Pironkova Stuns Venus, Clijsters Also Upset in Wimbledon QFs; Serena in Charge
by Sean Randall | June 29th, 2010, 2:48 pm

Tsvetana Pironkova pulled the upset of the women’s tournament stunning 5-time champ Venus Williams 6-2, 6-3 today in the Wimbledon quarterfinals. Pironkova now meets Vera Zvonareva in the Thursday semifinals while favorite Serena Williams takes on Petra Kvitova. ADHEREL

“Well, I cannot say what surprised me,” Pironkova said. “But I think it was quicker than I thought. Winning 6‑2, 6‑3, it was the biggest surprise for me. I expected like a longer match.”

Pironkova now leads Venus 2-1 in their head to head having won their prior meeting at the 2006 Australian Open.

“Well, that match was a long time ago,” said of her earlier win over Venus. “It was five years ago. But it really gave me an idea how is she playing and how I am supposed to be playing. And, yeah, maybe it helped me.”

Venus’s loss meant no all-Williams final for the first time since 2007, and no sixth Wimbledon dish for Venus either.

“I just didn’t get enough balls in today,” Venus said. “I just, uhm, let it spiral and didn’t get any balls in. I mean, I had a lot of opportunities and a lot of short balls. I just seemed to hit each one out. You know, obviously she’s played well to get this far, but I don’t think I did anything right today.”

Venus wasn’t the only upset on the day. Russian Zvonareva had never beaten Clijsters in five previous tries, but that changed today after her 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 victory over the Belgian.

“I think I was able to play one point at a time today,” Zvonareva said. “I was able to keep my concentration from the beginning till the end of the match. Also I’m much more experienced right now, much more mature. I think I played tactically better, and I was able to hang in there, not to pay attention to what was going on around. Even after I lost the first set, maybe there were a couple unforced errors that could have put me back, but I was trying not to think about it. I was trying to think about what I have to do next to win the next point. I think it helped me a lot.”

Zvonareva was a 2009 Australian Open semifinalist so she’s has experience, but she got crushed by her semifinal opponent, Pironkova, at the end of last year in Moscow.

“I just know that in that match I will have to concentrate on myself and execute my game no matter what the score, no matter what she’s trying to do,” Zvonareva said. “Just try not to look on the other side and try to concentrate on myself.”

Meanwhile, Kvitova had the toughest road to the semifinals today. The 20-year-old lefty saved 5(!!) match points to a choking Kaia Kanepi to win 4-6, 7-6(10), 8-6.

Kanepi, a qualifier, had multiple match points in the second set, and then the Estonian was up 4-0 in the third set but was unable to put Kvitova away under the weight of the moment.

Serena looks like the runaway favorite after taking out Li Na for a second time in Grand Slam play this year. Serena was against tested but prevailed 7-5, 6-3.

With Serena and three relatively new Wimbledon semifinal debutantes, it’s awfully hard to envision anyone stopping her from title No. 4 at Wimbledon and her 13th career Slam win.

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10 Comments for Pironkova Stuns Venus, Clijsters Also Upset in Wimbledon QFs; Serena in Charge

Dory Says:

Although I don’t care much about women’s tennis ever since the inconsistency amongst players set it, Venus losing was a bit of a shock. The trophy is for Serena’s to take now. I expect she won’t be upset.

Huh Says:

The WTA is the misfortune of the game of tennis. Shameful state of WTA is this, I feel. It’s unbelievable how ordinary tennis the girls are playing at the moment! :( :/

Not even Venus is able to beat a nobody on grass and loses in straight sets. Sigh. :(

Actually looking at the sorry state of affairs of women’s tennis, I think all the Serena haters(which I am not) or the non fans(which of course I am) must commend the effort put by Serena and her consistency at slams. Thank God, there’s at least one dominating and champion and MEGA-FIGHTER like Serena in women’s side, otherwise God knows, nobody would have bothered to give even whatever little attention is being given to lady’s tennis in the recent times! So I think I’ve no other option but to wish Serena success and luck at this WIM and the tournaments following. Serena’s the only saving grace of women, but that’s not enough, hope it improves and the shameless and useless lower ranked journeywomen learn some fighting qualities from Serena. If the other women are able to put up even 20-50% of the effort that Serena puts into each of her matches, then it’s obvious that women’s tennis can become much more interesting than it is at present.

So I am again gonna repeat what I have always advocated:
i.e., for the sake of goodness, please please and please cut down women’s salary to 50% or below!!!
But I would like to make only one exception here, that’s IMO only Serena deserves to be awarded cash like men coz she always gives her best in each match and her opponent always has to earn the win against her! Her commitment at slams is highly praiseworthy. And she even works the hardest, though she’s able to hide it under her seemingly care-free, almost over-confident and even kinda arrogant outer shell while appearing in press and in public.

And the first women in WTA who must come under the crackdown in terms of reduction of prize money in comparison to men are drama queens like Jankovic!

Huh Says:

Sorry for the grammatical and other mistakes in my 4.53 post. But I hope you can get the main points that I’m trying to make.

Gregoire Gentil Says:

I’m in the Serena haters camp but I must admit that I almost wish her good luck For Thursday/Saturday. That shows the level of WTA right now. What a mess!

Huh, I don’t think that it’s a salary problem. But I agree with you: what a disappointment for the inconsistency of all those drama queens!

Madoda Says:

I’m shocked! Queen of grass Venus loses in straights to an unknown. Kim also lost but at least it’s a top 10 player and she went down fighting. Venus really has to fight now or retire. She’s 30 now. Come on Vee!!! Anyway for now we’ll watch Serena get her 13th major

PJ Says:

I am no Serena fan at all, I still respect her abilities on a tennis court. She has looked nothing short of phenomenal this tournament (especially on serve). Even with all the upsets, I was hoping for Na Li if only because I can’t imagine the rest of the tournament being that exciting from a “who is going to win” standpoint. It worked at the French because all 4 semifinalists were somewhat in the “really?” category. Now, you have 3 and Serena. She was the favorite before the semis, and has to be the favorite on an exponential level now.

Plus, if Li had one, it would’ve made the French Open semifinalists look like The Williams Sisters and The Belgians.

While there is no consistency, it is exciting to watch and really have no clue what is going to happen.

Fot Says:

So – it’s Serena Williams and the Pips (Zvonareva, Kvitova, Pironkova)! Surely we all have those 4 names for the Wimbledon SF! lol!

Can you imagine if the shocking thing happens and Serena loses… NBC would broadcast the final that no body in American would watch. (just stretching that a little lol), but you know NBC is praying that at least Serena gets to the final.

andrea Says:

FOT – NBC will have a conniption if serena isn’t in the final; especially now that andy is out. they slave over every minute of every match that americans are in. alas, here in canada, we get a pure TSN feed on the masters events, with different commentators from around the world, and they provide lots of coverage on different players, but the GS’s are pretty much coated by NBC/ESPN.

and fair enough, an american broadcaster wants to skew things for america, but it’s time for america to realize that there are (gasp) other tennis players out there.

that being said, i don’t really mind the NBC/ESPN overkill team. i like Darren Cahill a lot and Brad has grown on me. Hannah Storm seems to be chronically leaning on her right side to camera which is a bit odd. feels a bit ‘fish eye’. she’s got a great name though!

WTF Says:

Lol, that’s not the first time for Pironkova. She stunned Venus at the AO a few years back too. First or second round.

WTF Says:

Roger Federer has said before that Wimbledon’s conditions have not changed. A Wimbledon spokesman has just commented on it. Wimbledon has not gotten slower. It’s all perception.

When asked by The Guardian newspaper, an All England Club spokesman said: “Does serve-and-volley really exist anymore on the circuit? There has been no change in the preparation of the court or its set-up. It’s been pretty hot and the top gets baked so the ball can bounce a bit higher. There’s also been no change in the compression of the ball since 1995, when there was a 2% change. It may be a perception thing. Atmosphere can be a factor, modern racket technology can affect the ball, there are many factors that make getting into the net more difficult. So it is nothing to do with court condition.”


Hopefully Dan Martin will get a clue now. Was Federer lying about it in the past, or perhaps just wrong? Possible. But he is the 6 time Wimbledon champion and 1 time Runner-up. If anyone knows the courts well it’s him, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. Dan on the other hand has never played on Center Court. Nor have most commentators in the media who make the same claims.

Is the slowing of the court combined with the momentum of the French Open champion/finalist the reason for the French-Wimb double success of recent years? No. Players are just getting better. On all surfaces. The bar gets raised constantly.

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