LONDON – Wimbledon Ladies Quarterfinals are set with three Americans in the round! Madison Keys and CoCo Vandeweghe join Serena Williams.
After an error-filled first set, many were ready to write off Keys against Olga Govortsova. But the young superstar fired back in the second set with two very important breaks. Keys managed to hit in the majority of her first serves. With more confidence, she returned to form and demolished Govortsova 6-1 in the third set.
“I think I’m playing pretty well,” she said. “I feel everyone I have been playing has been playing well. I mean, they haven’t been the highest‑ranked players but they are also good players. So they have been tough matches, but at the same time, I felt like I should have won them, which is kind of a different experience for me.”
Keys will play against Agnieszka Radwanska, who defeated Jelena Jankovic in straight sets. The Serb could not replicate her amazing form after she beat defending champion Petra Kvitova on Saturday. With slightly better serves and excellent returns that resulted in breaks, Radwanska came out on top. Jankovic allowed her emotions to get the better of her as spectators noted she lost her cool with the chair ump after three time violations. Radwanska took advantage of the distractions and iced her opponent in the third set with 71% of her first serves and 80% of her first serve points.
“Of course grass, it’s my favorite surface,” said Radwanska when asked why she is doing so much better than the beginning of the season. “I always feeling good on that. I never had problem playing on that surface and always had really good results here. Also the time, I think it was tough beginning of the year, and I think passed that, and now it’s just better.”
CoCo Vandeweghe continues her epic run after she defeated 2014 Wimbledon Semifinalist Lucie Safarova in straight sets that all ended in tiebreaks. It was not her best match, but she came out the winner, which was all that mattered. Like any professional, she figured out what to fix and dealt with the problems immediately:
“I kept calm and cool,” she explained. “So I think that helped. You know, when the tougher, longer rallies happened, I was on the winning end of it more times than I wasn’t. I think that was kind of the difference in the match.”
The media asked Keys and Vandeweghe about the rise of young Americans.
“But, you know, I can’t speak for them,” Vandeweghe said when asked if she could explain why there are so many. “I can speak for myself. I know I have put the hard work in off the court and on the court. You know, I think grass definitely suits me very well as well as hard courts. So I’m happy I’m finally getting some results at a Grand Slam, and I’m looking forward to my next match right now.”
“It’s great that Coco went out and won today, as well,” said Keys. “Denis [Kudla] is in the round of 16 for the first time. It’s been a while since there has been that many Americans in the second week, and, you know, it’s just really exciting. I think it’s going to kind of inspire everyone else to keep doing well and keep working hard.”
Victoria Azarenka defeated Belinda Bencic in straight sets. The former number one player is dancing through these early rounds of Wimbledon without much attention. But she will have her moment in the spotlight will find her in the quarterfinals because she faces Serena Williams. She deserves it after the injuries sidelined her for almost all of 2014, which led to a huge drop in the rankings. She learned a lot from the sidelines:
This part of my injury and a lot of things that happen to me in last two years have taught me a lot of lessons and helped me to grow and mature very quickly. That’s something, that step that I had really to take, and consider that I need to learn from this experience and really see how I can adapt and how I can learn from them. So that helped me tremendously to really grow myself as a person, as an athlete, and I feel different than I was before my injury.
Maria Sharapova is also quietly moving on at Wimbledon. Her match with Zarina Diyas was a lot closer than the final score of 6-4, 6-4, leads one to think. It took her 50 minutes to finish the first set, but she edged out Diyas with brilliant first serves and a second break. But Diyas was not going away as she started the second set with a break and save to go up 2-0. It was really the first challenge Sharapova faced. Everything remained tense as she served three double faults. But she squeaked by due to four aces and another break.
“I started with a few errors early on, but I thought as the match went on, I got a good rhythm and had a few more aces than I usually do today,” she said “The conditions are not easy, especially out on Court 1. It’s a bit more swirly out there, changes quite a bit. I think instead of going for the lines a little bit, which I sometimes tend to do, want to get a free point, maybe be a little bit smarter.”
Caroline Wozniacki once again failed to pass the round of 16 at Wimbledon. Garbine Muguruza advanced to her first Wimbledon quarterfinals when she eliminated the Dane in straight sets. However, she committed 33 unforced errors compared to Wozniacki’s 13. The main difference is recovery and serve. While Wozniacki put in 83% of her first serves, Muguruza protected her own serve and fought off two break points. She broke Wozniacki once in the first set. The second set is almost identical, but Muguruza managed to break Wozniacki twice to move on. She even finished the game on a brilliant ace.
“Well, I went very like focused and prepared because I knew that she was going to try to do a long and physical match against me,” said Muguruza. “So I think I used my opportunities of the short balls, good shots, the serve. I think I played really good. This helps me a lot against these types of players.”
Muguruza will play against Timea Bacsinszky, who defeated Monica Niculescu in three sets after a very shaky first set. Once again, the serve came into play in the second set. That third break allowed her to win it and force a third set. With a relaxed deep breath, she took over in the third. The young Swiss player has come a long way since 2014:
Well, it was quite emotional for me because I know everyone was also saying, well, that my game doesn’t suit grass that much. And maybe I also believed at some points some years ago.
Just to see where I was last year playing here on the second round against Maria and being now able to win more matches, it was, first of all, amazing. Then especially against a player I had really bad statistic, and she’s bothering every other player. No one likes actually to play against her, because it’s a surprise every point.
So to be able to turn around this match and to lift my focus level up and also my game level up, it meant so much to me just to be able, you know, to win the last point. It’s nice to win a match.
Here are the quarterfinal matchups:
Maria Sharapova vs. CoCo Vandeweghe
Serena Williams vs. Victoria Azarenka
No. 1 Court:
Garbine Muguruza vs. Timea Bacsinszky
Madison Keys vs. Agnieszka Radwanska