Day 8, Wimbledon 2017 – My day on Centre, Konta and Venus set up dream Semi!

Phenomenal day of tennis, simple! I got there to see Djokovic finish off Adrian Mannarino, blog commitments meant I had to forfeit most of that one! Going on Ladies quarter-final’s day I saw this as ‘the prelude to the main event’ anyway. Centre Court, Cathedral atmosphere(complete with roof), Love this place! Just wish tickets weren’t so difficult to come by!!

Venus was first up, against Jelena Ostapenko. Venus showed all of her experience, she dug in deep and stayed in the points long enough for the error from Ostapenko to come. Of course, there was plenty of big hitting from her racket but when needed the balance was there. The Serve was firing and she was only broke once. The Latvian wasn’t at her best today but this was due to Venus being on it! She weathered a bit of a storm in the second set as Ostapenko went for broke but once she broke at 5/5 in the second there was no doubting her serving it out. As you would expect from a Williams!

Venus will face Jo Konta who came through another incredibly nerve-jangling encounter with Simona Halep. For large parts of this, it wasn’t quite working for the Brit. She deserves a huge amount of praise for continuing to go after it. She was failing to capitalise on her chances by and large until she really stepped it up at 4-5* down in the second set breaker. It would have been so easy to play it safe here and make Halep do the work. By going for her shots she turned the match on its head and the crowd fed off it. It really did turn into some atmosphere. Mostly decent but some very annoying moments with people shouting out before the point was over at key stages. Match point being an example. Jo has certainly got a buzz going around SW19 now and this really should be an absolute screamer against Venus tomorrow. She looks focused, as does Venus!

On my snout breaks, I noticed the weather was getting worse by the minute. Absolutely chucking it down outside. Garbine Muguruza had once again impressed in knocking out Svetlana Kuznetsova in straights on Court One. Doesn’t sound like Kuzzy did too much wrong, Muguruza playing the big points well by all account. Vandeweghe/Rybarikova had started and was a set and a bit in, Maggie taking the first when the conditions took a turn for the worst and halted play. It meant on Centre we got a bonus as they switched it. Something that doesn’t normally happen but they had announced before they would if needed! Maggie came out of the traps very quickly on the resumption, where as Coco never really got going. The Slovakian obviously has the variation to mix it and it just doesn’t suit Coco when she is not on! The American actually did well to get herself out of a hole by at least making Rybarikova serve it out. It will be interesting to see how Muguruza deals with the slice.

Andy Del Potro

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