Euro Zone: Day 8 preview
Originally published on: 28/06/11 11:15
Manic Monday saw defending champ Serena bow out to the twinkle-toed former-finalist Marion Bartoli in straight sets. The Frenchwoman, whose semi-final victory over Justine Henin in 2007 was inspired by seeing Pierce Brosnan in the Royal Box, fidgeted her way to victory by jumping around and hitting shadow strokes in between points.
If you were to bottle up the energy that Bartoli expends during the course of a match you could probably send a rocket to the moon. Luckily for her though, she had enough energy in reserve to seal her first ever victory over a Williams sister, and her reward for her determined form is a match-up with Sabine Lisicki of Germany.
Lisicki herself is no stranger to giant-killing after knocking out Roland Garros champ Li Na during week one. The duo have been handed the task of opening proceedings on Centre Court and this game promises to be a classic.
Second up on Centre Court is defending champion Maria Sharapova, as she takes on Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova. Sharapova has had a comfortable passage through the draw without dropping a set and she will be quietly confident of her chances, especially being the only Grand Slam winner left in the tournament.
Before this year, Cibulkova’s best run at SW19 was the third round. At 5ft3in, the Slovak stands at almost a foot shorter than Sharapova, but after yesterday’s comeback win over World No.1 Caroline Wozniacki, Cibulkova will know she is capable of beating anyone.
First up on Court No.1 is the battle of last year’s beaten semi-finalist’s, Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic and Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova. Kvitova, who lost to Serena in 2010, cruised through yesterday’s game with Yanina Wickmayer for the loss of only two games.
Pironkova overcame an out-of-form Venus with relative ease 6-2, 6-3, and this year’s Championships appears to be a case of ‘the grass is always greener’ for the 23-year-old. Her four wins here have equalled her total tally of wins for the year and victory today against Kvitova would make this tournament more successful than her entire season to-date.
Last up on Court No.1 is the highest seed, Victoria Azarenka, against the youngest player, Tamira Paszek, left in the draw.