As the sun sets on Centre Court and Wimbledon village, the women’s quarterfinal day provided a tennis world with exactly what they wanted: two Williams sisters wins, setting up interesting semis for each on Thursday.
Both Williams Sisters Impress
Both Serena and Venus Williams marched through the quarterfinal rounds with impressive wins, overwhelming their sometimes awestruck opponents with power, speed, and aggressive net play. Serena’s scoreline appears to show a tight match where each set was won by a mere break of serve, but Serena was in control throughout. Serena fired 11 aces, winning 90% first serve points, and never faced a break point in cruising to her win over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Pavlyuchenkova seemed almost overwhelmed by the moment at points, but did fight hard to make a match of the encounter.
Venus Williams once again brushed aside a slow start to find her best play in the second set and run away with the match win. Yaroslava Shvedova seemed intent to beat Williams at her own game, trying to blast away winners and aces at every chance. Although mildly successful in the first set, Williams proved steadier in the big moments to take the first set in a tiebreak. In the second, Williams seemed content to play conservatively and allow Shvedova to make the mistakes. Although Shvedova hit 26 winners in the match, she also hit 33 unforced errors, in comparison with only 12 for Venus Williams.
Kerber Sets Up Showdown with Venus Williams
Angelique Kerber continued her torrid play and found another gear to pull ahead and defeat the number 5 seed Simona Halep. In what was definitively the match of the day, Kerber continually found the ability to play tremendous defense, and then segue that into quick and potent offense. Halep fought valiantly throughout the match, but for every deep forehand and backhand hit, Kerber seemed to have an even deeper, sharper angled answer. Kerber continued to display the focus and determination of someone who believes that her 2nd Slam trophy will soon be won, giving a supportive audience fist pumps and positive emotions throughout. Thursday’s semifinal with Venus Williams looms large as one of the most interesting semis of either gender tournament in recent years.
Vesnina provides yet another upset
Elena Vesnina continued her great 2016 run with her second upset in two days. After defeating her favored doubles partner Ekaterina Makerova in the round of 16, Vesnina continued to blister the court with service and forehand winners and routed Dominika Cibulkova, who had beaten Agnes Radwanska the day before. The victory was particuarly poignant as Cibulkova had been on a tear this grass court season, and many had picked her as one of the few with a chance to upset Serena this tourney. Vesnina continued to buy into her all or nothing philosophy and simply out hit the powerful Cibulkova on her way to victory.