Monday, June 27, 2011

Wimbledon: Pironkova Moves Ahead!

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No. 32 Tsvetana Pironkova has reach the quarterfinals at Wimbledon.

For the second year in a row Pironkova has easily ousted 5-time champion Venus Williams by a 6-2, 6-3 score. Last year it was a shocker when Pironkova beat Venus to reach the semifinals but this year, however, she has opened up a lot of eyes with her second straight spectacular run, making believers of many. Last year she lost her semifinals match to World No. 3 Vera Zvonareva.

This year, however, she avenged last year's loss to Zvonareva in the third round and now has (again) ousted Venus to reach the quarterfinals. There is no doubt the 23-year old Bulgarian has proven she is a grass-court specialist who will be around for years to come. Something tells me that, come Wimbledon, we're going to have to get used to pronouncing her name.

For Venus, this is the first time since 2006 she doesn't reach (at least) the quarterfinals.

As for Serena--

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Her rust from her year-long absence finally caught up to her. Serena also lost her fourth round match (6-3, 7-6) to French Open semifinalist and World No. 9 Marion Bartoli of France. All I can say is-- Critiques can say what they want but I think Serena did pretty well by reaching the fourth round after a long tough year of devastating injuries and illnesses that rocked her world.

This was the first time ever that both Venus and Serena lost on the same day at the All England Club. For Serena, the loss was brutal on her ranking points because as the defending champion she had to defend the maximum number of points. With the fourth round loss, she will, no doubt, fall out of the Top 100 as her ranking points have all but evaporated. Her tally will look like this after the tournament-- 2060-2000+280=340. To put it in perspective, the 100th ranked player Anastasiya Yakimova has 709 points, so her new total of 340 will land her somewhere at No. 200 most likely. Venus, on the other hand, had much less points to defend, so her new total looks like this-- 1680-500+280=1460. Her 1460 points will drop her, somewhere around No. 35, which isn't so bad.

And then there's World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki--

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Poor Caroline. Her demons of never winning a Grand Slam title and holding the No. 1 ranking will continue to haunt her as she lost her fourth round match 6-1, 6-7, 5-7 to No. 24 Dominika Cibulkova. What can I say? Wozniacki will have to continue answering the nagging question, "Are you worthy of the No. 1 ranking with no Grand Slam titles under your belt?" at least until the start of the U.S. Open. The good news for Wozniacki is she will hold on to the No. 1 ranking for the foreseeable future regardless of who wins the event.

So now the highest seeds still alive are No. 4 Victoria Azarenka and No. 5 Maria Sharapova who have both easily advanced to the quarterfinals.

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Why do I have the feeling ALL EYES will be on Sharapova moving forward. Well, that's usually how it works. Who says looks don't matter?

BUT!!

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Watch out Maria! Pironkova is a cutie also and if she wins the tournament, she may just steal some of your mega-endorsement deals. No doubt about it.

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