effective slice. I felt this match showed up Keys’s lack of match play on grass. A real shame to see Madison out so early at a tournament she clearly loves.
Danielle Collins d. (12) Anastasija Sevastova, 4-6 6-4 6-3
In a rollercoaster clash, Danielle Collins came from a set and a double break down (!) to beat Anastasija Sevastova. Sevastova won five straight games from 4-4 in the first set. Collins then rallied in the second set with four straight games before sneaking the second set. Sevastova mounted a late comeback but Collins held on for her best win by ranking (in completed matches) since the Australian Open. Only caught the end of this match but it was very entertaining viewing!
Memorable moment 😊
Wow. Cori Gauff produced another sensational display to beat Magdalena Rybarikova on a packed No.1 Court under the roof. I was even more impressed with this performance from Gauff compared to her win over Venus. Her serve is such a weapon and she moves so beautifully! Rybarikova has such a different game and threw everything at her, and she was not phased and dealt with it so calmly. There were absolutely no wobbles once she sealed the breaks in each set.
Story of the Championships and it could get even better…
Handshakes and hugs 🤗
As always, Svitolina’s sportwomanship is tremendous. She went over and got Gasparyan a drink when she was down on the baseline and gave her a big hug at the net when she saw the tears flowing.
LOL moment 🤣
I love Judy. Serena-Andy mixed doubs was confirmed on Tuesday night!
Super snap 📸
Giulia Gatto-Monticone shared the picture she took with Serena after their first round match on Instagram.
Press highlights 📰
Azarenka was asked about the mixed doubles 😂😂😂.
Recommended reading 📚
Really enjoyed the day 2 wrap-up by @TennisInsideOut on Twitter.
Recommended media 📺
Maria Sharapova’s press conference is linked below after she was forced to retire with a wrist injury in her first round match against Pauline Parmentier. Sad to see Sharapova on the verge of tears. If she can sort out the wrist then she hopes to play Toronto and Cincy.
Tomorrow’s OOP ⭐
Another cracking line-up of players on day 4 although not many match-ups that really pull me – Bencic vs. Kanepi on Court 18 is the most intriguing match-up. I’m on Court No.2 tomorrow and thrilled with the schedule as i’m going to see Barty and Kerber!
Thursday’s polls 🤔
Readers of MTB went 1 out of 2 in the selected match polls on Wednesday with just 17% going for Yastremska. Here’s my three selected match polls for day 4 of Wimbledon…