Friday, 30 June 2017

Watson starring in Eastbourne

The semi finals in Eastbourne and Antalya have been decided and some surprises have certainly happened on the way.

Heather Watson, unseeded and ranked 126 in the world, has delighted her Guernsey home town with wins over Dominika Cibulkova (4), Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (14) and Barbora Strycova (who had destroyed 11th seed Garbine Muguruza 6-1 6-0 in the second round)

Watson will face Caroline Wozniacki (6) who knocked over second seed Simona Halep after dropping the first set in their quarter final. The decider was disappointingly one sided after what had been a closely fought battle for two sets.
Halep could only manage to win three points from her 15 serves in set three.

The other semi final matches another Brit, Johanna Konta (7) against Karolina Pliskova (3).  
Konta has played some great tennis, defeating French Open champ Jelena Ostapenko and world number one Angie Kerber en route to the Pliskova battle.
Pliskova, for her part, avoided a second round seed, and easily slipped into a quarter final with Sveta Kuznetsova.
After losing a tie break first set in which she wasted four set points, Pliskova settled and cruised to a three set victory.

The men's draw has been interesting, Novak Djokovic appearing in a lead up tournament to Wimbledon for the first time since 2010.
It's another change in a year which has not gone the Serbs way.

Djokovic has won his two matches and made the semi final where he will take on unseeded Daniil Medvedev, the conquerer of 4th seed Steve Johnson in the quarters.  Daniil had already kicked out another American, 5th seed Sam Querrey, in the opening round.

The second semi features two French men - 2nd seed Gael Monfils and 7th seed Richard Gasquet.  Gasquet beat Monfils in the first round in Halle only last week so revenge will be on the Monfils mind.
Gasquet completed a poor day for America by dismissing 3rd seed John Isner, while Bernard Tomic competed well in a first set tie break before being torched 6-0 by Monfils in set two.

In Antalya, Turkey, all the semi finalists are unseeded.  In fact only one seed - Fernando Verdasco (3) - made it to the quarters.

Marcos Baghdatis (ranked 79) will play Yuichi Sugita (66)
Adrian Mannarino (62) will play Andreas Seppi (102)

This was a tournament all set up for Dominic Thiem, the world number 8 and only player in the draw ranked in the top 30.
However he bowed out in his first match to Indian Ramkumar Ramanathan, ranked 222. 

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