Things We Learned on Day Six of 2014 Wimbledon


1. I haven’t gotten to watch much of the tennis today because I was out for most of the day, but I was shocked to see Serena Williams go out in three sets to Alize Cornet, particularly since she took the first set.

Whether we like to admit it or not, Serena Williams has done nothing at Slams this year, and it’s starting to look like the signs of age are catching up with her, as they do for every great player. Who would’ve thought that we’d get through three major tournaments without Serena reaching the quarters? Additionally, I would’ve expected Serena to be particularly focused and motivated to make a good run at Wimbledon after what happened at the French Open.

With all that in mind, it’ll be interesting to see whether Serena rebounds and starts winning again, or whether she transitions into the status of someone like Roger Federer — a threat at the majors, but not consistent enough to be the favorite anymore. I would’ve bet that she had a few more Grand Slam victories in her future, but her 2014 results have been shocking.

2. Also, this is a bit silly.

That’s the territory of a World No. 1. Everyone wants to beat you, as they should.

3. Eugenie Bouchard made an unusual fashion statement in press:


1. Canadian tennis is still on a steady rise thanks to young guns Eugenie Bouchard and Milos Raonic.

Bouchard, who has notable fan Jim Parsons (pictured above) from the Big Bang Theory hanging around with her at Wimbledon this week, faced Andrea Petkovic in the third round this afternoon. Surprisingly her record against Petkovic stood at 0-3 before today’s match, a record she put to bed with a comfortable straight sets win of 6-3 6-4. Bouchard landed in the tough top quarter of the draw with Serena and Sharapova, but with Serena out she has much more preferable fourth round match against Alize Cornet.

Unless, of course, Cornet continues her brilliant Serena-defeating form …

Raonic was a straight sets winner too, taking out Kubot 7-6 7-6 6-2 to go through to the second week.

It is the first time either Canadian has made the second week of Wimbledon, so their rise up the rankings goes steadily onwards.

2. Rain is awful, coverage is more awful.

It took hours, HOURS, for the roof to be closed on Centre. Then, when the sun came out, it took an AGE for the BBC to switch from repeats of yesterday’s matches to coverage of today. And ESPN chose to show an interview with Maria Sharapova rather than live pictures of Serena losing to Cornet.

Who are these people?! Do they even like tennis?!

Also, no middle Sunday at Wimbledon. So. Prepare yourselves for chaotic schedules and controversy and fandom war and cries of favouritism.

3. Alison Riske has Twitter game.

She may have lost very quickly to Sharapova but she’s keeping it in perspective …

4. Wimbledon Week 1 hasn’t exactly been exciting. I know we were spoiled last year in terms of drama, particularly during week 1, but this tournament has still felt a little…meh.

Cornet vs. Serena was exactly the match we needed to pick up the pace a bit. A great clash, between two highly emotive players, and a shock result that will have repercussions for the whole of the rest of the tournament. No, it’s not great if you’re a Serena fan, but at least it’s something to bring the tournament alive.

Kudos to the Williams sisters, actually, for providing the most interesting matches so far. Even though they both went on to lose, they at least went down fighting. Kvitova vs. Venus is easily the standout match of Wimbledon so far.

5. The British Press are still embarrassing. I apologise on behalf of my people.

For the first time I actually watched “The Day Andy Won Wimbledon.” I actually hadn’t watched it yet because I was SO happy Andy had won, I’d shed so many tears over his 2012 final loss, and I’d found that pre-Wimbledon documentary about Murray last year so moving that I was worried watching this one would send me into a tail spin that would leave me weeping on the floor of my Swiss apartment, clutching a Union Flag, singing Adele songs, hugging a corgi.

Anyway, I watched it today and it was embarrassingly corny. I love Andy Murray in an “I like his tennis, I like seeing him win, he’s a nice guy,” kind of way, with our shared nationality being a bonus feature. I don’t love Andy Murray in an emotion-porn, “our daughter died during the match, knew she’d done all she could for him and so could take her last breath” kind of way. Which is genuinely a part of the documentary. I appreciate that that’s how the family feel, but I feel it’s a bit creepy of the filmmakers to use that.

I’ll stick to enjoying his matches, and enjoying that he won Wimbledon, and I sincerely hope he wins another Slam.

In the meantime, I’m going to go and have a cup of tea and think about what we’ve done.


1. I wrote my thoughts about Serena here for Bleacher Report. Am I surprised? Yes, yes I am. I mean, I picked her to win the tournament. But I’m not shocked. She’s getting older. This is now a trend. I will never count Serena out, but I think we all have to realize that her 2012-2013 form was something special and unsustainable in her 30s, and that the bad days will keep coming.

Her attitude worries me the most, though–Serena shouldn’t be worried that she gets the best of her opponents, because it really shouldn’t matter who she’s playing–if Serena takes the initiative and is focused, the match should be on her racket 99% of the time. But she’s being so passive that it’s just not going to work against top-20 caliber players.

2. That being said, I really don’t want to hear from Patrick unless he’s willing to take some of the blame (like a coach should, true or not) and not throw Serena under the bus. It’s annoying that he presents it as “we” when she wins, but “she” when she loses.

3. If you can’t already tell, I’m super cranky right now. Cranky that there wasn’t more electrifying awesomeness during the first week. Cranky that the Wimbledon scheduling is STUPID AND INSANE AND UNFAIR AND STUPID. Cranky at the Sharapova/Serena fan wars, and all fan wars, because they are ridiculous and annoying and often inhumane. These aren’t teams, they’re people. Individuals. You don’t have to like them but show some respect.

I’m cranky about the darkness and cranky about the rain and ohmygod, I need this middle Sunday even though I’m cranky that there’s no play then.

4. Also? If you’re not going to get lights AT LEAST GET LIGHT METERS. There needs to be something uniform about the decision to stop play for the darkness. A little discretion with the input of the players is fine, but there should not be a 35-minute difference in the stoppage of play.

I mean, Ivanovic could very easily have been in Keys’ situation, or visa versa. It’s just silly.

5. Tommy. Robredo. I did not see that coming.

6. The only part of this day that didn’t make me cranky? GONZOOOOOOOO.

7. Random tweets I favorited:

8. I’m going to get away from the computer for a bit and hopefully come back much more refreshed and much less cranky on Monday. Enjoy Middle Sunday!

7 Responses

  1. Jack Roseau
    Jack Roseau June 28, 2014 at 8:44 pm |

    It’s disappointing that when last year all the fuss about Simona was that she doesn’t do well at Slams, people are ignoring her when she is doing well here. Simona halep made the 2nd at 4th consecutive slams. But there is still no mention of her in your article.
    And Bouchard coming into interview room in a kimono reeks of a PR stunt to create more and more buzz about her. Should people start wearing teddies and bunny suits to get a proper interview room? #3 seed is placed in a small room so that Bouchard can perform this public farce and no one in the media questions it? Why??

    1. Lindsay
      Lindsay June 28, 2014 at 10:01 pm |

      Honestly, I never looked down on Simona for not making it far in a Slam, and I didn’t write about her today because I didn’t see more than a game of her match–I had set my alarm to watch her specifically in the morning, but of course then the rain came and every match was on at the same time.

      It’s great she’s into the second week, I mentioned in the column yesterday that I thought that it was good to see her fight through a match when she wasn’t playing anywhere near her best tennis, that was something I hadn’t seen from her yet.

      But look at the names she’s beaten this week: Pereira, Tsurenko, Bencic and now she plays Diyas. You can’t pick your draw, of course, but honestly it would be bad news if we were all talking about her–it would mean she had lost. I feel the same way about Radwanska right now, a former Wimbledon finalist and one of my favorite players who is not being talked about at all because, well, she hasn’t played any matches really worth talking about. As the second week goes on, if they’re still winning, they’ll be talked about plenty. And if they don’t win? Well, you can bet that will get a mention.

      This is not us ignoring them. This is just us bringing up the things that caught our eye on this day–Halep straight-setting Bencic was not one of them today.

      I have similar feelings as you do about Bouchard, though. But hey, she knows how to PR.

    2. Tennis Pro
      Tennis Pro June 28, 2014 at 10:47 pm |

      They did ask her why she wore the kimono and she had stated that a Japanese news crew gave it to her just prior to her Press conference when she did an interview with them.

      She said she wanted to wear it as a show of thanks to the kind Japanese people who gave it to her.

  2. Master Ace
    Master Ace June 28, 2014 at 9:40 pm |

    Halep probably like it that she is not getting the attention at the moment as cruises through the draw except for the last set and a half against Tsurenko. What makes it worse is Halep did make the finals at the French Open.

  3. Patrick of La Verne
    Patrick of La Verne June 29, 2014 at 12:48 am |

    “it’s starting to look like the signs of age are catching up with her, as they do for every great player.”

    I think it’s well to bear in mind that, counting today’s loss, Serena has lost only five matches this year, fewer than any other top player except Azarenka, and has the highest winning percentage on tour. And I don’t believe she has lost to a top ten player this year.

    During the first two rounds of the tournament she was her typically awesome self against Tatashvili and Scheepers.

    I don’t know why, but today – much like during the match against Ivanovic at the AO, she was trying to muscle shots, using only her arms and shoulders. She was exerting a great deal of energy but the ball simply wasn’t leaping off her racket. She wasn’t getting her powerful lower body into the shots as she normally does. It’s possible that that was the result of back issues (it was a cool rainy day, and the rain break may have caused her lower back to tighten up) or maybe it was just psychological.

    My theory is that there is a lot of inter-familiar friction beneath the surface resulting from the fact that Venus, who is really a long shot to win a singles grand slam, wants badly to play doubles at the slams and Serena, who is chasing the 18 grand slams of Evert and Navratilova, probably really does not, despite what she says.

    Both last year and this year Serena’s doubles play has been very lethargic, and I have the sense that when she’s playing singles in the slams in the back of her mind she’s trying to conserve energy for doubles, and when she’s playing doubles, she’s playing (especially serving) half-heartedly because she wants to conserve her energy for singles.

    In short — she isn’t focused, and she isn’t giving either discipline her best. Her serve has all but deserted her in each of her losses this year, even though it’s been a thing of beauty and a joy forever during most of her victories.

    You know what I think would perk her up? Losing the #1 ranking. Playing to win is a lot more gratifying than playing not to lose. Six months ago she had a seemingly insurmountable 7,000 pt margin over the #2 player, but most of that lead is gone now and she’s still got a lot of points to defend in the hard court season (Toronto, Cinci, US Open, Beijing, Tour Championships).

    She may continue to struggle with consistency in the balance of 2014, but I have a feeling that once the press starts writing her off – as they have Venus for the last couple of years, she’s going to come back swinging in 2015.

    Just in time to humble some of the parvenus reaching for her crown.

  4. brian
    brian June 30, 2014 at 6:22 am |

    when youre at the top, the own way left is down #serena

  5. Sum_it
    Sum_it June 30, 2014 at 8:29 pm |

    It’s true that other girls (many if not all) do bring out the best against Serena. But that’s not the only problem. Serena fails to bring herself unless she is playing a top player too. She has turned around matches like these against Vika, Maria, Li Na, Jelena in the past 12-18 months but she can’t do it for “lesser” players. Maybe the fact that she was getting challenged when she didn’t expect it surprises her and that she never recovers. I really feel that Serena would never go down like this to the players I mentioned above.

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