WTA: Upsets Add Intrigue To Women’s Wimbledon Draw

WTA: Upsets Add Intrigue To Women’s Wimbledon Draw

words_Brandon Richard

Just when you think you have the answers, they change the questions. Today, the greatest female Wimbledon competitor of the last decade took the court against an unseeded opponent. As expected, the match was lopsided. One player controlled things from start to finish, while the other looked like they didn’t belong on the court at all. However, it was not the Wimbledon great who walked off the court all smiles. After competing in the Finals in 8 of the last 10 Wimbledon tournaments, 5-time champion Venus Williams bowed out gracefully after a stunning 6-2, 6-3 loss to 82nd-ranked Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria.

Venus was never able to find as comfort zone. After a 2-2 tie in the first set, Pironkova broke Venus’ serve twice and took 4 straight games to win the set in dominant fashion. Venus took a 2-1 lead in the second set, but was broken once again. Down 5-2 and two match points, she was able to fight her way to another game, but was ultimately beaten on Pironkova’s serve. Commonplace in tennis, the story of the match may have come in the unforced errors count. Venus totaled 29 to Pironkova’s 6. It was the first time Venus lost to a played ranked lower than 80 since she lost to Pironkova in the 2006 Australian Open.

The upsets continued to roll as Vera Zvonareva of Russia rallied to beat 8th ranked Kim Clijsters 3-6, 6-4, 6-2. It marked the first time Zvonareva has defeated Clijsters in six meetings. Despite the fact that this was the first time Clijsters competed at Wimbledon since retiring in 2006, many viewed her as a threat to win. After a victory over Justine Henin on Monday and drawing a familiar opponent, Clijsters appeared to be in good shape. Much like the Venus Williams match, unforced errors may have been the difference between advancing and a flight home. Zvonareva won that battle by posting 19 unforced errors to Clijsters 36.

Tuesdays results make it the first time two unseeded players have reached the women’s semifinals at Wimbledon since 1999.  The unseeded Pironkova will face-off against Zvonareva in one of the two match-ups. The other unseeded player, Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic, is rewarded with a match with the #1 ranked Serena Williams. Though the remaining draw looks like a favorable one for the remaining Williams sister, today’s results reinforced the idea that anything is possible.

images via Yahoo

WTA: Upsets Add Intrigue To Women’s Wimbledon Draw

ATP: 2010 Wimbledon Begins Today

words_Brandon Richard

The oldest and most prestigious tennis tournament in the world, the Wimbledon Championships, returns this week at the All England Club in London. From now until July 4th, the world’s best tennis players of both genders will compete for the sport’s two grandest prizes. The men will vie for the silver gilt cup and cover that has been awarded to the winner since 1877. On the other side, women will attempt to capture the Venus Rosewater Dish. These trophies are a lot more elusive to some players than others.

The main storyline heading into the men’s draw is simple. Will we see another installment of Federer vs. Nadal? The draws are stacked for both men, with a plethora of great players standing in the way of a potential showdown. On top of that, Federer had to fight tooth and nail to get out of his opening round match against Alejandro Falla this morning. That may come as a sign that he’s still struggling after a sub-par clay court season. On the other hand, Rafael Nadal is surging coming into the tournament. After decisively taking the French in straight sets earlier this month, Rafa has his eyes set on a 4th Wimbledon Final and 2nd championship. He opens up play against Japan’s Kei Nishikori. Other notable players to watch out for include Andy Roddick, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Robin Soderling, and former champion Lleyton Hewitt.

As usual, all eyes are on the Williams sisters on the women’s side of things. After a woeful clay court season, Serena Williams returns to grass, where she hopes to reassert her dominance. Big sister Venus has made 8 finals appearance at the All England Club, bringing home 5 Rosewater Dishes. The only player she’s ever lost a Wimbledon final to? Little sister Serena. So, needless to say, Venus is always a threat when she plays this tournament. Experts also believe she has a favorable draw. Other big names to watch out for are Justin Henin, who is attempting to add Wimbledon Champion to her already impressive resume, and a focused Maria Sharapova who is looking to recapture her championship form.

These will be just some of the storylines to keep an eye out for as play starts today. With the final taking place on Independence Day, we’re a little under two weeks away from crowning champions. Stay tuned to the Eastbay Blog for more updates!

images via Yahoo