Celebrating the Barty Party & More From Wimbledon — Quotes from SW19’s Champs — Must-click women’s tennis links
The IX: Tennis Tuesday with Joey Dillon, July 13, 2021
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Even though I felt like we ended Roland Garros yesterday, it’s time to do my post-Slam musings a la Jon Wertheim’s Parting Shots.
First, can we give an incredible amount of kudos to Ashleigh Barty. She entered Wimbledon with an injury her team withheld how severe it was and on the 50th anniversary of her idol Evonne Goolagong Cawley capturing Wimbledon — while wearing a dress paying homage to the Australian Aborigine legend.
She drops the second set in her opening match, but with each match got better, working her way to capture her second Grand Slam with a three-set win over Karolina Pliskova. Honestly, like Barty said, the stars aligned and she’s forever linked to Goolagong Cawley.
While the accolades from her peers and others around the world are more than well-deserved, it’s these two moments from Casey Dellacqua and Jelena Dokic giving credit to Barty’s parents that stand out to me. It was only a few years ago that Barty stepped away from the game due to depression and we didn’t know if we’d see her play again. Barty is the ultimate sportswoman and a complete visionary of what a leader in women’s tennis should be:
Remember not even two months ago when Karolina Pliskova got double bageled in the Rome final and as Wimbledon began, she fell out of the Top 10 for the first time in 230 weeks? I can tell you who didn’t — Pliskova. What a fortnight for the Czech to seemingly come out of nowhere to reach her second Grand Slam final, only to lose in three sets again. The North American hardcourts await and she’s one to watch to make some noise.
Elise Mertens and Hsieh Su-Wei are still a new doubles duo and have already had a plethora of matches they’ve squandered big leads and/or match points. Entering Wimbledon as the No. 3 seeds, they work their way into the final and have to save championship points against Elena Vesnina and Veronika Kudermetova to win. Sports, I tell ya.
Who had Desirae Krawczyk as a multiple Grand Slam champion on their 2021 bingo card? The Arizona State alum took home her second consecutive mixed doubles Grand Slam trophy, this time partnering with Neal Skupski. Her opponent in the final? None other than her Roland Garros partner, Joe Salisbury, and Harriet Dart. Learn more about the American from WTA Insider’s Doubles Dossier.
Keep your eyes peeled for Ane Mintegi del Olmo. Not only does she look fly as hell with her hat, glasses and hair flowing, she’s got game. She became the first Spaniard to win the Wimbledon Girl’s title. The doubles title was captured by Kristina Dmitruk and Diana Shnaider. Who knows maybe in 10 years, she’ll be taking home the Ladies title?
Congratulations to Diede De Groot, who captured the wheelchair title for her fourth consecutive Grand Slam. Do we have a Golden Slam in the making? We’re two tournaments away from knowing.
History was long overdue on the men’s side, with Marija Cicak becoming the first female chair umpire to oversee the men’s final. Soon, we’ll be able to stop making a big deal of each time this happens and it’ll be a regular sight each tournament.
What a week for Emma Raducanu, who was Wimbledon’s overnight sensation working her way into the second week before — by the looks of it — succumbed to a panic attack in her fourth rounder:
Heather Crowley, a Five at The IX alum, was an absolute star for the Wimbledon social media team. Give her a follow ASAP.
I love when the coaches of players get some time in the press conference room and WTA Insider’s Coaching Corner ahead of the Wimbledon final is a great example of why.
How’s this for a stat? We’re seeing more of a post-Williams life unfold, so you may want to get used to it:
With that said, enough of the retirement talk for Venus and Serena. They can do what they want, when they want. They’ve forever changed sport and culture and the fact we get to breathe the same time they do is simply enough for me at this point.
Full crowds were such a welcome sight at Wimbledon and I honestly cannot wait until it becomes a norm across the board in the coming months — or year. Fingers crossed.
Now, we move to the hardcourts. Who’s going to rise to the occasion? How will the Tokyo Olympics impact the next few months? Will we see more first-time WTA titleists? Hell, will we see another inspiring gold medal run like we did from Monica Puig in 2016? Lots of questions and obviously no answers.
This Week in Women’s Tennis
Elena-Gabriela Ruse stormed through qualifying and left Hamburg with her maiden WTA title, taking the Hamburg European Open with a straight-sets win over Andrea Petkovic. Jasmine Paolini and Jil Teichmann took home the doubles title with a win over Astra Sharma and Rosalie Van Der Hoek.
Nuria Párrizas Díaz captured the biggest title of her career in Bastad, Sweden at the WTA 125 Nordea Open, knocking out Olga Govortsova in the final. The home crowd didn’t leave empty-handed, with Mirjam Bjorkland and Leonie Kung escaping Tereza Mihalikova and Kamilla Rakhimova in a match tiebreak.
With her Wimbledon title, Elise Mertens reclaimed the No. 1 doubles ranking, while Garbine Muguruza returned to the Top 10 for the first time since August 2018.
Five at The IX alum Ellen Perez checked in with her soon-to-be alma mater, the University of Georgia, to discuss the pro tour, qualifying for Wimbledon and the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.
Dayana Yastremska made her WTA return following her provisional anti-doping ban in Hamburg, reaching the semifinals.
Bianca Andreescu is the latest big name to withdraw from the Tokyo Olympics. 70% of her ranking points are due to come off in the next three months, so we honestly should’ve expected her focus to go there.
Naomi Osaka is getting the Barbie treatment and honestly, what else can she have come her way? Well, the trailer for Naomi Osaka’s Netflix docuseries, Naomi, dropped and it’s worth a watch:
The International Tennis Integrity Agency allegedly had two suspicious matches during Wimbledon and, because men’s doubles plays three out of five sets, signs point to it revolving around the women.
Many congratulations to Judy Murray, who was this year’s recipient of the Georgina Clark WTA Mother Award
The ESPYs were held this past week and Naomi Osaka was named Best Female Athlete, making her first mainstream appearance since her withdrawal from Roland Garros and Wimbledon.
You voted and wtatennis.com announced their June Shots of the Month.
Tweet of the Week
Head wins this battle when the iconic picture of Ashleigh Barty with a trophy resurfaced
Five at The IX: Wimbledon Champions
Q. Besides Evonne’s 50-year anniversary, I think many things happened to you in this year, like you played Centre Court opening match because Simona couldn’t do that. In that first round you played against Suarez Navarro. Is it like your destiny or something like that?
ASHLEIGH BARTY: I’m a firm believer in everything happens for a reason, the good moments and the tough moments. I think being able to learn from both of them equally is really important as a person, especially as an athlete being able to understand that there are always learnings from every match. From every experience that you need to learn from, there is an opportunity for growth.
I think over the past fortnight, I’ve had massive, massive amounts of growth, even the last fortnight I think I’ve grown as a person. Certainly been able to use my experience as a tennis player to get me through some tough matches this week. I felt like I was able to get better and better with each match and trust myself more and more each and every time I stood out on the court.
Q. Elise, you have been on tour with Su-Wei for a long time. I am curious what you’ve learned from her being partners, spending more time with Su-Wei?
SU-WEI HSIEH: Scary?
ELISE MERTENS: Scary?
SU-WEI HSIEH: I feel scary.
ELISE MERTENS: No, she’s a very nice person. She’s very funny. She tries very hard every time. She’s great at the net.
I mean, some of her volleys, I mean, I can’t do. She’s a magician. As players, we really grew towards each other. She’s a very nice person.
SU-WEI HSIEH: Thank you. (Laughter.)
Q. About this moment, you are part of history. You are part of “the” first wheelchair tennis match final to be played on No. 1 Court. That’s something nobody can ever take away from you, is it?
DIEDE DE GROOT: No, definitely not. Like I said, I was a little bit surprised. At the same time I was very excited. I had a few people coming out to watch me today, which was also great. They had the opportunity. They cheered for me. It’s just great to have so many people watching us. Even I think it was on BBC 2, a lot of people were able to watch it at home, which normally doesn’t happen. So it’s great.
Q. Since the French Open and Wimbledon back to back now, you and Novak Djokovic have both done that. A great achievement for you both.
DESIRAE KRAWCZYK: I definitely don’t think I have the same accolades as Novak, but thanks for putting us in the same sentence (smiling).
NEAL SKUPSKI: He’s never won the mixed.
DESIRAE KRAWCZYK: That’s true. Does he want to play mixed (smiling)?
Q. You made history today as the first Spanish player to win a girl’s singles title at Wimbledon. What does it mean to you?
ANE MINTEGI DEL OLMO: For me it’s a special (indiscernible). I’m the first girl in Spain that I win the Wimbledon, so I’m so happy and it’s amazing.