Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Four Of These Do Not Belong

by Savannah

Well maybe three.

Aga Radwanska Wimbledon 2013 photo 1b5044a2-bcb3-4756-ae34-ff214967787f_zps75e824f4.jpg
Agniezska Radwanska has been here before. She was a finalist last year.

Marion Bartoli Wimby 2013 photo 78ab4e17-34b0-414d-b1cc-0274ca8854a5_zps0f88ab7e.jpg
Marion Bartoli played a memorable Wimbledon final against Venus Williams a few years ago.

But neither woman was given much of a chance of making the final. There were other better known players who were seeded ahead of them and were favored to make the semifinals. They're gone. They were seeded however and therefore it was always possible they'd go deep into the tournament.

Lisicki Wimbledon 2013 photo 3f687156-cf4b-4059-b369-4281e9074e59_zpsedc41ec8.jpg
Sabine Lisick was also seeded so also had a chance to make it to week two and serve as warmups for the big girls. Her inconsistency was seen as proof she wasn't ready for prime time.

Kirsten Flipkens Wimbledon 2013 photo f5821923-4764-4462-a7e9-d646a0e5310c_zps9827394e.jpg
The only woman in the semifinals who wasn't seeded is Kirsten Flipkens. Injuries, including a scary bout of blood clots in both legs kept her off the tour most of her career and she was supposed to be back home in Belgium by now.

So why am I saying four of these women don't belong instead of just Flipkens? Did anyone really envision the Women's Semifinals without one or all of the Big Three? Is the tournament director sitting in a heap cradling a bottle of gin and mumbling incoherently? Probably. Is ESPN scrambling to find some way to build up Lisicki as the second coming to try and drum up interest in semifinals that feature not one American by birth or PR adoption, women who have been mostly ignored or made fun of by the US broadcast media? You bet they are.

In my opinion Kirsten Flipkens played the best match of the day. Who knew she owned the head to head between herself and Petra Kvitova? Who knew that after Kvitova, still overweight and obviously over heated in the closed stadium won the first set Flipkens would hold it together and calmly grind Kvitova into the grass?

I never thought that Sloane Stephens would beat Marion Bartoli. Aga vs Na was always dependent on which Li Na showed up to play. I thought that Lisicki might suffer from nerves after her big win but she's still obviously pumped and that confidence carried her through against Kaia Kanepi who really never had a chance.

So now it's time for the WTA to put its money where it's mouth is. The hype has been that the women's tour has depth and that what looks like weakness isn't that at all. Flipkens played great today but she's never played Bartoli who confounds with her play despite being out of shape for a female athlete.

Lisicki and Radwanska are even at one all in their head to head.

It's going to be an interesting day for women's tennis, one that will put it on display in a way I don't think it wanted to be, especially at this time.

Who will make the finals? I have no idea. I don't think anyone does.

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