2014/12/23

Round 4 Shock for Serena Williams at Wimbledon– Round up of the Centre Court Action

Serena-Williams-after-winning-3-of-3-e1355919788463

By Ros Satar

 

(July 1, 2013) WIMBLEDON – As if last Wednesday was not enough fun for the tennis gods, they toyed with the seemingly natural order of things just a little more on Round 4 Monday.

Possibly one of the best days usually on the tennis schedule, Wimbledon looks to put all their Round 4 matches on the same day, men and women.

It gives people who are still doing the queue a chance to see some action on the outside courts, if they miss out on those coveted bands for the show courts.

 

Sabine Lisicki [23] def. Serena Williams [1] 6-2, 1-6, 6-4
Let’s just make it competitive – that was probably the wish if every neutral observer watching the first match of the day on Centre Court.
I think I could be safe in saying that not many saw the first set coming – Serena Williams seemingly just content to put the ball in play – in fact with Lisicki being dragged to deuce in each service game, surely it was just Serena playing cat to Lisicki’s mouse.

It was just that the mouse was capable of thundering down booming serves that, had the opponent been anyone but Serena Williams, they would have been countless aces.

After taking the first set 6-2 it was almost as if Lisicki realised what she’d done, and to whom.
Certainly Williams turned the screw after he first game, winning the next nine on the trot, locking into her returns and many up in the lofty (and drafty) gods nodded their heads sagely and reckoned they had time for a quick burst of strawberries before Murray.

The second set and to be honest quite a lot of the third scooted past Lisicki as Williams reeled off nine games in a row.

But let’s face it, if you are going to break the world No. 1, you may as well wait until your back is against the wall.

Somewhat inconceivably, after a bunch of traded breaks Lisicki found herself ahead for the first time since the start of the second set.

Was it a nervy service game? – Well yes, of course it was, weaving from match point, to break point, to match point again, the crowds were oohing and aahing like it was a firework show.

The final rally was one to savour and the forehand winner saw Williams AND Lisicki sprawling – for different reasons, Williams at full stretch to get on the end of the eventual winner and Lisicki on realising she had put out the defending champion, and world no. 1.

Take absolutely nothing away from Lisicki, she has a superb game for grass, and she took those opportunities when they presented themselves.

Lisicki has reached the quarterfinals twice (2009, 2012) and the semifinals once (2011).

She faces Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi for the first time in Tuesday’s quarter-final.

 

Andy Murray [2] def. Mikhail Youzhny [20] 6-4, 7-6(5), 6-1

Murray has looked in good form, and many expected this to be a straight sets victory, but that was really only half the story.

From the outset, it was a more passive Murray that took to the court, content to build up points and push Youzhny to the error, and getting an early break to edge out the first set made it seem a formality.

There was always a feeling that if Youzhny suddenly dialled in, Murray could be in big trouble as the second set seemed to be counter-puncher heaven (or hell, depending on your point of view).

Each seemed to want to out-wait-for-the-error with Youzhny inducing a fair share from the Murray racquet.

More by luck than judgement, Murray took the tiebreak with the tightness of margins.

Even though Murray looks to be in discomfort for much of the second set, it was Youzhny that took the medical time out before the start of the third set.

Finally in the third set, Murray started to shorten the points and introduced a little more serve and volley – his reward being two breaks enough to seal the match.

He was sensible enough in press to acknowledge that this Wimbledon has seen a lot of shocks (to put it mildly).

Murray will face Fernando Verdasco in the quarter-final, and somehow made getting through another round without dropping a set seem like really hard work.

Nokak Djokovic [1] def. Tommy Haas [13] 6-1, 6-4, 7-6(4)
If the match before felt like a five-setter, Djokovic was on hand to remind us what a straight sets win actually looks like, at least in the first set,

That was little more than a rout but Haas seemed to get better as the match went in, as opposed to disheartened.

By the time he had forced a tiebreak in the third set, Haas was swinging free as Djokovic was slipping and sliding and one could only imagine the winces of the groundsmen as he slid this way and that (and yes, took the obligatory tumble).

Haas is nothing, if not a fighter, and as the light was beginning to fade, there was a very real chance this might have to be finished under the lights, had Haas forced a fourth set.

But there seem to be no chinks in Djokovic’s armour today – his returning, and movement is going to make him quite a formidable barrier for the remainder of the week.

Ros Satar is a British Journalist- an IT journalist by day, and a sports journalist in all the gaps in between. Follow her tournament updates on twitter @TennisNewsTPN. She is the co-founder of Britwatch Sports (britwatchsports.com). Follow her personal twitter at @rfsatar.

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