Yesterday’s blog picks turned out to be a complete waste of time. I do get emails saying they are a waste of time every day which is always nice to read.
However from yesterday’s picks Wozniacki injured her ankle and hobbled through the match, Shvedova withdrew, Darcis withdrew and Stepanek retired in the second set. Triffic.
That wasn’t the full extent of the problems that hit Wimbledon yesterday. Federer lost in 4 sets to Stakhovsky. Isner retired after just 2 games with an ankle injury, Stepanek I have mentioned already, Tsonga retired after 3 sets and Cilic pulled out before his match with De Schepper. Dustin Brown beat former world number 1 Hewitt in 4 sets!
That was just the men’s tournament! Azarenka withdrew due to the injury she picked up in her previous match. Wozniacki I mentioned above, Sharapova lost in straight sets to Larcher de Brito! Jankovic lost in straight sets to Dolonc and there were other smaller surprises as Safarova lost to Knapp and Bartoli won a match in straight sets.
Medics and trainers have been stretched to breaking point but by the time we reach the finals the umpires won’t be asking if there’s a doctor in the house but maybe is there a tennis player in the house.
There were so many injury related issues that the Wimbledon Chief Executive Richard Lewis released a statement saying it was nothing to do with the grass!
Anyway, onto Thursday’s matches.
Halep as expected looked tired in her first round match and won’t have an easy task against Li Na. Grass isn’t Li’s favourite surface but I think she will be able to get some revenge for the defeat to Halep 2 years ago in the US Open. I’d expect Halep to start well and we could easily see a price around evens on Li but I think Halep will start to struggle from the second set.
Update: Li started much stronger and was in total control of the opening set. Towards the end of the set Halep seemed to hurt herself and looked in real pain. The trainer was called and everyone thought she was going to quit. Possibly Li thought the same as she appeared to have switched off. Halep began playing a lot better and Li looked half asleep. Halep easily took the set but Li was able to get her head together for the final set which she won easily.
Li won 6-2, 1-6, 6-0.
There will be a lot of interest today in finding which favourites are going to get dumped out. Stosur is a possibility most weeks. Anderson won’t have an easy day against Przysiezny who has already dumped out 2 big servers in Groth and Petzschner. There are plenty short priced favourites today and the way this week has gone we could have Go Soeda and Dustin Brown in the final.
Tomic retired from his doubles match having beaten Sam Querrey in his singles match on Tuesday. He pretty much said he was going to beat Blake in his next match because Blake isn’t serving as well as Querrey. Blake is getting towards the end of his career and even his serve isn’t keeping him in matches as often as it used to.
Tomic is in a bit of a sulk with the ATP about his father not being allowed to watch his matches and could be a bit distracted but as long as he is fit he shouldn’t have too much trouble with Blake’s failing game.
Update: Tomic won 6-3, 6-4, 7-5.
Pironkova battered Pavlyuchenkova in the last round and faces Barbora Zahlavova Strycova today. BZS won their only previous match which was on a hard court in 2011. Pironkova’s best surface is grass. her form leading up to the grass season was poor but she comes alive on the turf.
I’m seeing a lot of love for BZS but am struggling to see why she would win this one. She has come through the qualifying rounds and reached the quarter finals of the ITF event in Nottingham but didn’t beat anyone of quality and lost to Baltacha.
1.47 is no price to be backing Pironkova here though and I will wait for her to go a break behind.
Update: The first set was very close with both serving well. Pironkova took it with a late break and finished the job in straight sets.
Pironkova won 7-5, 6-3.
Laura Robson is back on court and is priced at 1.18 to beat Duque Marino. She won’t be able to play as well as she did against Kirilenko but she shouldn’t need to. She does tend to play her best tennis against the top players and especially on the English grass courts. I suppose theres a chance that she will think this is a certain win and she might get sucker punched in the early games to give us a higher price.
Update: Rain pushed this match to Friday.
Tommy Haas to get Wang’d? Djokovic to fall to Bobby Reynolds? Gasquet to go for a Soeda? All highly unlikely but I remember thinking same about Nadal, Fed, Shara……….