Tuesday Vesna and I walked to Wimbledon from Putney Bridge which took less than an hour. It was a nice day though cloudy. We had looked at the schedule and wanted to watch Taylor Townsend play a little before going to Centre Court to see Li Na and Radwanska play, followed by Kvitova and Flipkens.
Townsend is a 17 year old American player who was the #1 junior in the world in 2011. She’s a lefty and has very good technique on her serve and forehand, a nice slice and touch, but her movement is so/so. However, against her opponent from Egypt she was just better all around, playing solid first strike tennis. Her serve in particular was a lot better as was her slice backhand. She won the first set 62, then we left to watch the QF, but she ended up winning that match 2, 4.
The Li/Radwansaka match lived up to its billing as the marquee QF match. It went three sets and was interrupted in the middle by a rain delay which necessitated closing the roof, a procedure which took about 45 minutes. The court was quickly covered (instantly, as Li was serving at 40-15, double faulted 2x, rushing, played one more point and less and a minute later the court was covered! Our seats were under an overhang so we didn’t really notice the rain till the court was being covered. Li hit and Radwanska countered and threw in some slices, dropshots, sneaky fast serves and net approaches…she was the better volleyer. She got tight trying to serve out the match…one serve didn’t even register on the radar gun, but won on her 8th match point. It was a fun match for the contrast in styles. Li had many set points at 54 first set and failed to convert which was the turning point of the match..even though she won the 2nd set, once the roof was closed, Radwanska adjusted better to the new conditions.
Kvitova/Flipkens was also interesting…Flipkens was 2-1 against Kvitova going into the match, which I didn’t know and played her smart, slicing low to her forehand with her backhand, then ripping her forehand when she got one. Kvitova looked slow and confused at times, and didn’t like the low balls to her forehand. Flipkens served great at the end in particular, finishing her last 2 service games with aces. Kvitova seemed to be in tears after the match and Flipkens was walking on air out of the stadium.
It was interesting to note that all four players had some tape on a body part: Li, Knee, Radwanska, both thighs (and later on she had her quad taped more heavily); Kvitova, knee and Flipkens, knee. The doubles players were less banged up, only Bupathi had tape.
After the singles we found the Bryan Brothers and watched their second set against Buphathi/Knowle, which ended in a tiebreak…actually they won the match 76 76 76. There were some fun points as all 4 are good doubles players.
It was a lot of fun going to Wimbledon. The atmosphere is great, the grounds beautiful, and it’s been a long time since I’ve seen so many men dressed with coats and ties!
We ended the day walking to Wimbledon Village and having dinner at an English Pub…nice atmosphere and good food. Then it was on to a double-decker red bus back to Putney Bridge.
Now I’m on my way back home, great trip but it’s always nice to get home! (Flight delay unfortunately….:- but I’ll get there eventually.) Happy 4th of July everyone.