‘I thought it was one of my worst matches that I played the whole tournament so far.
They all grew up watching the Williams sisters who – as their match on Centre Court showed – are still setting the standard. Vandeweghe, however, is unseeded here and had never been past Wimbledon’s second round. When the tougher, longer rallies happened, I was on the winning end of it more times than I wasn’t.
Venus came in playing stronger than she has in years. She also recently reached the round of 16 at the WTA Nottingham tournament after coming through qualifying, further exemplifying her great form on grass this season.
Vandeweghe will face Maria Sharapova, a former Wimbledon champion. The savvy Radwanska can play all-court tennis, she’s skilled at redirecting the ball down the line, particularly off her favored two-handed backhand, she can use sharp angles and the drop shot to drag opponents forward and she’s the best pure volleyer still standing in the singles field.
Keys was the first woman through to the women’s quarter-finals with a 3-6 6-4 6-1 win over qualifier Olga Govortsova on Monday.
Having taken care of Czech world number 11 Karolina Pliskova in the second round and demolishing former U.S. Open champion Samantha Stosur in the next to surpass her best grand slam run, she again rose to the challenge against left-hander Safarova.
“I definitely am the type of person that likes to have a laugh at themselves, especially when it looks like I have done something stupidly ridiculous”, she said. In the third game of the first set, Vandeweghe mis-hit a kick second serve so badly that Safarova had to duck as the ball looped past her. Vandeweghe kept smiling while she won the next two points to go up, 2-1. “I think that relaxes me instead of keeping it pent up and at a shorter fuse”.
While Serena, Sharapova and Azarenka have 27 Grand Slam titles between them, there are no major winners at all in the bottom half of the draw, where 13th seed Radwanska is the highest-ranking player still standing after Caroline Wozniacki crashed out. Keys needed three sets to win in the first round and three on Monday in the fourth round.
Give Vandeweghe credit for a power game that produced nine aces, 25 winners and a pretty good standup routine. “That’s a different pressure than I’m putting on myself”. Keys, meanwhile, will face a more nuanced player in Agnieszka Radwanska. The victor of that match would meet the victor of Garbine Muguruza and Timea Bacsinszky in the semifinals.
The Danish fifth seed, blew her chance to make the quarter-finals with a 6-4, 6-4 defeat to 20th seed Muguruza. When asked her about the match, Vandeweghe of her maiden grand slam quarter-final against Sharapova said,”It’s a first-time meeting just like it was with Lucie (Safarova), so it’s a learning process during the game”. That year Sharapova, then age 17, defeated Serena Williams in the final.
The only American man left in action, Denis Kudla, played a later match against reigning US Open champion Marin Cilic.