Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic upset fourth-seeded Jessica Pegula of the United States, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4, in one hour and 55 minutes, to reach the semifinals of Wimbledon.
Vondrousova, a long-limbed lefty, played with creative variety, mixing it up with slice, pace, and heavy topspin. She hit deft dropshots, often bringing Pegula in and then passing her with ease or hitting a perfect lob just out of reach. Her serve was fantastic. She struck seven aces in the match. She moved well. She defended well.
In the first set, because of all this variety, Pegula had trouble getting into a groove. She made too many errors and played too far back in the court.
In the second set, Pegula changed her tactics. She played more aggressively. She moved in, started coming to the net on her own, instead of being dragged in by Vondrousova. Pegula has very good volleys. She’s still in the doubles draw with partner Coco Gauff.
Alberto Pezzali – stringer, AP
In the third set, Pegula was ahead 4-1 and even had a break point for 5-1. But Vondrousova turned things around by playing more aggressively. She hit ferocious lefty serves, punishing forehands, crushing overheads, crafty drop shots and drop volleys.
In her post-match press conference, Vondrousova said it was an amazing feeling being in the semifinals. “I was down one point in the third set. So, yeah, I mean, my thoughts weren’t so good. Yeah, I mean, I’m just very happy. I was fighting through the whole match.
“Yeah, it’s amazing feeling.”
There was a rain delay in the match—when Pegula was up 3-1 in the third set—and the roof was closed. Vondrousova said she didn’t see her coach then.
“I was alone in the waiting room. I chat a bit with my husband. We talked on the phone. That was it. It was a quick break, so I didn’t do much.
“But, yeah, I just wanted to go out there and just try to stay in the match and try to win.”
Vondrousova said that her husband said: “Try to fight. You are playing good. You are playing great match.
“I think the break helped actually,” she said. “It was good.”
It was an emotional win, and the Czech was in tears at the end. “Yeah, I was 1-4 down. She had break points for 5-1. You are not, like, in a good mood. I don’t know, I just turn it around. I just kept believe in myself.
“Yeah, after the match point, I couldn’t believe it. We were playing amazing match. She is a great player. Yeah, I mean, I think everything just went on and, yeah, I just couldn’t hold the tears.”
Vondrousova said: “Yeah, I mean, everybody knows Wimbledon. I think it’s a different tournament. I feel like people in tennis, they know Grand Slams, but people outside tennis, they know Wimbledon. It’s the biggest tournament. It’s the biggest center court and everything. It’s so famous.
“I never thought I could play so good here because I didn’t do well on grass before. For me, it’s just amazing feeling. I don’t know, I’m trying so hard in every match. Every match is incredibly difficult here.
“Yeah, we’ll see what’s going to happen next.”