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Jul 05

Wimbledon 2013 : Upsets continue, new names emerge

London, England: The Wimbledon Championships 2013 entered the quarterfinals stage on Tuesday with the Ladies’ singles quarterfinals having taken place on 2nd July and the Gentlemen’s singles quarterfinals a day later.

After Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka made an early exit in the second round, almost the entirety of odds was in Serena Williams’ favor as being the champion of the current edition, with previous records sharply pointing

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towards the same. Notwithstanding the highly favorable statistics and her excellent form, luck didn’t choose Williams’ side in her match against Sabine Lisicki in the 4th round. After a hard-fought couple of sets, the decisive set was completely in favor of Williams as she was in command with Lisicki serving at 2-4, 0-40 down, battling hard to prevent a double-break. But following the footsteps of the earlier matches, this match was in for a complete twist, as Lisicki managed to defend her game and break Serena’s serve in the next game. Eventually she won the match 6-2, 1-6, 6-4, as Serena lost her form

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in the last few games of the match and committed too many unforced errors, completely losing her focus. This loss came as an absolute shock to tennis experts and fans alike, who had quite expected Williams to be the champion, as her close rivals Azarenka and Sharapova were out of her way.

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Lisciki made a stunning comeback to send Serena packing.

In the quarterfinals, Lisicki easily overcame Estonian Kaia Kanepi’s threat by winning 6-3, 6-3 to march into her second Wimbledon semi-final. The 2007 Wimbledon finalist Marion Bartoli also had an easy victory over Sloane Stephens 6-4, 7-5, thus entering the semi-finals for the second time. But for the other two players, entering the semi-finals wasn’t a cakewalk. Agnieszka Radwanska, the No. 4 seed, had to face a tough opponent, Li Na, who put up a brilliant performance and was in command for quite some time. The match, which lasted for 2 hours and 43 minutes, saw some great display of shots from both the players, and eventually turned in Radwanska’s favor, who won 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-2. The match between Petra Kvitova and Kirsten Flipkens produced an unexpected result. Kvitova, the 2011 Wimbledon champion, fought hard but was overthrown by Flipkens who was playing her first-ever Grand Slam QF. The match ended with all the three sets being used up, Flipkens having played with great grit to win it 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 to proceed into the semis, to face Marion Bartoli. As all the players are in top form, nothing concrete can be said with regard to the outcome of the semi-finals, though player experience and past records hint towards a Radwanska vs. Bartoli final.

Marion_Bartoli

Marion Bartoli showed composure and is in line to win the thing this year.

In the Gentlemen’s quarterfinals, 3 of the 4 matches ended in straight sets, speaking volumes about the players’ forms. Jerzy Janowicz, the 22-year-old Polish, has played some incredible tennis in this tournament causing major upsets in the form of defeating players like Almagro, Melzer and Stepanek. He easily defeated Lukasz Kubot 7-5, 6-4, 6-4 to enter his first-ever Grand Slam semi-final. Janowicz, who played his first Grand Slam just a year back, has shown the immense potential he possesses in the world of tennis, having entered a major semi-final in just the second year of play.

djodel

Djokovic v Del Potro semis will be epic, will it?

Novak Djokovic, the top-seeded player and 2011 Wimbledon champion, crushed Tomas Berdych 7-6 (5), 6-4, 6-3, thus reiterating that he is in top form and ready to take on his opponent in the semis. But he cannot be ignorant of the fact that his opponent, Juan Martin Del Potro, is equally deadly and can produce some stunning shots to bewilder him. Del Potro, who was up against David Ferrer in the QFs, cruised through the match to clinch a thumping victory 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 (5), which was totally unexpected considering that he was battling a knee injury caused during the match. Both Djokovic and Del Potro haven’t dropped a single set in the tournament so far and are capable of outdoing the other. Though Djokovic has a slight upper hand when it comes to their head to head statistics, Del Potro is a formidable opponent and a fierce player, and going by his current form, may just swing the forthcoming match in his favour.

murray

Andy Murray had to confront himself to make a dramatic comeback against Verdasco

The last quarterfinal, the one that didn’t end in straight sets, was between the fierce opponents Fernando Verdasco and Andy Murray. As much one-sided as the other 3 matches appeared to be, this one was equally evenly balanced. It took a sharp turn in Verdasco’s favor in the first set itself, and in a matter of time Verdasco was leading 6-4, 6-3 appearing to be the imminent match winner, until Murray retaliated strongly to get back on track, clinching the next two sets 6-1, 6-4. The match, hanging in balance in the 5th set, finally produced a decisive winner when Murray broke Verdasco’s serve and won the last set 7-5. It turned out to be an absolute thriller, and with Murray proceeding to his 5th consecutive Wimbledon semi-final, which has to be played against an unfamiliar opponent Janowicz, the result can barely be predicted.

With the semi-finals set to begin soon, especially with a slightly different set of draws, fans should muster up the strength to expect the unexpected and be ready for an action-packed couple of days!

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Aniket Samant

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