Wimbledon Doesn’t Like Williams Sisters?; Li Na Longer in the Running
by Staff | June 23rd, 2011, 10:26 pm

French Open champion Li Na of China experienced a disastrous exit from Wimbledon in the second round on Thursday, twice failing to serve out of match, then wasting two match points before losing to German Sabine Lisicki 8-6 in the third.
Na’s forehand failed her on the surface that suits her game even better than the Roland Garros clay, while Lisicki’s big serve, including 17 aces, kept her in the match.

“The crowd really helped me when I was facing two match points,” Lisicki told reporters. “They cheered so loudly, I have never heard such a noise.”

Serena Williams meanwhile, trying to play her way into the tournament, fought through another three-set test in downing unseeded Romanian Simona Halep 3-6, 6-2, 6-1.

Afterwards Serena, when asked why she was shuttered to Court 2 instead of one of the show courts, had no answer.

“Yeah…ummm…I don’t know,” Serena said, measuring her words. “They like to put us on Court 2, me and Venus, for whatever reason. I haven’t figured it out yet. Maybe one day we’ll figure it out.”

Williams will next face No. 26 seed Maria Kirilenko, who defeated Thai qualifier Tamarine Tanasugarn 7-5, 7-5.

“I’m hoping to get better as the event goes on,” Williams told reporters. “It was really windy out there in the first set. I was tight and I told myself to relax more. I need to play longer matches and get more practice.”

A number of players, like world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki, found their scheduled matches cancelled, and a number of players left matches unfinished due to rains and delays.

Other winners of note Thursday were No. 6 Francesca Schiavone, Czech Petra Cetkovska ousting No. 13 Aggie Radwanska  in three, veteran Nadia Petrova upsetting No. 14 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, and Czech Klara Zakopalova defeating No. 31 Lucie Safarova in three.

Matches to look for on Friday’s schedule at the All England Club are (25) Daniela Hantuchova vs. (4) Victoria Azarenka, Brit Laura Robson vs. (5) Maria Sharapova, the all-court Spaniard Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez vs. (23) Venus Williams, (1) Caroline Wozniacki vs. Virginie Razzano, (19) Yanina Wickmayer vs. (12) Svetlana Kuznetsova, and (8) Petra Kvitova vs. grasscourt warm-up winner (29) Roberta Vinci.

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11 Comments for Wimbledon Doesn’t Like Williams Sisters?; Li Na Longer in the Running

jane Says:

“Afterwards Serena, when asked why she was shuttered to Court 2 instead of one of the show courts, had no answer.”

Context! Serena was *asked* about the court assignment, so of course she had to come up with an answer. Reading the full interviews makes a difference, because half the time anything even slightly controversial is based on a question asked.

Eric Says:

They also put Djokovic, Del Potro, Wozniacki, and even hometown girl Robson vs Sharapova on the lowly numbered courts. It’s not some sort of slight.

margot Says:

It’s about scheduling, not insulting.

danbailey Says:

That is still shocking to me that Roger or Rafa hardly ever have even seen Court 2 let alone play on it. But yet Venus & Serena are always on Court 2. http://bit.ly/iDSIIb

Wheeler Says:

Whoever (journalists, players or fans) complains about top players put on different courts are bitches and bastards. They should SHUT UP. Everyone is distributed evenly across all courts for various matches. Journalists especially should SHUT UP and stop making a big deal out of this. These journalists are more and more looking like idiots. Asking the stupidest questions and sensationalizing trivial issues. Like the stupid one who asked if Rafa was on decline.

steve-o Says:

Why was it that ESPN2 devoted so much airtime to the Harrison and Isner matches compared to Federer’s match?

We saw every moment of the other Center Court matches: Soderling/Hewitt (grueling battle between a gritty, aging veteran against a top power player) and of Lisicki/Li (young hotshot making a comeback from injury upsets French Open champ).

But during Federer’s match, they spent most of their airtime on Tsonga/Dimitrov, which was really fun and suspenseful, but they should have at least been cutting away from that from time to time to Federer’s match. Instead they switched between that and the Isner and Harrison matches.

The ESPN3 site didn’t even link to Federer’s match properly–the link was labeled “Center Court–Li/Lisicki”. WTF?

I’m not deeply engrossed by the epic struggle of John Isner to make it past the second round of Wimbledon. And I don’t know who is.

Harrison is slightly more interesting because he’s a promising young player and it’s nice to see him develop. But not so interesting that I would like to see him play at the exclusion of Roger Federer.

I’m not irritated because I think he was slighted; I don’t care. I’m irritated because they it made it so hard to see my favorite player in action.

And it makes no sense to be so stingy with giving him airtime. He’s the biggest draw in tennis. People would pay hundreds of dollars to see him rally against a wall, let alone a real live human being on Center Court at Wimbledon.

Maybe ESPN should have taken a little of the millions they spent to land Chris Evert and used it to hire a programming director with some competence and common sense.

Chico Says:

Chin up steve-o, Isner and Harrison might both be goners after this round, Fed is going to be around.

margot Says:

steve-o BBC favours British players at the expense of all others, gr8 if u like Andy but…..if u r talking American TV then perhaps it’s simply a bit of Nationalism?
Anyway, as Chico says, Isner’s gone ;)

RFFan Says:

Actually they showed very little of Lisicki – Li; they also skipped alot of the Djokovic match.

I think it’s smart to show some excting outer court matches; I love Fed but still I enjoyed the coverage.

As chico says, Mannarino was no threat and Fed’ll still be around plenty in the coming days. I’m sure Fed / Nalby will be televised.

Colin Says:

Margot, I watch online, where you can choose whichever court you want. True, the picture isn’t TV quality, but it’s adequate, and choice is the important thing.
The BBC is experimenting with HD coverage, and today it was used on the Baltacha match, and the quality there WAS equal to a good TV picture.
I gave up watching television almost seven years ago, as there aren’t enough things I want to watch, to justify the cost of a licence. I use my TV set only for watching DVDs.

Mo Says:

Yeah…ummm…I don’t know,” Serena said, measuring her words. “They like to put us on Court 2, me and Venus, for whatever reason. I haven’t figured it out yet. Maybe one day we’ll figure it out.”

Look isn’t it enough that Serena was given an early Birthday and Christmas gift of being seeded 7th in the draw, she should be grateful to be playing whether it be on Center Court or Court 16! Oh and I have yet to hear Venus complain.

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