Live from Centre for Rena and Clarke/Dart victories and a treat from The Invitational Doubles (Day 10 Wimbledon 2018).

I thought Serena was really good today. She won’t be happy that she lost her serve for the one time in the match at *5/3, serving for it in the second. This was another good performance though and she was all over Julia Goerges from the word go. I thought Goerges gave a really good account of herself. She got the forehand going but Rena had most of the answers, her movement in particular was the best it’s been so far. She looked powerful from the baseline and used the lob so well against the German. That will unquestionably have to continue in the final. She didn’t take Goerges lightly and the same will be said about Kerber. You could tell Team Serena was pumped yesterday, they were out of their seats when she broke for 4/2 in the first and what a top reaction from Alexis at the end. One more win now is what we are looking for. I am lucky enough that I will be there again on Saturday, the nerves are starting to kick in. We know Angie is a great player and she really seems to have proven herself on the grass in the last few years. I was at the final two years ago and the match was of a very high standard then.

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Ostapenko didn’t put in her best performance yesterday and interestingly commented on how she though Centre was a lot slower than the other courts she had played on. Funnily enough, that is the Court she struggled on against Katy Dunne in the first round. After that, she has been on the outside courts or Court One, until yesterday. It was just one of those days for the Latvian where she was ‘missing’ a fair bit. That doesn’t cut the mustard against Kerber, especially when you give her a 3/6 1/5 lead before you get going.

I was delighted to see Jay Clarke/Harriet Dart take their Wildcard to the semi-finals of the Mixed Doubles. They performed very well on Centre beating Juan Sebastian Cabal and Abigail Spears 7/6 7/5. The British couple didn’t drop serve once and were 1/1 on break points. Dart has impressed, particularly in the last few weeks with her effort at Eastbourne and taking Karolina Pliskova to three here. Clarke can once again be pleased with his efforts. After last years 3rd round showing in the Men’s Doubles with Marcus Willis (having only lost in the final round of singles qualies), he has taken Ernests Gulbis to five and come up with the goods in this. There has been more good improvement from Jay over the last year again. They play Jamie Muzza and Vika Azarenka for a place in the final.

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The icing on the cake for the day was seeing Tommy Haas/Mark Philippoussis play Fernando Gonzalez/Sebastian Grosjean in the Gentlemen’s Invitation Doubles. Four lads, I enjoyed watching when I was growing up. That Gonzo forehand back in the day! They all have a few years on me but we are all in that 35-45 category. Haas and Philippoussis look in top nick, even though Haas only retired last season. Gonzo and Grosjean still have it though. There were a few quick snaps of that wrist from the Chilean to prove he still has that bullet power! Maybe I am getting old but I really enjoyed this, 6/3 6/4 to ‘Playboy’ partnership from Germany/Australia. If your reading lads, I’d be more than happy to come and have a few beers with you, bet that was some night back in the day.

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On ‘Brit Watch’, a big shout out to Jack Draper who has made the semi-finals of the boy’s juniors, he beat Lorenzo Musetti 6-7 6-3 6-1.

Andy Del Potro

 

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