When Courtney Nguyen left Sports Illustrated to take up her current post with the WTA as the Insider, I spoke with her when she appeared on the Realz podcast. At that time I raised with her the issue of why it is that commentators seemed to know next to nothing about the then current crop of young tennis players. Courtney told us that at every tournament, commentators are provided with a stat sheet and information on every single WTA player. Tournaments they have won, their win/loss record, what they like and don’t like. Everything. At that time we were all stunned that commentators actually got this information because you would never know from listening to matches.
Why am I writing this? Because I am currently at home and rewatching matches that I taped and John McEnroe (who everybody has a go at because of his ignorance), asked Chris Evert to provide him with the names of some women tennis players that she felt could make a run to the title. I was embarassed for Chris. Embarassed for her because not only does she run an academy, but she more than anyone should have an idea of the talent that is currently out there on the women’s side. The only player that she could come up with was Madison Keys. McEnroe wanted her to tell him about players that he had never heard of, and Evert failed to do this.
Commentators need to do better. Chris Evert needed to be better.
Day 2 Recap
Out: Sharapova, Kvitova, Garcia (not an upset), Pavlyuchenkova (again not an upset).
Moving on: Cibulkova, Muguruza, Suarez-Navaroo and to my surprise Sofia Kenin over Maria Sakkari.
As I write this, I am in the third set of the replay of the Kvitova match. She is running and running and running and running. She is absolutely exhausted. She is not going after balls and Sasnovic is hitting winners every which way. At her press conference, Kvitova said she was not feeling well. I suspect this might have something to do with her opponent, who stayed focused in order to close out the match.
It was good to see Belinda Bencic recapturing the form that she showed earlier in the season. While her win over Garcia is an upset in terms of ranking, in terms of whether a seed got upset, I just don’t think it will have that big a ripple effect in the same way of Kvitova going out to Sasnovic.
Day 3 has some very good match ups. I have to confess that I have never heard of Serena’s opponent before and so I will be interested to see her play the younger Williams tomorrow. Venus plays Dulgheru, a player who is not known for her play on grass, but as I understand it Wimbledon is playing like a clay court and if Venus is not careful she could find herself in another three set match.
Other matches to watch Pliskova (Ka) up against Azarenka. I don’t have much confidence in Azarenka’s game right now. She was lucky to get out of her first round match, as was Pliskova. It should be a good one.
Wozniacki made quick work of Lepchenko. She will perhaps have a bit of a problem with Makarova but the Russian has been slumping of late, and so I don’t expect her to cause the Dane too much trouble.
The match of the day is no doubt going to be Kumkhum v. Keys. Keys will need to stay focused if she hopes to win this match as Kumkhum cherishes these big moments.
Enjoy the tennis folks.