Category Archives: Tennis

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Wimbledon Finals

After a fortnight of great tennis the 125th Wimbledon Championships has come to a close with the Men’s Final being played last night between Rafael Nadal and the man who had just taken over his position as world number one, Novak Djokovic.

It was a near perfect tennis match by Djokovic who had Nadal playing defensively for the majority of the match. Unlike his match against Tomic where he allowed portions of frustration to distract him, Djokovic seemed to be able to limit those moments to a simple spreading of the arms or an insult at himself. From the moment he stepped out on the court, Djokovic showed that he was going to play the match at an intense level and play his shots, often attempting to go not just down the line, but on it. Nadal never truly got in a good rhythm in this match, aside from the third set. However his rejuvenation was short-lived as Djokovic stifled any thoughts of a comeback and another Wimbledon title for the Spaniard. Final score 6-4 6-1 1-6 6-3

The Women’s Final was played Saturday night and it pitted Maria Sharapova against Petra Kvitova, where there was clearly a favourite and an underdog. It was a grand old day for the underdogs in this final as Kvitova upstaged Sharapova and stormed home with the larger of the silverware. Sharapova was never really able to handle the power of Kvitova’s ground strokes and the accuracy of the serves. While saying that, Sharapova herself was unable to replicate any of the brilliance seen by Kvitova, often missing serves and finding the net on more than a few occasions. It was a great win by Kvitova who, truth be told, somewhat snuck into the final after going along very quietly while the bigger names fell around her. However the eighth seed has gone home the champion of Wimbledon with a straight sets 6-3 6-4 victory.

Aside from Bernard Tomic showing the world what is to come in his future, Australia got a good glimpse of the future in the form of the Junior Tournament at Wimbledon. The Australian pair of Luke Saville and Ashley Barty both won the respective boys and girls competitions. Saville defeating home hope Liam Broady in three sets 2-6 6-4 6-2. Barty defeating Irina Khromacheva in two hard fought sets 7-5 7-6. Great to see a couple of young Australian’s doing well for themselves and their country overseas! Here’s hoping they continue and we can see some great things in the tennis world by Australian’s again.

MV

Wimbledon – Day 9

Men’s QF Day at Wimbledon and my my was there plenty of action out on the courts today!

Our young Aussie sensation Bernard Tomic took on Novak Djokovic and showed that he clearly had the skill and class to be matching it with the world’s best within the next year or so. Often pushing Djokovic during the match and causing some moments of frustration for the world number two. It was a fantastic effort by the young Aussie, unfortunately for us in Australia however, Djokovic overcame his frustrations and defeated Tomic 6-2 3-6 6-3 7-5. It was great to see Djokovic at the end of the match display great sportsmanship and acknowledge the fight that Tomic gave him, friends or not it was a great sight to see in elite sport!

Roger Federer and Jo-Wilfred Tsonga round out this half of the men’s draw, Federer controlling the first set fairly easily against the Frenchmen. Tsonga bounced back in the second however, throwing his body and his racquet around the court to keep the ball in play. Still Federer held out before losing in the third set to the Frenchmen, who kept chasing down most of the balls Federer was hitting his way. That turned out to hold true for the rest of the match with Tsonga proving too good for Federer and winning the final three sets to clinch his spot in the SF’s. Scoreline for this match read: 3-6 6-7 6-4 6-4 6-4

Rafael Nadal, nursing a foot injury, made short work of the tenth seed Mardy Fish defeating him in four sets. Nadal won the first two with ease before dropping the third set to Fish, that seemed to shake him back into action however, and he wrapped up the match in the fourth. 6-3 6-3 5-7 6-4. This now puts Nadal on a collision course with the home-town hero, Andy Murray.

Murray had the easiest run through to the SF’s of all the competitors with a clinical win over Feliciano Lopez. Murray was the only player to keep it short and simple and beat Lopez in straight sets 6-3 6-4 6-4. He now takes on Nadal and the home crowd would be cheering him on and the noise on centre court if he gets in front would be unbelievable. Imagine if he made it to the final and won!

The top four seeds in the men’s draw almost completed the SF sweep, if it wasn’t for Tsonga knocking Federer out. This now puts Tsonga as the dark horse, Murray as the local hero and Nadal would still possibly be the favourite.

Matchups for the SF’s are as follows:

Nadal (1) v Murray (4)

Djokovic (2) v Tsonga (12)

MV

Wimbledon – Day 8

Day 8 of Wimbledon was Women’s Quarter-Final day, other than that there was a whole lot of Boys/Girls matches and the elderly invitational matches.

Sabine Lisicki is having a dream run at Wimbledon, after first reaching the QF’s she dispatched of Marion Bartoli, who just yesterday took Serena Williams out of the competition. It was almost a complete reversal for Bartoli, shots that were just hitting lines yesterday were just missing today and things were going Lisicki’s way. Lisicki, who is unseeded in Wimbledon, dispatched the ninth seeded Bartoli 6-4 6-7 6-1.

The fifth seed Maria Sharapova, who as I said yesterday has to be the front-runner now, took on Dominika Cibulkova in the second match of the night and it was almost as though Cibulkova wasn’t even on the court. Sharapova absolutely steamrolling her 6-1 6-1. The screamer is still going strong!

Victoria Azarenka, the fourth seed, is going along quietly in the background at this years Wimbledon. She has also progressed through to the Semi-Finals after defeating Tamira Paszek in much the same fashion as Sharapova/Cibulkova, 6-3 6-1.

In the days final QF matchup we had Petra Kvitova taking on Tsvetana Pironkova with Kvitova winning in three sets, 6-3 6-7 6-2.

The SF draw for the women is now as follows –

Maria Sharapova (5) v Sabine Lisicki

Petra Kvitova (8) v Victoria Azarenka (4)

Be sure to tune into action from Day 9 of Wimbledon where it’s the mens turn to have their QF matches. Tomic, Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Tsonga and Murray just some of the big names in action today. C’MON TOMIC!!!

MV

Wimbledon – Day 7

As we enter the second week of arguably the favourite and most sought after Grand Slam event on the tennis calendar, I welcome you to the new recap segment here on Pen & Paper that will bring you all the news from the previous nights matches at Wimbledon throughout the second week.

We start at Day 7 and with one of our own, young sensation Bernard Tomic who took on Xavier Malisse. Tomic came out firing and completely outclassed his more seasoned opponent taking the first set 6-1. Malisse then found some form in the second set before Tomic again came out on top 7-5. The third set was all tied up at 4-4 before once again Tomic took the ascendency, going up the break and closing out the match 6-4. After achieving his greatest result at a Grand Slam event, Tomic has now reached his first Quarter-Final where he will meet world number two – Novak Djokovic. On a side note it was great to see Tomic walk over and acknowledge the “Fanatics” by shaking each of their hands and also signing their shirts for them. Hopefully they can belt out a few tunes for him on centre court against Djokovic!

Speaking of Djokovic, he easily took out Michael Llodra of France in straight sets 6-3 6-3 6-3. Llodra never stood a chance and Djokovic seemed to have all the answers to whatever the Frenchmen threw at him. After having his unbeaten streak broken by Federer not so long ago, Djokovic is looking to build a new one and claim the Wimbledon crown for himself. I’m hoping that Tomic will at least take a set off of him, however Djokovic is in excellent form!

Rafael Nadal played against a returning Juan Martin Del Potro in what was a very good encounter between the two big serving, big hitting players. Del Potro took a set off Nadal and also forced two sets into tiebreakers that Nadal really had to work for to score the win. It’s a promising sign for Del Potro, who is returning from recent injury, that he may be able to once again make his way towards the top five in the world. Nadal on the other hand, keeps on keeping on. However he injured his left foot during the first set and is having scans to assess the damage before his Quarter-Final matchup against Mardy Fish. The final score for this match: 7-6 3-6 7-6 6-4

Britains own Andy Murray cruised into yet another Quarter-Final by defeating another Frenchmen, Richard Gasquet, 7-6 6-3 6-2. Its great to see him reach the finals in his own Grand Slam, it would be even better to see him hold the trophy aloft at the end of the tournament. He has the weight of a nation on his shoulders every time he steps on the court and aside from winning a big tournament, has carried that weight well.

Roger Federer took on Mikhail Youzhny and after dropping the first set 6-7, went on to win the next three sets 6-3 6-3 6-3 to advance to his umpteenth Quarter-Final matchup. As usual he looks a dangerous man to face in the finals and you never know, he could go all the way.

In regards to the Women’s draw it was a day of upsets, with each of the Williams sisters and also the number one seed Caroline Wozniacki all going down to their opponents.

Serena Williams matched up with Marion Bartoli and lost in straight sets 6-3 7-6. It has been a great run at Wimbledon for Serena who has been dogged by injury and illness over the past year or so. In fact she hasn’t been on a court in 46 weeks, so to make it to the fourth round was a great run. Excellent work by Bartoli however to take her out of the competition, this marks her as a threat for whoever she meets now.

Venus William was taken out of the competition by Tsvetana Pironkova, also in straight sets 6-2 6-3. Pionkova played unbelievably well and she didn’t allow Williams the chance to settle into any sort of rhythm. Now, like Bartoli, because she took out a Williams she must be considered a threat. It’s not often a 32nd seed makes it through to the Quarters, well done Pironkova.

World number one Caroline Wozniacki was stunned by her opponent Dominika Cibulkova, losing in three sets 6-1 6-7 5-7. Cibulkova had Wozniacki moving around the court from the beginning of the second set, when something must have clicked during the first break between sets. A stunning victory for the Slovakian 24th seed and with a number of big names out of the competition, inluding the world number one, the womens draw really is wide open!

Maria Sharapova continued her good run of form, defeating Shuai Peng of China 6-4 6-2. Sharapova was never really troubled by the Chinese player and showed her true skill out on the court. With all the big names out as mentioned, she now has to be the front-runner in the women’s draw.

Not much to report on for the upcoming eighth day, however, stay tuned for tomorrow’s recap of Wimbledon.

MV