2021 Wimbledon, Day 4 Highlights: Kerber & Sorribes Tormo put on a show, a MOTY contender!

After a rain-delayed start to the tournament, we’re back on track with the second round officially in the books. Thursday was quieter in terms of the number of matches but another hugely entertaining day with something exciting happening wherever you looked from mid-afternoon onwards. I’m still getting  over how Wednesday’s frenzied order of play ended with that Murray thriller. It’s been a great Wimbledon so far! Read on for Thursday’s diary…

Day 4️⃣ Highlights

(19) Karolina Muchova d. Camila Giorgi, 6-3 5-7 6-3

In one of the toughest second round matches and a potentially crucial one for the outcome of this quarter, Muchova survived the Giorgi onslaught to win in three sets. It wasn’t the prettiest of matches! Muchova played a great first set, aided by Giorgi’s growing error count. In the second set, Giorgi began to outhit and outmanoeuvre Muchova. Giorgi was battling with her own serve at times, failing to put a first serve in court when she tried to serve it out. Second time round, Giorgi got it done.

Giorgi was very erratic and Muchova was generally the steadier of the pair, serving much better in the third set. It wasn’t a clean close from Muchova who was very passive in the final game and needed five match points to seal the win. Certainly not the best performance i’ve seen from Muchova who was mostly reactive in the final two sets. A win is a win. And it’s a huge win because Giorgi on grass is so dangerous! It doesn’t get any easier in the third round for Muchova who plays the French Open finalist, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.  I still think Muchova gets out of this quarter…

(1) Ash Barty d. Anna Blinkova, 6-4 6-3

Barty through in straights but the scoreline doesn’t really tell the story. Barty was out-of-sorts for much of the match. Double faults, slices long, even the forehand was shaky. From 4-4 in the first set, Barty seemed to figure it out as she began to hit into corners with margin and go side-to-side, exploiting Blinkova’s movement.

Things got dicey again in the second set too. Barty held onto her break at *4-3, saving four break points with some clutch play. Definitely something up with Barty and she didn’t look herself for much of the match. Not sure if she’s still feeling the hip, or just simply finding her feet on grass. Barty’s my champ for Wimby. Looking unlikely as it is now. Siniakova in the next round is a tough out. Will be interesting…

Jelena Ostapenko d. (31) Daria Kasatkina, 6-1 3-6 8-6

This match was everything I expected and more. The third set featured 11 breaks of serve in 14 games with Kasatkina going up a break five times and serving for it twice. After a fantastic start, Ostapenko’s radar went astray. Sadly, and unsurprisingly, Kasatkina lacked the decisiveness to close out the match.

Ostapenko was two points away from defeat down 5-6* 0-30* in the third set and went onto win the last three games. A lot of errors from Ostapenko but she matched it with the winners. 48 winners to 48 unforced. As i’ve written before, if Ostapenko can keep that ratio positive then she’s going to be tough to beat.

As a Dasha fan, this was a painful watch. From looking down and out, she was very close to winning. I guess the result will only make Ostapenko stronger in what has become one of the most open sections of the draw.

(25) Angelique Kerber d. Sara Sorribes Tormo, 7-5 5-7 6-4

What. A. Match. Kerber-Sorribes Tormo is the match of the tournament so far and a solid contender for match of the year too. The pair received an extended standing ovation at the end and the crowd didn’t stop clapping until they’d left the stadium. Love it!

The match lasted three hours and 19 minutes. Yet another epic involving Sorribes Tormo! It’s some of the most attritional tennis i’ve seen in a long time with so many longggg rallies. But they were so fun, so intense and of such a high quality. It was such an absorbing watch.

When I think of grass and Sorribes Tormo, it’s not an obvious match. However, i’ll never forget when she beat Kaia Kanepi at Wimbledon in 2018. Furthermore, SST beat Ana Konjuh to reach the second round this year. There are facets to her game that actually suit the grass such as the slice which she used beautifully against Kerber. The willingness to come to the net worked well too  and Sorribes Tormo hit some gorgeous drop volleys.

Kerber missed a match point in the second set and then was shaking out her wrist at the start of the third set. It felt like Sorribes Tormo had finally worn down Kerber. I was surprised and impressed with Kerber’s staying power and I think she won that third set by ultimately playing more aggressively. I thought this might be a tough match-up because Kerber thrives off pace and she had to generate it all against Sorribes Tormo. A great match from both and a huge win for Kerber. What a week it’s been for Angie!

One to remember come the best matches countdown at the end of the year…

Emma Raducanu d. Marketa Vondrousova, 6-2 6-4

I didn’t expect Emma Raducanu to be the last British woman standing in this draw! This was an inspired display. Raducanu was absolutely zoning in the first set and her backhand was on fire. Vondrousova mounted a comeback in the second set and had break points for a 4-0 lead. Raducanu held on in that game and won six of the last seven games, serving out the match in confident fashion as Vondrousova completely folded. A standard drive-by handshake from Vondrousova 🙄. Absolutely delighted at this result 😋.

Raducanu got a late wild card into Wimbledon after reaching the quarter-finals of the ITF 100K event in Nottingham. Samsonova was also a late wild card into Wimbledon and both players are into the third round. A great job from Wimby with those wild cards decisions!

Best of the rest 🎾

Sorana Cirstea beat the number 12 seed, Victoria Azarenka, 7-6(5) 3-6 6-4 in another great match. The hitting in the third set was insane! Cirstea said in her post-match interview it was the best atmosphere she’d ever played in and the best moment of her career!

Magda Linette scored the biggest win of her career, rather comfortably dispatching the number three seed, Elina Svitolina, 6-3 6-4. I think Linette is a very solid hitter and underrated.

Ajla Tomljanovic reached the third round of a Slam for the first time since 2014 (!) with a three set victory over Alizé Cornet, 6-4 0-6 6-3. A huge win for Tomljanovic!

In a match carried over from yesterday, Shelby Rogers knocked out the number 15 seed and French Open semi-finalist, Maria Sakkari in straight sets, 7-5 6-4.

Super stat 🔢

🥰🥰🥰

Best point  🎾

The first rally in the video below. Kerber-SST was so good!!!

Snap of the day 📸

Fantastic picture from Jimmie48!

Recommended reading 📚

I wrote about my day at Wimbledon on Tuesday where I was on No.1 Court. There’s plenty of photos included and thoughts on visiting Wimby in these strange times.

Day 5 watchlist 📺

Thoughts about day 5 matches can be found on the separate page here.

(11) Garbiñe Muguruza vs. (21) Ons Jabeur

(13) Elise Mertens vs. (23) Madison Keys

Liudmila Samsonova vs. Sloane Stephens

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7 thoughts on “2021 Wimbledon, Day 4 Highlights: Kerber & Sorribes Tormo put on a show, a MOTY contender!

  1. Yeah, I love watching Vondrousova play but I have noticed that she’s gaining a bit of a stank attitude lately.

    Really pleased to see Kerber peaking again. She could definitely go on to win this.

    Was very disappointed that Kostyuk blew her lead and lost to Sevastova, who did little more than just hang in there really.

    And as for Barty, I don’t think she was that bad? Yes, her first serve % was low and she hit quite a few double faults. But she was being aggressive and playing an opponent who was returning very well. I still feel good about her chances at winning.

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    • I like watching Vondrousova play too but i’m over the attitude, can’t warm to her at all.

      Kerber looks good. I’m going to curse it, I really hope we get Kerber-Gauff in the fourth round, that could be a great match.

      Saw bits of Kostyuk-Sevastova, a shame! Intrigued by Seva-Krejcikova in the next round.

      Yeah I felt quite negative about Barty earlier. Feeling more positive after watching her press conference. I do think she will have to step it up in the next few rounds which she is obviously capable of doing. I was thinking earlier Barty won’t get past Siniakova but cooling on that feeling now!

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  2. The 3rd set of the Kerber match was amazing. Then the Azarenka match was another good one. Some great tennis was played and it is a massive plus to have the spectators back as they create a wonderful atmosphere.

    I thought that Barty looked a bit edgy from the start. Maybe she will settle down now and play better.

    Hope I am wrong but I do not think that Dasha ( Kasatkina ) will ever come close to winning a GS unless she can improve her serve significantly ( especially her 2nd serve ). I do not find her as entertaining to watch as I used to. I thought that she was a joy to watch back in 2017/18 when she won two WTA events and reached some other finals and got to the QF at the FO and also at Wimbledon and I tried to make sure that I watched all of her matches. However she split with her coach in early 2019 which I think was a pity as they seemed to work well together and her game has become more basic since then imho.

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    • Well her coach is Svetlana Kuznetsova’s longtime coach, and I don’t think he was particularly good for her game either, if I’m honest. Kuznetsova became much less aggressive under his watch, much more intent to stay behind the baseline and rally.

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      • I think that this is the problem with Dasha who has now become more defensive and hopes that her opponent makes a mistake before she does. It nearly worked against Ostapenko and Dasha has won 2 moderate titles this year and she will probably win more moderate ones but I think that she is capable of better.

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    • I think most players would look “basic” against Ostapenko! It’s the same old thing with Dasha unfortunately but I have to say she’s in a better place than she was a few years ago. She would have lost that match in straight sets back then.

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      • We will have to ‘ agree to disagree ‘ on that one then James and she did beat Ostapenko back then in a final if I remember correctly but has lost twice to her recently.

        Liked by 1 person

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