Apart from the three Aussies being confirmed in the men’s singles fourth round with Alex De Minaur, Jason Kubler & Nick Kyrgios; We do only have one player left over at the women’s singles side – also in the fourth round – in none other than Ajla Tomljanovic. She too came from behind to eliminate the 2021 French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova from Czech Republic – 6-2, 6-4, 6-3 at Court No.12.
It’s not the exit the Czech wanted following a great start to this tie with an easy first set spell. She just couldn’t build on to bring herself home first ever since with two missed opportunities being taken away. She struggled to bridge that 2nd half consistency before Tomljanovic stepped in to tie at 1-1 apiece, brought it to a 3rd set decider where she later lost the lead & now it’s too late. She also hasn’t had a great grand slam record lately following her 1st round elimination recently at the French Open. But she’s 26 having made the Quarter-Finals earlier this year at the Australian Open, as it’s still possible for her to end her 2022 grand slam season on a high just like it was last year in the Final 8 at the US Open.
Meanwhile, Congratulations to Tomljanovic with the win she deserves against one of the past grand slam champions on-display. She may be disappointed with the poor start there by Krejcikova. However, she never gave up when Tomljanovic began to make up lost time as this tie goes on. Not only she was better than her opponent when it comes to the 2nd half pull, but also the persistence & fightback that helped gave herself another lifeline going into the 3rd set decider. From there, it allowed her a bit more time to read about Krejcikova’s on-court approach/body language before Tomljanovic smashed her way past the finish line first for the win.
It will be interesting to see if she can get past Alize Cornet from France on Monday – who just eliminated World No.1 Iga Swiatek from Poland – also in the third round tie – 4-6, 2-6. Should she win once again, it will be back-to-back Final 8s for another year here at Wimbledon.
It was a very easy start to this year’s Wimbledon campaign from Tunisian Ons Jabeur who was too good against Sweden’s Mirjam Bjorklund in straight sets – 6-1, 6-3 during the Opening Round at the No.1 Court.
It’s not the quick exit Bjorklund’s gone through after the opening day of this competition. She responded well on occasions – especially later in the 2nd set when Bjorklund tried to save this tie going into the 3rd & final set decider in an outside shot to knock out Jabeur. Unfortunately, she just couldn’t match the all-round momentum that Jabeur has set up from start to finish where she fell way behind off the pace following the 1st set before she couldn’t catch up ever since.
Meanwhile, it’s good to see Jabeur firing up who just entered Wimbledon as the 3rd seed in this Women’s Singles’ draw. She showed plenty of optimism & fight with a balance of consistency that helped her wrap up an easy win v Bjorklund; She will now advance into Round 2 v Poland’s Katarzyna Zawa for Day 3 tomorrow.
There’s still a long way to go though if she wants to get past her best result at the Quater-Finals, having last made the last eight 12 months ago here which was her second grand slams finals appearance since the 2020 Australian Open. Should this happen, she can go on & have a stab in her first Semis before Jabeur hopes to capture her breakthrough moment with a grand slam trophy on her hands at age 27.
It’s been a quick and easy finish to the women’s singles’ final on Day 14 of this year’s French Open where Iga Swiatek just won her 2nd grand slam title since 2020 here on clay at Court Philippe Chatrier. She had no problem getting the job done fair and square against Coco Gauff in straight sets; 6-1, 6-2.
Yes, it’s hard to look back on what it’s like to settle second best from 18-year-old American Coco Gauff. She had a brilliant restart into the second set in a bid to stay in this fight, having fired off poorly where Gauff fell way behind. However, she lacks the response & finishing needed to put the pressure back on Swiatek where Gauff was easily blown away by the World No.1 in the end. It’s her first grand slam final appearance, as there will be many more chances to savour if Gauff vows to come stronger for the next tournament at Wimbledon in a few weeks’ time.
And congratulations to Iga Swiatek with her 2nd grand slam championship since the 2020 French Open here. She just proved to be the top-ranked player out on-court today, who can deliver silverware, as she was too good for Gauff unchallenged from start to finish. It’s been another big moment for the 21-year-old from Poland today, having fell short in the semis by Danielle Collins at the Australian Open back in January before she took the World No.1 WTA ranking following Ash Barty’s retirement two months ago, and now won another grand slam with the No.1 on her side. Let’s see if she can dominate the next two Grand Slams at Wimbledon & US Open soon enough later this year.
Looking back earlier yesterday on Day 11 of the 2022 French Open, we also saw another brilliant Quarter-Final over in the women’s singles tie between Veronika Kudermetova & Daria Kasatkina. Both of them played really well when they were on the same page but it’s Kasatkina who came out on top in straight sets; 4-6, 6-7 via 5-7 tiebreaker.
Unlucky from Kudermetova after she was eliminated in the Final 8 with the loss there. She got the build-up base going that helped her stay ahead in this fight throughout the whole time. However, she lacked the finishing needed to shut down Kasatkina where she fell short twice before her opponent stood out as the better player in the end. It’s her first grand slam quarter-finals appearance after a series of 3rd round finishes before in 2021-22 at the Australian Open, as well as the 2019 French Open. Although she can’t play at Wimbledon this year including Kasatkina due to the organisers’ ban on Russian & Belarusian players, but she hopes to build on that breakthrough and enter Top 10-15 if it means regular grand slam Final 8 appearances.
And speaking of Kasatkina, she responded to Kudermetova’s brilliant start with the patience & fightback that helped
close in and eventually deny her opponent with the opening set lead. The way Kasatkina shown her persistence when continuing her battles against a tough opponent summed up her incredible comeback, as the executions got the best of her towards the finish line first via the tiebreak. She has all the skills and tools needed to prepare ahead of her first ever grand slam semi-final tonight, having tried failed to move past Final 8 twice before in 2018 here at the French Open and Wimbledon. Let’s see if she can upset World No.1 Iga Swiatek & secure another breakthrough for Saturday’s Women’s singles’ final against either Coco Gauff or Martina Trevisian.
We also saw another brilliant match-up over at Court Suzanne Lenglen in the 4th Round yesterday of this year’s French Open, but in the women’s singles draw between American Jessica Pegula & Irina-Camelia Begu from Romania. Begu did a great job shutting down Pegula following a very competitive battle that saw her lead the opening set. But it’s all about racing towards the finish line where Pegula proved too good to eliminate Begu, having tied 1-1 ahead of the 3rd set decider before she earned her spot in the Final 8; 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.
Begu would be disappointed not to advance into the Final 8 as her best grand slam finish is just outside any finals appearance so far for the third time since 2016 here. She fired off really well even though Pegula doesn’t give Begu an easier pass that secured the opening set lead from the Romainian but then the momentum dropped and couldn’t find a way to stay in this fight ever since. She’s 31 right now but there’s still some time left to improve if Begu wants to go one better and secure her first ever grand slam finals appearance at Wimbledon next month.
And what a rebound it has been from Jessica Pegula. Yes, she may have fallen so short during the opening set spell by a close two game difference, but Pegula just never gave up battling 100%. She credits the renewed momentum that helped her close in on Begu ahead of the 3rd set decider before Pegula pulled off comfortably with another Quarter-Finals appearance on top of the Australian Open so far this year. It’s also her first finals taste here at the French Open, but she will need to overcome World No.1 Iga Swiatek for the semi-final spot against either Veronika Kudermetova or Daria Kasatkina on Day 11 tomorrow.
World No.1 Iga Swiatek was just too good against Alison Riske in straight sets at Court Suzanne Lenglen. Her first set spell so was outstanding that went unchallenged with six games to zero.
Although Riske may have fought back a game or two after the break, but it’s all about the overall performance where Swiatek closed this off comfortably from start to finish; 6-0, 6-2.
It was not the exit Riske wanted, having been blown away by Swiatek’s elite offerings on the table. She did the best she can when Riske fought back a couple of games, as well as shown some late progress with two games being accrued in the 2nd set. But the ship was already sailed by that stage when it comes to the overall lead.
And there’s so many good things to say about Swiatek where she dominated this game for the whole time; left, right & centre. She will continue her French Open campaign going into Saturday for Round 3 against Danka Kovinic from Montenegro, in a bid to secure her 2nd grand slam triumph since that breakthrough here as a 19-year-old two years ago. And although she would’ve love to challenge Ash Barty at any final, but with Barty now retired, It’s Swiatek’s time now to prove herself that she can win grand slam singles’ tournaments every year.
There’s another easy semi-final win from American Danielle Collins, who just knocked down 7th seed from Poland Iga Swiatek, in straight sets 6-4, 6-1, as she will meet Australian Ash Barty for Saturday’s Australian Open women’s singles final.
Swiatek would be gutted with the semi-final loss, she fought so hard to keep in contention having won back some games in the opening set that almost derailed Collins’s strong start. She just couldn’t match what her opponent offered where the strong start build-up play, building a decent lead and being afforded ample time to execute saw her eventual elimination out of the Final 4.
And Collins was unbelievable on the court tonight, not only did she credit the closed roof while the rain was there but also the hard track surface where she produced the better game than Swiatek. Collins used her early lead with patience which paid off in the opening set before she went full-on after the break & that proved easy to nail down in just over an hour of play.
All eyes on the main event this Saturday, can Collins win her first grand slam or will it be Ash Barty, who can end the 43-year long drought, and be the next Australian to win on home soil since Chris O’Neil in 1978?
For now, the tables turn on the men’s semi-finals day tomorrow with Matteo Berrettini v Rafael Nadal and Stefanos Tsitsipas v Daniil Medvedev as four will turn to two by the Men’s singles final on Sunday.
What a brilliant fightback from Poland’s Iga Swiatek when she came from behind after the opening set down, worked her way back in contention as this match-up goes & eliminated Estonian Kaia Kanepi in the end. Swiatek’s next opponent will be American Danielle Collins where they duel for Saturday’s final slot during the 2nd semi-final tomorrow night.
She was always on the top of her game even though Swiatek fell short of Kanepi’s strong start, nonetheless, the Pole knows she came here against a difficult opponent like Kanepi, who has plenty of experience, in previous grand slam Quarter-Finals before at 36. And knowing her strengths and weaknesses got the better hand of Swiatek where she held back the Estonian during the 2nd set tiebreak, then the 3rd set decider came in at the perfect time & pulled off without a fuss.
And Kanepi would be disappointed with the quarter-final elimination, who still has yet to crack seven times past this stage, so far in her singles career. She got that build-up base going which gave her time to get the job done through the opening set spell, although she never gave up holding off top spot but couldn’t find the home base when Kanepi began to falter during the 2nd set tiebreaker before eventually running out of solutions in the end. Kanepi still hopes to go one better & be an elite grand slam star as a late bloomer, she still drives trucks back home on a part-time basis but is sure to walk home with $538,500 USD prize money with more to come throughout this year.
Alex De Minaur continues his winning start to the 2022 Australian Open campaign with a comfortable win against Poland’s Kamil Majchrzak in straight sets (4-6, 4-6, 2-6) at Rod Laver Arena, he wrapped this 2nd Round tie in 1 hour and 39 minutes.
De Minaur always got his build-up base up and running that helped stay ahead over Majchrzak, it gave the Aussie ample time to get the job done during the first two sets while the Pole began to catch up before he shut his opponent out towards the finish line with a nice & easy third set spell.
His best result here was Round 3 twice in 2019 & 2021 where De Minaur hopes to get past the Spaniard in Pablo Andujar before Round 4, and as long as he keeps that winning form then a Finals eight spot will come to him having made it once two years ago at the US Open.
And Majchrzak didn’t have a great day out, who did his best to hold back De Minaur, having won some games & closed in along the way towards the end of these first two sets. However, he just couldn’t hijack his opponent’s stella momentum & finish it off his way before Majchrzak became eliminated so quick in the 3rd & final set.
Spain confirmed their spot in the ATP Cup final tomorrow after a brilliant run last night especially during the 1st two singles matches against Poland at Ken Rosewall Arena, Pablo Carreno Busta was too good against Jan Zielinski when he won in straight sets 6-2, 6-1 that was done in 53 minutes as he gifted his country a 1-0 lead. Zielinski was on the same page at the start but he just couldn’t keep up with Carreno Busta’s standards for the entire time.
Then we go into the 2nd singles tie where it was competitive this time around between Roberto Bautista Agut & Hubert Hurkacz, although Hurkacz was quick to bounce back after he went from the 1st set down but the Pole just unlucky to be narrowly swooped by Bautista Agut who never gave up during the 3rd set decider that saw Spain complete the best of three ties early 2-0 & advance into the ATP Cup Final with the lone doubles game to spare.
Score: 7-6 via 8-6 tiebreaker to Bautista Agut, 2-6 to Hurkacz & 7-6 via 7-5 tiebreaker to Bautista Agut.
And even though Poland are already eliminated from the semis, they ended their 2022 ATP Cup journey on a high with a consolation win in the doubles. The pair of Szymon Walkow & Jan Zielinski fired off poorly earlier on where Spain’s Pedro Martinez & Albert Ramos-Vinolas won the opening set before they brought back towards a decider after the break & managed to bring it home.
Score: 6-4 to Martinez & Romas-Vinolas, 3-6 & 6-10 to Walkow & Zielinski
The 2nd semi-final between Canada and Russia will take place around 1 pm today at Ken Rosewall Arena as they look to chase that other Final spot for tomorrow v Spain.
#Spain #Poland #ATPCup #Tennis #KenRosewallArena #PabloCarrenoBusta #RobertoBautistaAgut #PedroMartinez #AlbertRamosVinolas #JanZielinski #SzymonWalkow #HubertHurkacz