This post is about my day at Wimbledon on Friday where I had tickets for No.1 Court. I was lucky to get them through my tennis club’s Wimbledon ballot. I’ll be doing one of my guide posts for Wimbledon later in the week so stay tuned for that. Read on for reviews of the matches I saw and highlights from around the grounds on day 5 at the 2019 Championships.
Matches watched on No.1 Court 🎾
Karolina Pliskova d. Hsieh Su-Wei, 6-3 2-6 6-4 (R3)
I had high hopes for this match and am delighted that it lived up to expectation. Karolina Pliskova survived a stern test from Hsieh Su-Wei to win in three sets in what was a high quality contest. The pair combined for a total of 75 winners to just 32 unforced errors. Hsieh lost the match hitting 33 winners to just 10 unforced errors!
The first set was evenly contested with Hsieh throwing in one poor service game at *3-4. Pliskova was dominant behind her first serve, landing 82% (!) of first serves in, and was very aggressive with her groundstrokes. Hsieh grew in confidence in the second set after she saved a break point at 1-1. Pliskova missed a few opportunities as the rallies lengthened with Hsieh producing some gorgeous shotmaking with her unique style of drop shots, slices and spins. The crowd were loving it!
Into a third set and Pliskova scored the early break. The key game though was with Pliskova leading at 2-1 where she saved two break points to consolidate. Her team were on their feet to applaud. Hsieh kept knocking on the door but just couldn’t get close in Pliskova’s service games with the Czech player irresistible on serve. Pliskova won 24 of 28 net points and was aggressive, not allowing Hsieh to dictate with her funkiness.
This was the potential banana skin for Pliskova IMO and now she’s passed it, I think she’s looking really good in the bottom half of the draw. Can I just say for the record that I love Hsieh Su-Wei. I adore her game and personality. My favourite Hsieh moment from the match, apart from all the glorious drop shots, was in the final game of the match. Hsieh lost a point after being drawn out wide and then went up to a few spectators in the front row and gave them a hi-five! It was wonderful to see the crowd enjoying and appreciating this match. I left No.1 court with a beaming smile 😊.
Novak Djokovic d.Hubert Hurkacz, 7-5 6-7(5) 6-1 6-4 (R3)
So I watched yet more men’s tennis and I have to say this was a brilliant match. The second set featured some of the most extraordinary rallies i’ve ever witnessed live. The atmosphere on No.1 Court was fantastic and the crowd were, unsurprisingly, really pulling for the underdog in Hubert Hurkacz. There were two stand-out points, both won by Hurkacz – a diving volley winner and then the first point in the tiebreak which the crowd went MAD for.
Hurkacz was fully deserving of the second set but unfortunately couldn’t keep it up as Djokovic, who increasingly came forward to finish points at the net, eased through the final two sets. The crowd gave Hurkacz a HUGE applause when he walked off court and he clapped generously towards each side of the court. I know little about men’s tennis but he’s one to watch right? My brother said he reminded him of Andy Murray. I thought from afar (we were high up in the gods) that he looked like Vasek Pospisil to which my brother told me I needed to get my eyes checked 👀.
Matches watched on the outside courts 🎾
Elina Svitolina d. Maria Sakkari, 6-3 6-7(1) 6-2 (R3)
Elina Svitolina is into the last 16 of Wimbledon for just the second time in her career after a hard fought win over Maria Sakkari. I thought Sakkari was the better player for large chunks of the match but Svitolina’s level was much steadier. Neither seemed to play well at the same time.
After a bright start to the match, Sakkari’s level dropped significantly as Svitolina consistently landed first serves in and rolled off five straight games from 1-3 to 6-3. Sakkari found her level again at the start of the second set as she dictated the points with some aggressive hitting against a mostly defensive, Svitolina. Sakkari was unable to serve out the second set though as Svitolina played her best tennis of the match, finally hitting with decent depth.
Sakkari was crumbling at *5-6 in the second set but with her back against the wall, saved two match points with some really bold tennis. Sakkari’s intensity was fantastic as she held and then cruised through the second set tiebreak with Svitolina left ruing her missed opportunities. Into a third set and Sakkari’s level dropped again. We went off to see Pliskova-Hsieh but Svitolina maintained her control of the match to win it comfortably in the third set.
Credit to Svitolina who always seems to have good runs when you least expect it! She got a slice of luck against Gasparyan but I think she’s playing solid tennis this week. IMO, I don’t see her as a title contender.
Petra Martic d. Danielle Collins, 6-4 3-6 6-4 (R3)
I watched the first set and a half of this match from the Court 18 roof. To be honest, it didn’t really move me and my legs were getting burnt so I headed back to my shady seat on No.1 Court. I thought Collins was error-strewn for much of the first set with Martic just a touch more consistent and serving well. As I left, Collins seemed to be finding her range and she went onto win the second set. Martic came from a break down in the decider to win her third consecutive match in three sets! It’s been such a fantastic few months for Martic. A very, very frosty handshake from Collins…
Favourite snap 📸
Liked this shot of Karolina Pliskova on the stretch. A full album of photos from the day can be found on the Moo’s Tennis Blog Facebook page HERE.
Handshakes and hugs 🤗
A nice moment at the net between Karolina Pliskova and Hsieh Su-Wei. I could see Hsieh grinning as she approached the net.
Point of the day 👏
The crowd went absolutely nuts for this point!
Hot shot of the day 🔥
The two points mentioned above that Hurkacz won in the second set are linked below together from 2:05 in the video. Just incredible!
Recommended reading 📚
LOL moment 😂
I’m still in hysterics at this!!! Siegemund’s quick reaction and then the ballkid at the end 😂😂😂😂😂.
Around the grounds 👟
Not as many FPAs (famous person alerts) on Friday. The best spot was as we left the grounds as my brother is convinced he saw Andy Murray driving a car away from the grounds!
I saw Jo Durie twice during the day – once at the entrance and then later in the day standing outside Court 18. We saw an assortment of line judges and umpires around the grounds, and caught quite a few players walking to and from their match courts. We saw Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Jurgen Melzer, who are playing mixed doubs together. It was the first time i’ve seen Pavs this year! We also saw Bethanie Mattek-Sands heading into the Centre Court locker room with her husband after winning her mixed doubs with Jamie Murray.
I went down to the practice courts in the afternoon which were quiet. Only Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was practising so I gave up quickly. I really hope they improve the practice court viewing facilities with all the upgrades. The queues to get down to them in the morning are always long and access is cramped anyway. It’s one of the reasons I like Eastbourne so much.
Getting into the grounds took 20 minutes on Friday as they closed the gate we were trying to get into so we had to head up to the next one. Meanwhile lots of players had walked past us and got in much earlier! I was worried we wouldn’t get a seat on Court No.3 for Svitolina-Sakkari but it was surprisingly empty and never entirely full during the match. I wondered if this was because of the 11am start?
General spectator etiquette was an issue again as a man behind us on Court No.3 proceeded to loudly ask his friend DURING actual play about how to mute his phone. I was thinking how do we mute you! Like Court 12 yesterday, there was lots of empty drinks and rubbish on our row in No.1 Court. The laziness of some people surprises and infuriates me.
It was another busy day and there were humans everywhere. The court 18 roof was absolutely packed in the afternoon and the Centre Court/No.1 Court resale line was huge and snaking. I guess for the potential Serena-Andy doubles? As much as I love visiting Wimbledon and it’s such a special place, i’m looking forward to watching the rest of the tournament sitting comfortably in front of the TV with a cold beverage, snacks aplenty and being able to choose what match I want to watch.
Saturday’s Polls 🤔
A selection of polls for Saturday’s matches. Been busy the last two days so will get some thoughts up for the last 16 matches onwards. Disappointed with the schedule which has FOUR women’s matches starting simultaneously at 11am 🙄.