Pliskova Upset, Kerber Does Not Inspire; Venus, Azarenka Up Friday at Wimbledon
by Jeremy Davis | July 6th, 2017, 7:49 pm
  • 11 Comments

Karolina Pliskova will reach No. 1 someday, and after a loss Thursday at the All-England Club it could still be during this Wimbledon fortnight.


The No. 3-seeded Czech was bounced from the All-England Club by unseeded Slovak Magdalena Rybarikova 3-6, 7-5, 6-2.

“For me the tournament is over,” said Pliskova, who will rise to No. 1 if Simona Halep doesn’t reach the semifinals or Angie Kerber doesn’t reach the final. “I’m not going to pray for someone losing or winning. I’m just going to take off and wait. I have a lot of time to prepare till my next tournament in Toronto. I will make sure I prepare well, but for me now it’s vacation time.”

The current world No. 1, Angie Kerber, did not inspire in a 7-5, 7-5 win over Belgian Kirsten Flipkens.

“It wasn’t an easy match and for sure it wasn’t the best tennis I’ve ever played,” Kerber said. “Kirsten is always tough to play on grass with the slice. I couldn’t find my rhythm in the first few games. I was fighting for every point and that was the key at the end.”

Other Top 10 winners Thursday were No. 5 Caroline Wozniacki who beat grasscourt maven Tsvetana Pironkova 6-3, 6-4; No. 7 Svetlana Kuznetsova who bageled fellow Russian Ekaterina Makarova 6-0, 7-5; and No. 9 Agnieszka Radwanska who escaped with a 5-7, 7-6(7), 6-3 victory against American Christina McHale, fighting off two match points.

Also into round three were lower seeds No. 14 Garbine Muguruza Blanco, No. 19 Timea Bacsinszky, and No. 24 CoCo Vandeweghe, all in straight sets.

American Alison Riske recorded the second-biggest upset of the day, shocking one of the hottest players on tour, No. 12 Kristina Mladenovic 2-6, 6-4, 6-4. Other upset winners were Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit topping No. 29 Daria Kasatkina 6-3, 6-2, and American Shelby Rogers downing No. 32 Lucie Safarova 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-3.

Mladenovic was not happy with the conditions after falling to Riske.

“I think you can all pretty much see,” she told the media. “First of all, the color of the court, the fact that there’s no more grass, the fact that the baseline where we are running, it’s very slippery. There’s no grass. I don’t know how to describe it. It’s not even clay. So it makes it tough to put your strong footwork. You kind of have to run light and be careful, I don’t know, not to push or press too much, too hard, which is strange to play on. I’m just honestly very happy and blessed that I didn’t injure myself that much.”

Tragedy reverberated through the women’s field when American Bethanie Mattek-Sands tumbled to the turf with a screamingly-painful knee injury that saw her carried off the court on a stretcher in the third set of her match with Romania’s Sorana Cirstea.

“It’s not easy because at the end of the day it’s not about tennis any more,” said Cirstea, who a screaming Mattek-Sands begged for help on court before the medical team arrived. “We are like a family. You want everyone to be OK. It doesn’t matter you win, you lose, once you are out, you want them to be OK. So, yeah, I hope is not as bad that it seemed, and she can have a quick, quick recovery. I’m very sad about everything that happened.”

Highlights of Friday play at Wimbledon include former No. 1 Victoria Azarenka vs. (WC) Heather Watson, (10) Venus Williams vs. Naomi Osaka, (2) Simona Halep vs. Shuai Peng, (4) Elina Svitolina vs. Carina Witthoeft, and (8) Dominika Cibulkova vs. (27) Ana Konjuh.


You Might Like:
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Azarenka, Stephens Into Miami Semis; Venus vs. Collins Wednesday
Serena Joined by Break-Out Stars Pliskova, Konjuh in US Open Quarters
Kerber, Halep, Pliskova And Venus Advance To Miami QFs; Muruguza Retires
Venus Kicks Konta Out Of Miami, Top 20; Stephens v Kerber Tues.

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11 Comments for Pliskova Upset, Kerber Does Not Inspire; Venus, Azarenka Up Friday at Wimbledon

Margot Says:

Poor woman. Sounds horrible. Hope it doesn’t ruin her career.


RZ Says:

Angie’s match was tough but I would say it was less about her being “not inspiring” and more about Flipkens’ slice and dice game. Angie didn’t play great, but did what she needed to win. It’s all about winning the last point and she did that.


RZ Says:

Heather is pushing Vika. Got the break back and now it’s 4-4 in the 3rd.


Margot Says:

And out goes the pocket rocket :(


RZ Says:

The pocket rocket will be back on hard and indoor courts.
Nice to see Halep is through. And Konta makes week 2 for the first time. Despite all the upsets, a lot of good players still in the draw between these ladies, Vika, Radwanksa, Wozniacki, and Ostapenko.


RZ Says:

^ Venus and Kerber too.


RZ Says:

Vika and Heather are facing off again – now in mixed doubles.


Margot Says:

Angie played two courageous shots to win the match, one a drop and the other a lob. She looked so drawn and worried, I was so glad she won. Crazy match at mo., between Ostapenko and Georgi. Me oh my, Ostapenko was sending some evil looks down Georgi’s way!


RZ Says:

Barty and Dellaqua won a tough 3 set doubles match. Now that BMS-Safarova are out, I’m hoping the Aussie ladies will take the doubles title. They have been in several slam finals together but haven’t won one yet.


RZ Says:

@Margot – Ostapenko said that someone in Giorgi’s box kept coughing right before she would serve. That may be the reason for the evil looks. Apparently Madison Keys had the same complaint about the coughing when she played Giorgi


BBB Says:

I believe the Giorgi family has a long history of shady conduct, including financial shenanigans with sponsors. At Fed Cup, her colleagues would have nothing to do with her even when they won.

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