The first week of Wimbledon is in the books and the slate of last 16 matches is all set. It was a shame that the women’s matches were so bunched together on Saturday’s schedule, much like on Manic Monday. I enjoyed my two days at Wimbledon and have two final days of holiday before heading back to work. Read on for Saturday’s Set Points post with the highlights from day 6 of the Championships.
Match reviews 🎾
(19) Johanna Konta d. (9) Sloane Stephens, 3-6 6-4 6-1
Maintaining her 100% record over Sloane Stephens, Jo Konta produced a battling display to beat Sloane Stephens in three sets. This result was highly unexpected midway through the match as Stephens played one of her best matches of the year for 1 and 3/4 sets. Konta just kept plugging away and hanging in contention in the second set. The Brit saved one break point at *1-1 and another three at *2-2. Staying ahead on serve, Konta finally pounced at 5-4 by breaking Stephens’s serve for the first time in the match.
Once Konta leveled up at one set all, she was locked in. Konta dropped just four points on serve and dictated the rallies with angles to get Stephens out wide. A tough one for Sloane who started so well. It’s been the case a few times this year where she’s started a match strong but been unable to maintain that form and get across the finish line. I think the last two Slams have definitely been positive for Sloane and the partnership with Sven Groeneveld will continue to grow. Konta advances to a tantalising fourth rounder against Petra Kvitova on Manic Monday.
(11) Serena Williams d. (18) Julia Goerges, 6-3 6-4
Serena played her best match of the tournament to beat Julia Goerges in straight sets. This is a good match-up for Serena who has never dropped a set to Goerges in five previous meeting and just does everything better in this hard-hitting clash. Serena didn’t face a break point, dropping just 15 points on serve during the entire match. I thought Serena was moving well and looked good getting up to some short balls at the net. Ominous signs but still a long way to go in this draw with so many contenders left.
(1) Ash Barty d. Harriet Dart, 6-1 6-1
Ash Barty has dropped just five games through her last two matches as she cruised past the British wildcard, Harriet Dart, in just 53 minutes. Dart gave it her best shot but Barty was just a cut above. The Aussie has looked supremely solid as she lost just two points behind her first serve and hit only SIX unforced errors. Barty’s draw continues to open up but there will likely be tougher challenges to come. Barty was asked in her press conference about a potential QF with Serena but wasn’t having any of it with her focus on the next match!
(6) Petra Kvitova d. Magda Linette, 6-3 6-2
Petra Kvitova is into the last 16 at Wimbledon for the first time since she won the title back in 2014! The Czech player came into the tournament with a cloud of uncertainty due to the forearm injury that forced her to pull out of the French Open. Kvitova is yet to drop a set at Wimbledon and looks in fine form as she beat Linette in straights. Kvitova didn’t face a break point and was ultra-aggressive on Linette’s second serve. I thought Linette played a decent match but with only 54% of first serves in, was under intense pressure in most of her service games.
(21) Elise Mertens d. (15) Wang Qiang, 6-2 6-7(9) 6-4
The best tennis that I watched on Saturday was in the second set tiebreak of Mertens-Wang on Court 18. Wang Qiang saved a match point with the pair playing out some lung-busting rallies. Wang Qiang was hesitant coming forward but generally played more aggressively, hitting down-the-line with intent to overcome some dogged defence from Mertens. The Belgian player ultimately came through the decider, scoring the lone break to win the longest women’s match of the day lasting two hours and 49 minutes. Mertens hasn’t had the best year but she’s been very solid at the Slams this year and is into the last 16 of Wimbledon for the first time in her career.
Seeded upsets 😲
The lower ranked player won in four of the eight matches today so i’ve reserved this section for the two matches where unseeded players beat seeded players. Both were technically surprises but the two players to prevail are awesome grass courters.
Alison Riske d. (13) Belinda Bencic, 4-6 6-4 6-4
Winning her third consecutive three set match, Alison Riske came from a set down and a double break down in the decider to beat a frustrated, Belinda Bencic. Riske folded at the end of the first set with a poor game to lose her serve at *4-5. However, Riske is one of the biggest fighters on tour and she kept battling hard. Riske changed up her gameplan as she became increasingly aggressive and looked to come forward to the net. Riske won seven of seven points up at the net in the second set.
Bencic made a promising start to the decider and looked to be on her way to the second week, leading *3-0 *40-0. Riske though kept fighting as Bencic completely lost her way. It’s not uncommon to see Bencic get frustrated on the court but I think on this occasion, she couldn’t seem to disentangle herself from the missed opportunities. Riske served brilliantly in her final two service games, saving two break points at *4-3 and then serving it out confidently. I’ve seen the nerves from Riske before and she lost to Bencic from match point up last year at Wimbledon so it was really nice to see her hold her nerve. Sad for Bencic as she was my dark horse in this draw but oh so happy for Riske who is into the last 16 of Wimbledon for the FIRST time in her career!
Barbora Strycova d. (4) Kiki Bertens, 7-5 6-1
An upset on paper with the loss of the number four seed, Kiki Bertens, but Barbora Strycova’s game just translates beautifully to the grass. Edging a high-quality opening set where both struggled to convert break points, Strycova then ran away with the second set with her net game becoming increasingly more effective than Bertens. Just not be for Kiki this year with Bara enjoying her best singles run of 2019.
Under the radar 🚨
Carla Suárez Navarro has yet to drop a set this tournament as she moved into the last 16 of a Slam for the 15th (!) time in her career. The Spaniard beat Lauren Davis in straight sets, 6-3 6-3.
LOL moment 🤣
Serena-Andy mixed doubs was so much fun to watch. This point was hysterical, especially the net cam when Serena was on the floor 😂.
Favourite snaps 📸
My final batch of pictures from Wimbledon can be found on the Moo’s Tennis Blog Facebook page.
Press highlights 📰
Barbora Strycova in press via WTA Insider who discussed potential retirement this or next year.
Recommended reading 📚
I wrote about my day at Wimbledon on Friday including a detailed review of the wonderful Pliskova-Hsieh match and highlights from around the grounds at the Championships.
Recommended media 📺
Serena and Andy are through to the second round of the mixed doubles!
Manic Monday OOP ⭐
The last 16 match-ups for Manic Monday are all set! Quite liking this schedule with the women’s matches spaced out more than usual on Centre and No.1.
Manic Monday Polls 🤔
Stephens-Konta was a 50-50 poll so well done to all those went with Konta. 52% correctly went with Serena and only 24% went with Riske. Four polls up for Manic Monday last 16 matches. Who you got?