Saturday, 4 August 2012

Wimbledon at the Olympics: Wednesday Part 3

My final day at Wimbledon this year was for the round of 16 at the Olympics... thanks to my Brother who took me with his tickets! As we had done for the past two days, we headed to the practice courts where things were much quieter.  Suddenly Novak Djokovic darted in front us and we followed him over to court 7 where he started hitting with Gilles Simon.  Djokovic was all smiles and was hitting the ball incredibly well. The two were replaced by Lleyton Hewitt who was to play Djokovic on Centre Court later.

Gilles Simon

Novak Djokovic

Lleyton Hewitt

Flavia Pennetta and Francesca Schiavone were practicing on court 4, meanwhile the French pair of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Michael Llodra were knocking up too.

Francesca Schiavone

I'm at the Olympics you know...

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

After looking at the schedule, the stand-out match was easily the 3rd round clash between Kim Clijsters and Ana Ivanovic.  We managed to nab some great seats in the main stand for court 18, but unfortunately midway through the practice it started to rain! From the warm-up, we already got a sense that Clijsters would be too good for Ivanovic and it proved that case.

Clijsters v Ivanovic on Court 18

Ana Ivanovic

Kim Clijsters

With the rain falling, we headed over to our seats on Centre Court where the roof was shut! This was the first match we had seen under the roof and to be honest, it didn't feel that much different.  It may have been because there was not the greatest atmosphere for what was one of the worst matches I have watched live. Serena Williams destroyed Vera Zvonareva, 6-1 6-0 with complete ease in under an hour.  Serena served exceptionally well and hit the ball with such power and consistency, and Vera really did not stand a chance.

The Centre Court roof in action!

Serena Williams


Serena wins the opening set

The most interesting thing about this match was whether Zvonareva was going to completely lose it.  I still remember her incredible racquet smash in the final of Charleston back in 2010.  She did manage to hit a ballboy with a shot of anger and incur a code violation as she flung her racquet around the court during the second set.

Vera Zvonareva going mental

Oh dear...

Serena wins easy

The next match on our schedule was between Novak Djokovic and Lleyton Hewitt.  The roof was opened for this match but we barely got through 2 games when the rain came back.  It seemed a little silly to be opening the roof with the threat of showers, but thankfully it was only a short delay.  When they came back, Hewitt played a blinding first set and was completely dictating play against Djokovic hitting some great passing shots.

Lleyton Hewitt

Sam Stosur had her head in her hands at one point!

Novak Djokovic

Djokovic and Hewitt went toe-to-toe in the second set and eventually, Djokovic got across the finish line after Hewitt had broken Djokovic's serve when he served for the set.  When Djokovic has his back to the wall, he really delivers his best tennis and he sped through the final set to claim a 4-6 7-5 6-1 win.


Djokovic wins

The atmosphere on Centre Court was really something else for the match involving Andy Murray and Marcos Baghdatis.  There were frequent mexican waves and shouts of "Go Andy" in between every point.  Baghdatis played an excellent first set and Murray was slightly slow out of the blocks.  The Brit raised his game in the second set as Baghdatis started to blink.  He missed two routine overhead smashes on key points and Murray forced a final set.

Marcos Baghdatis


Andy Murray

The final set was incredibly entertaining; Murray got the early break, but Baghdatis would just not go away.  Murray had chances to break the Cypriot's serve in most of his service games, but the gritty Baghdatis held on.  He nearly got his chance in the final game, but to the delight of the crowd Murray wrapped up the win.

Murray wins!

An amazing atmosphere greeted Murray's win

Once again, we had some ignorant people around us in the crowd! There was this guy near us who tried to get out during the middle of an important rally and then when he came back, started to talk loudly on his phone! I also noticed so many babies crying during points as I think there a lot more families visiting the Olympics compared to Wimbledon.

After the Murray match, we decided to head to court two to watch the match between John Isner and Janko Tipsarevic.  As court two was unreserved during the Olympics, it was a must that we had to see a match on this court!

Tipsarevic/Isner on Court 2

As we joined the match, Isner broke Tipsarevic to love including back-to-back service return winners. to claim the opening set.  Although there were not many people in court two, there was a great atmosphere with a mix of American and Serbian fans.  There was a lady in the front row who was cheering on Tipsy after every point and telling him to "focus on the next point" and then there were some passionate Americans screaming "Go John!".

Janko Tipsarevic

John Isner


Isner wins the opening set

It was a really entertaining match and despite both having huge serves, there were plenty of lengthy rallies.  As the second set got to the crucial stage, Tipsarevic got increasingly frustrated returning Isner's serve and at one point, screamed out at a poor little girl to "Sit please" who kept running around at the back of the stands.


Isner on the run

Isner passed on match point

The second set went to a tiebreak, which was the longest one I have ever seen live.  It was incredibly entertaining with numerous match points for Isner and set points for Tipsarevic.  The crowd got more and more involved and eventually it was Isner who pulled through in rather anticlimatic fashion when Tipsarevic's second serve at 14-15 was ruled out by the umpire. 



Isner wins on a Tipsy double fault

Tipsy was fuming at the umpire

Amazing win for Isner

After Isner/Tipsarevic, we headed up towards Court No.1 where there were many matches on the outside courts.  We sat and watched a mixed doubles match on court 19 between Victoria Azarenka/Max Mirnyi and Angelique Kerber/Philipp Petzschner.  The Belarusian pair were the better with Mirnyi owning Kerber on the serve out wide.  Kerber did at least manage a smile when she aced Mirnyi! There were a number of passionate Belarusian fans and members of their coaching team who were cheering on Belarus who evetually wrapped up a straight set win.

Victoria Azarenka and Max Mirnyi

Angelique Kerber

Azarenka/Mirnyi win

Our final match was on court 16 where Peng Shuai/Zheng Jie were taking on Maria Kirilenko/Nadia Petrova.  It was a very high quality match as we joined it after the Russian pair won the first set.  We noticed Dmitry Tursunov and Ekaterina Makarova cheering on the Russian team and the match was eventually stopped for bad light midway through the second set.  It turned out to be an epic match lasting over three hours with the Russian pair winning in the end.

Peng Shuai and Zheng Jie

Maria Kirilenko

Peng and Zheng

It was another amazing day as the curtain falls on live tennis in 2012 for me... its been a lot of fun ;-)

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