Both matches were actually very good and close. All four players played well, none of them panicked or lost the plot or gave up or crumpled. They really were two of the better ladies' games I've seen for some time.
Vera Zvonareva having lost the first set against Tsvetana Pironkova, did come back to win the match. Her game went up a level and Pironkova did fade a wee bit, but even so it was still pretty close. Kudos to both players. Pironkova for not just folding during her first ever GS semi-final, but holding her own, she can certainly leave these championships with her head held high. And to Kvonareva for not losing her nerve and breaking down, as he has had a tendency to do.
Serena Williams ousted Petra Kvitova in straight sets, but that does not tell how close a match it was. Even though Williams won 6:2 in the second, it was certainly not a walk in the park. Williams was in a battle pretty much for every single point - and she knew it. You could tell by her face, her body language and the increase in decibels as she screeched louder and louder and louder. A lot of players when they play against Williams do well for a few games, but then once she gets ahead they crumple; not Kvitova. She was in there fighting until the very last ball. She has the game to beat anyone and everyone; she needs to work on things, but she has the shots, the skill and the power. And although her forehand went wild in the second set more times than was good for her, she didn't show any real nerves. There she was in her first GS semi-final, playing the world #01, the defending champion on Centre Court and it was as if it was just another match.
Full marks to all four players. I'm not a Williams fan and would have loved to see her beaten, but credit where credit is due - she had to play her best tennis yesterday and she did. And go the other three for not crumpling and for providing two entertaining matches.
Men's Semi Finals
Today is men's semi finals day when Tomas Berdych takes on Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray takes on Rafael Nadal. Bad Brit than I am, I'm afraid I will be supporting Rafa (sorry Murray).
Both matches have the potential to be darn good; they could both easily go the distance.
In the head-to-head matches (as well as seedings) it should be Djokovic and Rafa who come through.
Djokovic has beaten Berdych on both occasions they have met and Rafa leads Murray 7:3. But as we know from this year's Wimbledon, rankings and head-to-heads mean very little.
Berdych and Djokovic have never met on grass before and despite the head-to-head being in Djokovic's favour (both wins were in straight sets) Berdych said he was a different man then.
Berdych has a huge serve and for a tall man he moves extremely well and he does seem to have conquered the mental fragility he's shown in the past. Djokovic played extremely well on Wednesday, but he's a bit like Jekyll and Hyde - we never know which Djokovic will come out onto court. Also Djokovic has been to semi-finals at GS before, indeed he has won the Aussie Open, Berdych hasn't, so that could favour Djokovic. OTOH, will going in as favourite hinder Djokovic?
Rafa has been Murray in two GS: once at the Aussie Open, once here at Wimbledon where he gave the inexperienced and fairly unfit Murray a tennis lesson - but he won't be facing that Murray today. Murray has beaten Rafa in two GS: once at the US Open and in this year's Aussie Open - but Rafa retired injured in that match. They have only met once on grass and Rafa won it, but as I said it will be a different Murray today.
Rafa has seven GSs to his name, including Wimbledon. Murray has been in two GS finals. Murray will have the crowd firmly behind him, but also the 'weight of expectation' on his shoulders. But in truth, neither seems to affect Murray. Murray's attitude this season has been criticised and in both the FO and Queens, he seemed to give up when behind. Rafa never gives up, but his knee has been giving his a few problems again. He says they are fine, but he's hardly going to give Murray the mental edge and say he's struggling. Murray has had the better results this Wimbledon, winning all but one match in straight sets and being on court for less time than Rafa; he's also played both his last two matches on Centre whereas Rafa's been out on Court One. Are either of these things factors? I don't think so; Rafa is one of, if not the, fittest men on tour and he knows Centre well.
I'm not going to make any predictions as to winners (except the tongue in cheek two men will win) but I'm going for both matches going to four sets, if not the distance, and I think the distance is more likely. I'll be very surprised if either are over in straight sets. Watch me be completely wrong *g*
Sadly Kim and Malisse went out yesterday to doubles specialists.
GB has two players in the semi-finals of the Juniors event. One in the boys', the other in the girls'.