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Mondays with Bob Greene

 

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Wimbledon – First Week

Magdalena Rybarikova beat third-seeded Karolina Pliskova 3-6 7-5 6-2

Daniil Medvedev beat sixth-seeded Stan Wawrinka 6-4 3-6 6-4 6-1

Ana Konjuh beat eighth-seeded Dominika Cibulkova 7-6 (3) 3-6 6-4

Roberto Bautista Agut beat ninth-seeded Kei Nishikori 6-4 7-6 (3) 3-6 6-3

 

SAYING

“It’s tough to describe. I beat someone who is number three in the world right now, who she’s playing amazing tennis, on the Centre Court at Wimbledon. Nothing could be better. I’m very pleased and very happy.” – Magdalena Rybarikova, after upsetting third-seeded Karolina Pliskova.

“I played one bad game overall, in second set at 5-6. Otherwise I don’t think I did something wrong. She just played a little bit better today.” – Karolina Pliskova, after losing to Magdalena Rybarikova.

“I have no words to describe this. I guess this memory will be with me forever.” – Daniil Medvedev, following his first-round upset of third-ranked Stan Wawrinka.

“Who knows what could have happened in the fifth (set). I would have loved to have played one.” – Tommy Haas, who lost his first-round match in four sets to Belgium’s Ruben Bemelmans.

“I have had lots of injuries in my career but this is definitely the worst. … I will be out for a while, but I will get through this.” – Bethanie Mattek-Sands, after suffering a serious injury to her right knee during a match.

“That’s just tennis.” – Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, after dropping his serve in the only eight points played on Saturday to lose a five-setter to Sam Querrey in a match that had been halted by darkness the night before.

 

SHOCKER

With Serena Williams taking a hiatus from tennis to have a baby, Karolina Pliskova was one of many favorites to capture Wimbledon’s women’s singles. Magdalena Rybarikova had other ideas. “It’s obviously an amazing feeling for me and I’m so happy,” Rybarikova said after knocking the third-seeded Pliskova out of the year’s third Grand Slam tournament. After being off the WTA tour for much of last year following wrist and knee surgeries, Rybarikova wasn’t expected to make much of a splash on the Wimbledon grass. But she had posted some impressive results on the International Tennis Federation (ITF) circuit, winning four titles, including two on grass, and had reached the semifinals of a grass-court event in Nottingham two weeks before Wimbledon. Pliskova, on the other hand, had a chance to take over the world number one ranking by winning the Grand Slam tournament. Instead, it was Rybarikova in three sets. “Once I was in the third set with her, I just kept fighting.” Rybarikova said. “I was surprised that I wasn’t nervous; I thought I’d be shaky at the end. But I was so tired that I didn’t have time to think about how nervous I was.”

 

STAN STUNNED

Stan Wawrinka was going for a career Grand Slam. He didn’t make it to the second round. Daniil Medvedev made his Wimbledon debut by stunning the fifth-seeded Wawrinka in four sets. “First of all, it’s my first Grand Slam win,” the 21-year-old Russian said. “So even if I didn’t beat Stan, it would be one of the biggest wins in my life.” Medvedev had showed his grass-court skills before Wimbledon, reaching the quarterfinals at the Ricoh Open and the semis at Eastbourne. “It’s a very strange feeling to go out there,” Medvedev said. “It’s like you have a fear, you’re tight, but you want to show your best. You want to (beat) Stan Wawrinka on Centre Court so that people can know more about you. It was just something special.” Wawrinka is ranked third in the world, but Wimbledon officials seeded him fifth, moving up two former champions, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, to third and fourth seeds, respectively. Medvedev was aggressive throughout the match, keeping his 32-year-old opponent behind the baseline. He hit four of his 10 aces in the final set, then, after the final point, bent down and kissed the court.

 

SETS YOUNGEST/OLDEST CLASH

Croatia’s Ana Konjuh, the youngest player left in the women’s singles draw, reached the second week at Wimbledon by knocking off eighth-seeded Dominika Cibulkova in three sets. The 19-year-old pounded out 54 winners while Cibulkova, runner-up at the 2014 Australian Open, only had 22. Cibulkova won nine consecutive points in the final set, breaking Konjuh when she was serving for the match. But it just postponed the inevitable. Konjuh hit a few more unreturnable serves to gain a spot in the second week at Wimbledon for the first time where she faced the oldest player left in the singles draw, Venus Williams.

 

SCREAMING END

There will be no fourth consecutive Grand Slam women’s doubles title for Bethanie Mattek-Sands. The veteran suffered an agonizing on-court injury to her knee and will undergo surgery. On her way to the net for a volley against Romanian Sorana Cirstea, Mattek-Sands crumpled to the court in pain. “I ruptured my patella tendon, and I’m going to need surgery, so I’ll be out for a while,” the 32-year-old American said. She had suffered a serious ligament injury to the same knee four years ago. Mattek-Sands and partner Lucie Safarova had won five Grand Slam women’s doubles titles, including the last three. Safarova, who was getting ready for the start of her singles match, rushed to the court and began crying once she saw Mattek-Sands’ right knee. “I remember I heard a pop in my leg and everything went slow after that,” Mattek-Sands said from her hospital room. “My knee felt really tight and I knew it was either dislocated or broken. I freaked out. It’s the most painful injury I have ever had.”

 

SHORT DAY

It took Sam Querrey just eight points to grab a spot in the second week at Wimbledon. But that was only because he couldn’t complete the five-set win over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga the day before. Their match was halted by darkness with Querrey leading 6-5 in the fifth set. When they returned to the court on Saturday, the 12th-seeded Tsonga dropped serve to give Querrey the win 6-2 3-6 7-6 (5) 1-6 7-5. The Frenchman slammed a ball high over the Court Two stands in frustration.  Querrey sympathized with his opponent. “I’ve been in that situation before (coming out to serve to stay in a match), and it’s tough,” Querrey said. “After such a great match it was a bit of an anti-climax in the end, a bit of a bummer.”

 

SENDS NISHIKORI PACKING

In four previous meetings, Roberto Bautista Agut was able to win only a combined two sets against Kei Nishikori. In their third-round meeting this year, the Spaniard won three of the four sets, ending the ninth-seeded Nishikori’s Wimbledon adventure 6-4 7-6 (3) 3-6 6-3. “I couldn’t maintain my level high enough to beat Bautista today,” Nishikori said. “I think he served well in every set … I had many chances, but I think he played well on the important points.” Seeded 18th, the victorious Spaniard gained a berth in the fourth round at Wimbledon for the second time in three years.

 

SECOND-ROUND LOSER

An emotional return to Wimbledon ended for Petra Kvitova when she was beaten 6-3 1-6 6-2 in the second round by American Madison Brengle. Kvitova is a two-time Wimbledon champion who was severely cut on her dominant left hand during a home invasion by an intruder in December. She felt her loss was caused by her emotions as well as the play of Brengle. “My body didn’t feel the best,” Kvitova said. “I’m not sure what happened. I could not breathe and was feeling a bit sick as well. Sometimes that happens. Unfortunately, it happened at Wimbledon. I’m glad it’s over. It was really tough and I feel really empty right now. I know my body is not great, but mentally I’m glad that it’s over.”

 

SAY WHAT???

Simona Halep has been in the women’s Top 10 ranking longer than any other active player. The Romanian has been in the Top 10 for 182 consecutive weeks. She attained the longest ranking status when Serena Williams dropped out of the Top 10 while awaiting the birth of her first child. Halep first entered the Top 10 on Jan. 27, 2014, and currently is ranked second in the world. She could take over the number one ranking by winning Wimbledon. Williams, the reigning Australian Open champion, has not played since the year’s first Grand Slam tournament in January, when she won her 23rd major title, most of any woman in the Open Era. Williams won Wimbledon a year ago, and all those points fall off of the 52-week ranking cycle.

 

SUING VENUS

Police say Venus Williams was not at fault in a fatal car accident. Originally police had said the tennis star was at fault although she was not given a ticket at the time. Police in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, USA, said after viewing a video of the accident investigators they have rescinded their original conclusion and that no blame has yet been determined. When the light turned green, Williams headed straight, but was forced to stop when a dark colored sedan turned left in front of her. She then continued straight where her SUV was struck in the passenger’s side by a sedan driven by Linda Barson. Police said Barson’s light had turned green just before Williams moved in front of her. Barson’s 78-year-old husband, Jerome, suffered fatal injuries in the crash. Jerome Barson’s estate has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Williams, seeking unspecified damages. Williams’ attorney, Malcolm Cunningham, said the tennis star “’had the right to proceed through the intersection and other vehicles, including those with a red light changing to green, were obligated to yield the right-of-way.”

 

SAD NEWS

Nancy Jeffett, one of the first female tennis promoters, is dead at the age of 88. She staged the Maureen Connolly Brinker Memorial Tournament in 1969. Three years later, it was the first televised women’s tournament and the first to award prize money. The event eventually became the Virginia Slims of Dallas. She also was the longtime chair of both the United States Wightman Cup and Federation (now Fed) Cup. She was the only American woman who wasn’t a Wimbledon champion to be named an honorary member of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. A memorial service will be held July 14 in Dallas, Texas, USA.

 

SURFING

Wimbledon: www.wimbledon.com/index.html

Sparkassen: www.sparkassen-open.de/

Budapest: www.hungarianprocircuit.com

Contrexeville: www.lorraine-open88.fr

Astana: www.ktf.kz

Gstaad: www.ladieschampionshipgstaad.ch/

Newport: www.halloffameopen.com/

Båstad: www.swedishopen.org/

Umag: www.croatiaopen.hr/hr/naslovnica/

 

TOURNAMENTS THIS WEEK

 

MEN

Wimbledon, London, Great Britain, grass (second week)

$144,898 Sparkassen Open, Braunschweig, Germany, clay

 

WOMEN

Wimbledon, London, Great Britain, grass (second week)

$100,000 Hungarian Pro Circuit Ladies Open, Budapest, Hungary, clay

$100,000 Grand Est Open 88, Contrexeville, France, clay

 

TOURNAMENTS NEXT WEEK

 

MEN

$615,689 Skystar Swedish Open, Båstad, Sweden, clay

$615,689 Plava Laguna Croatia Open, Umag, Croatia, clay

$600,345 Dell Technologies Hall of Fame Open, Newport, Rhode Island, USA, grass

$125,000 Presidents Cup, Astana, Kazakhstan, hard

 

WOMEN

$226,750 Bucharest Open, Bucharest, Romania, clay

$226,750 Ladies Championship Gstaad by iXion Services, Gstaad, Switzerland, clay

$100,000 Presidents Cup, Astana, Kazakhstan, hard

 

Wimbledon Court One

Wimbledon Court One



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About Admin
Randy Walker is a communications and marketing specialist, writer, tennis historian and the managing partner of New Chapter Media – www.NewChapterMedia.com. He was a 12-year veteran of the U.S. Tennis Association’s marketing and communications division where he worked as the press officer for 22 U.S. Davis Cup ties, three Olympic tennis teams and was an integral part of USTA media services team for 14 US Opens. He is the author of the books ON THIS DAY IN TENNIS HISTORY and THE DAYS OF ROGER FEDERER

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