Who’s Winning Wimbledon? — Week 1 Quotes — Must-click women’s tennis links
The IX: Tennis Tuesday with Joey Dillon, July 5, 2022
Happy Tennis Tuesday, everyone! I would make a spiel about the holiday weekend, but I can’t brag about “independence” when women’s uteruses are controlled by old, white men. Speaking of all-white and tradition, Wimbledon has its Elite Eight:
If you hilariously followed my predictions, I have one quarterfinalist correct in Ons Jabeur. However, I am proud that I had Ajla Tomljanovic in the Round of 16. Both players find themselves in their second consecutive Wimbledon quarterfinal and don’t be surprised to see them do at least one better. However, looking at the top quarter, you’ll notice Iga Swiatek is missing. The top seed was stunned by Alize Cornet in the third round, finally snapping a 21st century-record 37-match winning streak. As with pretty much every Slam, there’s not a single standout player that strikes me as holding the Venus Rosewater dish.
The Ajla Tomljanovic/Elena Rybakina match is perhaps the largest coin toss, in my opinion. Tomljanovic has been this far at the All England Club, but Rybakina is just so steady and consistently going deep in tournaments. The Kazakh has been due for a deep run since narrowly missing out on a medal at the Tokyo Olympics and this could be her chance. My heart leans for Tomljanovic, but I see Rybakina adding her name to the list of first-time Grand Slam semifinalists.
Pick: Rybakina in 3 sets
Simona Halep was utterly sublime in her rout over Paula Badosa and the 2019 champion seems to carry the most momentum into the quarterfinals. I do think her experience makes her the favorite out of the remaining contenders, but Amanda Anisimova did — to bluntly put it — destroy her at the 2019 French Open. While Anisimova did have a fantastic win over Coco Gauff, she hasn’t had the best road en route, while Halep has been getting better with each match. I’m comfortable saying that the winner of Halep/Anisimova will be taking Center Court on Finals Day, though.
Pick: Halep in 2 sets
Now, for the bottom half. I’ve had Ons Jabeur penciled in to make the finals since the beginning and she’s taken advantage of her draw to get to her second Wimbledon quarterfinal. A matchup against Marie Bouzkova, advancing to her maiden Slam quarterfinal, is my favorite matchup of the round. Bouzkova has been playing some brilliant tennis, knocking out a trio of Americans and then Caroline Garcia. Jabeur, one of the favorites entering the tournament, certainly has looked like it, only being battle-tested in the fourth round against Elise Mertens where she was taken to a tight first-set tiebreak. Jabeur’s game is too solid for the slow(ish) grass of SW19, but Bouzkova will give the Tunisian her toughest test.
Pick: Jabeur in 2 tight sets
The last quarter has an all-German showdown none of you saw coming — Tatjana Maria vs. Jule Niemeier. Both have solid grasscourt games, with Maria winning her first WTA title on the lawns of Mallorca with her chips and slices, while Niemeier is blasting her serve past opponents. Maria, who is the first mother of two to advance to the third round of Wimbledon this century, saved match points in her fourth rounder over Jelena Ostapenko, while Niemeier ended Britain’s hopes with a straight-setter over Heather Watson. Niemeier, playing in only her second Grand Slam main draw, has had a lot less court time than Maria, completely dismantled No. 2 seed Anett Kontaveit, but I think the gamestyle and experience of Maria will be too much.
Pick: Maria in 2 sets
I admit, my predictions in hindsight weren’t too bad. Many of my Round of 16 misses lost to players who are in the quarterfinals, so I can kind of call that a win. However, if going with my heart, Ons Jabeur makes history over Simona Halep on Saturday. My gut says the result will be reversed though, but expect some really inspired tennis from the remaining competitors. This is perhaps the most wide-open Wimbledon since 2013 (talk about a THROWBACK), so I’m very curious to see how the final three rounds unfold.
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This Week in Women’s Tennis
Wimbledon and the Lawn Tennis Association were fined by the WTA for barring players from Russia and Belarus into the tournament. The All-England Club was fined $750,000 and the LTA $250,000 to the dismay of both organizations.
Serena Williams’ singles comeback ended in the first round, but WHAT A MATCH! A final-set tiebreaker saw Harmony Tan earn the biggest win of her career, but most fans will wonder if this is the last time SW will grace SW19. For now, signs point to the GOAT to be playing in at least the US Open.
Speaking of Tan, the Frenchwoman got in some hot water when she pulled out of doubles after the Williams marathon and her partner Tamara Korpatsch was not happy. While I always appreciate a shady moment, the two made amends. The withdrawal helped propel Tan to the second week of a Grand Slam for the first time, where she ended up falling to Amanda Anisimova.
Wimbledon saw a breakthrough fourth rounder for Heather Watson, while also bidding Kirsten Flipkens adieu in singles:
The WTA previously announced the Citi Open returning to Washington DC, but Chennai, India will also be getting a WTA 250 event the week of September 12.
Bianca Andreescu can add “author” to her list of titles as the 2019 US Open champion released a children’s book, Bibi’s Got Game: A Story about Tennis, Meditation and a Dog Named Coco.
Elina Svitolina opened up more about how the Ukraine-Russia conflict had affected her mentally, especially as she found out she was pregnant. She also announced a charity exhibition with Iga Swiatek and Agnieszka Radwanska where she will be a chair umpire with proceeds benefitting the United 24 fund.
Title IX has obviously had a huge role in the rise of collegiate women’s tennis, but Iowa State takes a look into how it fostered their current program. In other college news, three-time Big 12 Coach of the Year Todd Petty resigned from leading the Texas Tech program for personal reasons after taking the Red Raiders to new heights in his tenure. The best college news from this week though? Five at The IX alum Catherine Harrison sliding into Wimbledon qualifying last-minute, qualifying and winning her opening round:
Fresh off of an incredible win, Alize Cornet almost found herself in another Grand Slam quarterfinal. However, she was making headlines earlier in the week when she basically admitted players weren’t forthcoming about COVID-19 diagnoses at Roland Garros, putting the question out at Wimbledon if players were doing the same.
In case you missed it, WTA Insider recaps the biggest Week 1 stories from Wimbledon.
In the past, the US Open social media has been a bit tragic, but they delivered with this exchange:
Good on these fans for continuing to publicize the question that should rightfully be answered — Where is Peng Shuai?
I usually hate to share fashion pieces of the players because the players are more than their outfits, but Maria Sakkari won Wimbledon:
Tweet(s) of the Week
I will give my entire being if it means Venus Williams won’t ever retire. Inspired by Serena’s wildcard and the grass, the seven-time Wimbledon champion asked for a surprise wildcard of her own with Jamie Murray. They won their opener in three sets before losing an epic second rounder to British wildcards Jonny O’Mara and Alicia Barnett, 7-6(16) in the third set.
Five at The IX: Week 1 Wimbledon
“I think I’ve been asked this question in every press conference. But I am 19-years old. Yes, I have had attention. But I’m a slam champion, so no one’s going to take that away from me. Yeah, if anything, the pressure is on those who haven’t done that.” – Emma Raducanu
“Funny enough, today, when I finished, [my father] is like, ‘Oh, I have to book [the hotel] again.’ I was, like, ‘You’re kidding me.’ He wasn’t kidding, but he managed to book the same hotel, so I have a room probably until Tuesday, but I don’t care. I said, ‘Even if someone is joining me in my room, I’m not leaving this hotel.’ He’s like, Ajla hungry rats swim the fastest. Whatever that means. Like some old fatherly saying. I’m like, ‘Well, I’m not a rat and I’m not hungry. I just want my house from the beginning till the end, – or maybe you should just believe in me a little more.’” – Ajla Tomljanovic
“Last year at US Open I lost to Emma, second-round. I feel, like, ‘Oh, my God, she play so good, and then she won the tournament. Three years ago, I play against Simona here at quarterfinals, and then she won the Wimbledon. And also I played third-round Sofia Kenin, Australia Open. She won the tournament. So I just tell Caro, ‘So many time they beat me, after, they won the tournament. She say, ‘Okay, don’t tell me too early’ [because] she have to concentrate next match.” – Zhang Shuai
“This time around, even though I’m considered a favorite, I don’t feel like it as much as I did when I was 15 or even 16. I felt like I was a little bit delusional in my head about how much people wanted me to win, whereas now I feel like if it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t.” – Coco Gauff
“Okay, maybe I’m a little more relaxed when I’m the underdog. I think I have nothing to lose, and that’s where I am the most dangerous. I play my shots, like, more relaxed, I hit better from the baseline. I don’t know, I don’t have any parasite in my thoughts.” – Alize Cornet
|By: Annie Peterson, @AnnieMPeterson, AP Women’s Soccer
|By: Joey Dillon, @JoeyDillon, Freelance Tennis Writer
|By: Howard Megdal, @HowardMegdal, The Next
|By: Addie Parker, @addie_parker, The IX
|By: @TheIceGarden, The Ice Garden
|By: Lela Moore, @runlelarun, Freelance Writer