It’s Petra Kvitova versus Eugenie Bouchard for all the strawberries, cream, Pimm’s, and what the hell else? Both of today’s ladies’ semifinals mirrored each other in the way the sets played out. The first of each match were tense affairs with Petra and Genie eeking out the match lead in tiebreaks. The second sets seemed more like formalities when each of them broke early and led the rest of the way. Petra beat Lucie Safarova 7-6(6), 6-1 and Genie ousted Simona Halep 7-6(5), 6-2. But, that’s where the similarities end.
Where Lucie was simply outclassed in the second, Simona was dealing with the lingering effects of an ankle injury she picked up in the beginning of the first set. Credit the Romanian for keeping it close initially (she led 4-2 in the tiebreak) but her movement, a core part of her game, was hampered, as was her serve. What sets Genie apart is her ability to shut everything else out and focus on the work ahead – no matter an injured opponent, a fan who fainted in the stands during the tiebreak, a questionable call from the chair on her first match point, or a dapper TV star in her baller box. She’s all about the biz.
Petra has been to this dance before, and she’ll be looking to prove that the first time wasn’t a fluke. She and Lucie are friends and that added more pressure in their match; but in the end, her quality and belief got her through. To me, when Petra is healthy and in a positive mindset, her game is deadly on the slick stuff. DEAD-LY. At the start of the tourney, I didn’t have my eye on the Czech because her results this year have been pretty sketch (hello first-round loss in Oz to Luksika Kumkhum). But coming to Wimbledon where she’s had her greatest success, and beating 5-time champ Venus Williams in an absolute classic, clearly gave her the boost she needed.
The final will come down to serve and return - who can hold onto their serve, and who can get a high percentage of quality returns in play - and apply first-strike tennis to control the points. I give the edge to Genie.
It was reported today that Li Na and coach Carlos Rodriguez have ended their full-time partnership. He’s under contract with a tennis academy in China, and they have asked him to return. According to her agent, Max Eisenbud, they were essentially “borrowing” him from the academy. While Li is in China, they will work together but no longer on a full-time basis. She was reportedly unaware of the decision and very upset by the news, which was told her after her third-round loss at Wimbledon.
Attached my photo for @CosmopolitanUK to raise awareness of male cancer #ATP pic.twitter.com/QriaE3wgrBLet's see...Venus, Tomas, now Fabio. Sure, why not. Let’s all get BUTT NEKKID! For a good cause, of course. Duh. You'll probably get your pic banned from Instagram, too. But don't worry; Tomas has your back so to speak.
— Fabio Fognini (@fabiofogna) July 3, 2014
Most importantly, is that one of the Seven Dwarfs on Fabio's hip? Doubt it's Bashful.
[Photo(s) credit: Getty Images]