As expected, Serena Williams continues her march to the final after victory on Monday but it won’t be an all-American clash in the quarter finals as anticipated due to the surprise loss of Coco Vandeweghe to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
Pavlyuchenkova was a historically great junior player with three slam titles and the No.1 ranking but has found it hard to translate that form to the senior game only twice making a slam quarter final before this, both in 2011. It was then she achieved her career high rank of 13. She can break into the top 10 if she makes the final and the top 8 if she were to win the title.
Of course it seems highly unlikely but the past two wins may at least suggest another breakthrough to a higher level for Pavlyuchenkova. She dropped just five games against the 11 seed Timea Bacsinszky before defeating an opponent with a grass court title to her name already this year. Coco Vandeweghe won in ‘s-Hertogenbosch and was a set away from the finals in Birmingham and seemed set for a second straight Wimbledon quarter finals.
The Russian had different ideas however, taking control from the start and picking apart her opponent’s serve with relative ease. She earned five breaks over all and was never behind in a controlling performance. This was a far cry from her grass warm-up matches that saw her lose in straight sets to Jelena Ostapenko and Madison Brengle in the opening rounds of both tournaments she played.
Meanwhile, Serena will hope to continue with the form she displayed post-rain delay against Svetlana Kuznetsova. Tied 5-5 and finding it difficult, the rain struck and the Centre Court roof was closed. From then on, the World No.1 took over and would not drop a game for the rest of the match for a 7-5 6-0 victory. 14 aces overall indicates good things and there will be little that Pavlyuchenkova can do if she faces a Serena in that serving form.
Despite that, Serena will not be getting complacent against an opponent she is already 5-0 against, including 2-0 at slams. “I’ve lost to players who have never beaten me in the past in some big situations,” she said. “I definitely don’t want that to happen.”
Preidction – Serena Williams in straight sets