WIMBLEDON • OSTAPENKO WINS OVER CIBULKOVA AND MOVES INTO THE SEMIS

Written by: on 10th July 2018
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Wimbledon Championships
WIMBLEDON • OSTAPENKO WINS OVER CIBULKOVA AND MOVES INTO THE SEMIS

epa06877823 Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia returns to Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia during their quarter final match at the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, in London, Britain, 10 July 2018. EPA-EFE/NEIL HALL EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO COMMERCIAL SALES  |
Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia returns to Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia during their quarter final match at the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, in London, Britain, 10 July 2018.  EPA-EFE/NEIL HALL

 

 

By New York’s Own • Nancy Gill Mc Shea

 

Wimbledon – You don’t have to be clairvoyant to figure that Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia has a shot to win the Wimbledon singles title. She has the credentials, having been victorious in the 2014 Wimbledon junior singles tournament at 17, and at 20 captured her first-ever pro title when she defeated Simone Halep to win the 2017 French Open women’s singles championship.

 

Pam Shriver put everyone on alert when she mentioned the rare parity that exists among women players right now. So Ostapenko faces a few hurdles as she enters the semifinals versus Germany’s Angelique Kerber, a 2016 Wimbledon finalist. Yet I like her chances. Ostapenko is a feisty character who still acts like a normal kid, dressed in a regular white T-shirt and shorts. Looks are deceiving, but she is armed with powerful, accurate strokes, and she is not intimidated. I watched her wage a compelling quarterfinal slug fest with the equally competitive and powerful Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia, who pounds the ball.

 

Ostapenko loved the action, cracked me up when she berated herself after she hit a dumb shot. She was a bit wild in the first set, down a break at 1-3 to the determined Cibulkova who was serving. Ostapenko shook her head, made faces and gesticulated with her hands as if she was yelling, “What? I really missed that?” No problem! She proceeded to break Cibulkova with a powerful winner down each line and a perfectly placed drop shot, then served to even the set at 3-all. She broke Cibulkova again at 5-all to go up 6-5, and won the match, 7-5, 6-4. Fans jumped to their feet with rousing cheers in appreciation of both players. TV analyst Cliff Drysdale called the struggle a spectacular display of power and accuracy.

 

Parity is the key word. Serena Willilams still looms as a favorite, but the supporting cast of Ostapenko, Kerber and Germany’s Julia Gorges are raring for more action.

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