Manic Monday has often been regarded as the best day of the tennis calendar as the last 16 matches from women’s and men’s draws taken centre stage. In recent years, the craziness of the schedule has taken away from the occasion with so many great matches clashing with each other. I thought this year’s scheduling and phasing of matches was better than previous years, and it was the most exciting Manic Monday in years in terms of the matches. This post covers all eight women’s matches including media highlights of the day. Read on for Monday’s Set Points post from day 7 at Wimbledon.
Match reviews 🎾
Karolina Muchova d. Karolina Pliskova, 4-6 7-5 13-11
Regular readers of the blog will know that i’m on the Karolina Muchova bandwagon. However, I did not see this result coming! Serving well, playing with gorgeous variety and a rock solid mentality, Muchova beat Karolina Pliskova in the longest match of the women’s tournament so far, eventually winning, 4-6 7-5 13-11 in three hours and 17 minutes.
This was a superb match and one of the best of the 2019 Championships so far. It was a heartbreaker for Pliskova who twice served for a place in the quarter-finals at *5-4 and *11-10. The second attempt at serving out was particularly tame as Pliskova was broken to love on a double fault.
Muchova played a fantastic match and caused Pliskova all kinds of problems with her variety as she sliced, hit glorious drop shots, moved beautifully around the court and charged the net. The pair combined for 92 plays at the net, of which 62 were successful. Most impressive of all in Muchova’s game was her mental resilience in the third set. Apart from the two times she was broken at 2-2 and 10-10, Muchova got out of so many sticky situations on serve…
*1-1 Muchova taken to 40-40, HOLDS
*3-3 Muchova saved a break point at *30-40, HOLDS
*5-5 Muchova saved a break point at *30-40, HOLDS
*6-6 Muchova was down *15-30, HOLDS
*7-7 Muchova was down *0-15, HOLDS
*9-9 Muchova taken to 30-30, HOLDS
*8-8 Muchova saved two break points *15-40, HOLDS
*11-11 Muchova taken to 40-40, HOLDS
In her first ever main draw appearance at Wimbledon, Muchova has advanced to her first Slam quarter-final. She’s a star ⭐.
Alison Riske d. (1) Ashleigh Barty, 3-6 6-2 6-3
It was a day of firsts for Alison Riske as she scored her first win over a world number one to advance to a first ever Slam quarter-final with yet another three set win, snapping Ash Barty’s extraordinary win streak at 15. It’s the third time this tournament that she has come from a set down to win.
Barty had started in rather ominous form as she hit four consecutive aces in her opening service game. It was actually the serve that let Barty down later on. Riske produced a relentlessly aggressive display, dominating at the net and on return. Riske won 20 of 27 points up at the net and Barty won just 37% of second serve points. That is one of the lowest returns on serve i’ve seen for Barty, a mark of how well Riske returned and how generally consistent Barty has been on serve all year.
A bit gutted for Barty but she’s had one hell of a run. I actually had Barty out in my draw in the fourth round but as always, didn’t pick the right player! I’m so happy for Riske. I have the utmost admiration for her attitude on court and she’s such a fighter. Her post-match interview was lovely as she just about managed to hold back the tears – she told the interviewer at one point, “you told me you weren’t going to make me cry before we started this!”.
(19) Johanna Konta d. (6) Petra Kvitova, 4-6 6-2 6-4
Johanna Konta made it back-to-back Slam quarter-finals as she came from a set down for the second straight match to beat Petra Kvitova in three sets. Konta led 5-1 in the third set, serving out at the second time of asking and managing to stave off a late surge from Kvitova. I thought the third set was closer than the scoreline suggested at 5-1 with Konta serving well and winning the big points. Kvitova finally managed to get a break back but she left herself with too much to do.
Considering she was a doubt before the tournament, I think reaching the second week was a super result for Kvitova and a boost for the ranking having lost in the first round last year. I feel that the lack of matches on grass eventually caught up with her. Konta has won her last six three set matches and is competing fantastically right now.
(7) Simona Halep d. Cori Gauff, 6-3 6-3
Simona Halep is into the quarter-finals of Wimbledon for the third time in the last four years as she ended the remarkable run of Cori Gauff. In an exhilarating start to the match, Halep overcame some early serving yips. Halep moved brilliantly and got so many balls back in play. I thought Gauff started well and I sensed Halep had some nerves early on but she powered through them. The 15-year-old had the doctor on in the second set for what appeared to be a stomach complaint as her unforced error count began to increase.
It’s been a great run for Gauff and no doubt the story of the 2019 Championships. There’s going to be a lot of attention on her so I hope she can stay grounded. I loved that her dad signaled for her to wait for Simona at the end of the match as she started to walk off. It was a nice moment! A good win for Halep who has been quietly consistent at Wimbledon over the past few years and is the highest ranked player left in the tournament!
(8) Elina Svitolina d. (24) Petra Martic, 6-4 6-2
Is it just me or does Elina Svitolina have some of her best runs when you least expect it?! It happened in Wimbledon 2017 when most people backed Barty to upset Svitolina in the first round. It also happened at the WTA Finals in Singapore last year where Svitolina was the outsider and went onto win her biggest title. Svitolina is into her first Wimbledon quarter-final, slugging out a tough opener before easing past Martic in straight sets. The Croatian player noticeably tired at the end of the first set and took a medical time-out for a lower back injury.
Credit to Svitolina who has taken advantage of her opportunities this tournament playing solid tennis Martic produced some wonderful drop shot winners including a return drop shot winner to level up the set at 3-3. I felt that Martic was a bit passive and didn’t look her usual free-flowing self, looking uncomfortable off the forehand wing. Still, Martic won a pair of lengthy deuce games and then had three break points at 4-3. I felt that Martic let Svitolina off the hook by not stepping in and being aggressive on Svitolina’s short second serves. Once Svitolina got back on level terms in the first set, she rather cruised through the rest of the match.
(11) Serena Williams d. (30) Carla Suárez Navarro, 6-2 6-2
With the loss of Ash Barty and Karolina Pliskova, Serena Williams has now become the favourite to win Wimbledon. The number 11 seed never looked in trouble on Monday as she dropped just four games to Carla Suárez Navarro. It was Serena’s seventh consecutive win over the Spaniard and she’s never dropped more than three games in any of the 14 sets they’ve played. I was most impressed with how Serena used the angles in this match. Serena looking good and into yet another Wimbledon quarter-final…
Zhang Shuai d. Dayana Yastremska, 6-4 1-6 6-2
In the only all unseeded clash, Zhang Shuai beat Dayana Yastremska in three sets to advance to her Wimbledon quarter-final. It’s an amazing story that parallels what happens at the Australian Open in 2016. Zhang was 0-5 in first round singles matches at Wimbledon and has now won four straight matches! The same thing happened in Melbourne where she was 0-4 in first rounders and 0-14 in all Slam first rounders, before turning it around with a run to the quarter-finals in Melbs. Zhang Shuai can easily get on a roll! The key game of this last 16 clash was the first game of the third set where Zhang Shuai saved two break point which set her on the way to victory.
Barbora Strycova d. (21) Elise Mertens, 4-6 7-5 6-2
Fighting back from a set and a break down, Barbora Strycova won 11 of the last 12 games to beat a fading, Elise Mertens in three sets. Mertens failed to serve out the match at 6-4 *5-3 and took a medical time-out midway through the third set for a back injury. Strycova wasn’t phased by the stoppage in the third set and increasingly came forward after the first set. Strycova finished on a wonderful match point. Five years after her first Slam quarter-final, Strycova is back into the last eight of Wimbledon and seems to be relishing this moment.
Stat watch 🔢
The curse of No.2 Court struck again today with the top two favourites, Ash Barty and Karolina Pliskova, both losing on the court. Angelique Kerber and Caroline Wozniacki were also both upset on No.2 Court.
There are just two players who have reached the quarter-finals of the last two Slams – Simona Halep and Johanna Konta. There are only two players who have reached the second week of all three Slams this year – Ash Barty and Simona Halep.
Point of the day 👏
What a fantastic point in the Strycova-Mertens match!
Handshakes and hugs 🤗
A nice moment between Kvitova and Konta at the end of their Centre Court clash.
LOL moment 🤣
Not the first time this tournament that Jelena Ostapenko has hit someone with her serve in doubles this week 🙊.
Press highlights 📰
Loved Alison Riske’s press conference and her joy at reaching the quarter-finals. She discussed the quarter-final with Serena, saying she’s got to go for it! Alison fought back the tears at the end to give a very touching tribute to Paul Hutchins who sadly passed away earlier this year.
Recommended reading 📚
I wrote a detailed guide for visiting Wimbledon with plenty of tips about ticketing, travel and all the courts. Hopefully will be useful for anyone considering going to Wimbledon in the future!
Recommended listening 🎧
Interesting listen on the recent Tennis with an Accent podcast with special guest, Pat Cash.
Tomorrow’s OOP ⭐
The order of play makes sense for once! Women’s quarter-finals start at 1pm. Back to work tomorrow sob but hoping to dash back in time to watch.
Tuesday’s QF Polls 🤔
Readers went 2/4 on Monday in the polls with only 35% going for Svitolina and only 27% going for Konta. I had a shocker of a day with my draw officially in ruins 😂. Polls up for all four quarter-finals, as well as one for your pick from the final eight. Who you got?