Who is Ajla Tomljanovi?
She was born in Croatia but converted her citizenship to Australia.
Her top singles ranking was ranked 38th in February of this year. It is currently ranked 46th.
She has reached the quarter-finals of Wimbledon for two consecutive years.
Her favorite city is…Charlotte, NC, perhaps not the largest tourist destination in the world but a place that has some family.
She made the WTA main drag event in 2009 and topped the year-end top 100 in 2013.
Her father played handball. (For American readers who don’t follow the Olympics, we mean the kind with nets, not walls.)
Her best tennis memories were her first time on the court with Chris Evert, so it’s unfortunate that Evert missed the broadcast booth tonight. Mary Jo Hernandez is there with John McEnroe and Chris Fowler.
The pre-game pomp and circumstance is about to end. here we are …
Meanwhile, in men’s tennis…
top seed Daniel Medvedev Once again he has the dubious honor of trying to follow Serena into Arthur Ashe Stadium, facing off Yiping Wu It reminds me of when I saw Cheap Trick at the top level opening up to an indifferent Robert’s Factory.
But like the women’s lottery with Serena, the highlight of the men’s lottery is the progression of his veteran teammate Rafael NadalWho advanced today despite hitting himself in the nose.
It’s as if women’s tennis was happening on an alternate timeline, and Serena followed Spock through a time wormhole or whatever made it possible. Leonard Nimoy to appear in the Star Trek reboot.
None of these players have ever played Serena.
no Danka KovinichSerena’s first-round opponent is here. No Kontaveit. Not Tomljanovic, tonight’s opponent.
Neither Samsonova nor Krunich (the first names will be at the end of this post), her potential fourth-round opponents.
Not her potential opponents in the quarter-finals, the fifth seed Our Jaber The 18 seed vAronica Kudermovawho have already won the third round matches.
Not even the number one Iga your lipsTwo-time French Open champion and was the least accomplished on the hard court.
If these players are a rising prodigy with a youthful boast that makes them impervious to Serena’s mystery, then perhaps they stand a greater chance. Kontaveit gained confidence for a while, fighting in the first set to force the tiebreak and then slipping past Serena in the second, but it always looked as if Serena was catching her breath before unleashing her fury in the third.
But with the exception of 21-year-old Schwetek, these are veteran players who know they’re meant to be intimidated, and they are, even if Tomljanovic comes up with a new way to block fans who already annoyed her when she was playing several pitches away.
(This is a feature on local courts of the kind rarely seen in tennis. At times, a few people cheered the opponent’s serve errors, but mostly the fans appreciated them—and Serena herself once shut down fans who grumbled about a phone call, an unpleasant complaint normal in a tournament whose line calls are judged electronically.)
The most interesting category at the moment will determine a potential semi-final opponent for Serena. Coco Guff Defeated Madison Keys In a match between younger American players inspired by the Williams sisters. At Louis Armstrong Stadium tonight, the 2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu He is facing a strong player in Caroline Garcia.
Serena still has to win five matches Margaret CourtHe scored 23 Grand Slam victories, a mark that set in an era when the field of competition wasn’t anywhere near it is today. The streaks are ending, and Serena may be nearing their end before she has a chance to play that ultimate dream come true. But no one in the field makes you think, “Yeah, that’s the guy who’s going to beat Serena.” Not yet seeing Williams play on Wednesday as the supposed underdog who has completely outdone the No. 2 player in the world.
(Those first names: Lyudmila Samsonova And the Alexandra Krunich.)
Leave the thought of the day to those in the world of sports betting.
If you have bet Serena Williams Before Monday, your purchased ticket will likely have 50-1 odds. Now she is in the 14-1 range. Doesn’t that sound a little skeptical, given the way she went through those first two rounds?
We have to ask at this point – who is going to hit her?
title holder Emma Radukano? He came out in the first round.
Wimbledon Champion Elena Rybakina? Also in the first.
The second seed Annette Kontaveit? I lost on Wednesday to someone… oh, right… Serena Williams.
How about a two-time champion Naomi Osaka, like Serena, a player whose lack of activity and recent success contrasts with her ability? no. out at first.
Also eliminated in the second round: 3rd seed Maria Scary And the fourth seed Paula Badusa.
Finally, only six of the top 11 made it to the round of 32.
Tonight, Serena plays Ajla TomljanovicThe 46th player in the world. If she wins this match, she will face the winner of the match that will be played all the way on Court 17 between the 35th seed Samsonova and the 96th seed Krunic. Bonus points if you know their first names. The answers are in the next post. This is already the longest of the week because I’m basically describing a cosmic alignment not seen since the 1987 harmonic convergence.
The bad news for Serena is that she and Venus Williams They lost their opening doubles game Thursday night. But it does mean more comfort for someone at the age when men start buying flashy cars to make up for their receding hairlines and their dads. (Not me. I have a reasonable car.) She can focus on making her way through a succession of opponents whose autobiography compares to ours about as well as my book sales compared to the children’s author Dave Belkey. (Yes, I’ve been working in a library lately, and I have sneaker tracks on my back from all the kids scrambling for the latest Dog Man books.)
Beau will be here soon. Meanwhile, here’s Merlisa Lawrence Corbett on Venus and Serena’s joint farewell last night.
Serena Williams often says she wouldn’t be there without Venus. So, if this really is their last tournament together, it’s only fitting that they’re going out in doubles Thursday night the same way they did over two decades ago: as a team – the Williams sisters.
After they are officially retired, you will find them on the pages of sports, business, health, fitness and fashion magazines. The Williams sisters transcend sports. They’ve blurred records, broken barriers and precedents to the point that there’s little left for proteges like Coco Gauff and Naomi Osaka. A chance to become the first black woman to win a major in her career? He went. First black woman to win Olympic gold in singles And the my husband? He went. The first black woman to win Grand Slam titles in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles? He went. The first black woman ranked No. 1? He went.
What remains is a sporting legacy unparalleled in its influence and cultural significance. The Williams sisters changed how the game was played and who played it. It was 41 years between Althea Gibson winning her last Grand Slam title and Serena Williams winning her first. Today, four black women playing in this year’s US Open have claimed 35 Grand Slam singles titles.
Venus has won five Olympic medals (one silver, four gold), the most by any tennis player, male or female, in the Open Era. Serena came second with four gold medals. They are perfect 14-0 in the finals of the Grand Slam doubles tournament. Black women – Serena (23), Venus (seven) and Osaka (four) – occupy the top three positions in the list of the most major titles among active female players. There were more black women in the main draw at the 2022 US Open than African Americans at last year’s world championships.
Venus and Serena have reshaped the tennis scene to the point that it’s easy to forget what it looked like before their arrival. Women’s tennis was rarely played at prime time in the United States before Venus and Serena. Billie Jean King fought hard for equal prize money in major corporations. But that didn’t happen at all of the Grand Slam events, until Venus and Serena started getting huge TV ratings.
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