Sobolenko easily took on Blinkova! And for the 1/4 final he will fight another Russian woman
Kirill Veyovich July 8, 2023, 20:45 Moscow time
The second racket in the world repeated her record for victories in the Helmets in a season and stepped on the 4th day of Wimbledon.
On Saturday 8 July, Wimbledon hosts the third round matches in women’s singles from the bottom half of the pool. Among others, five representatives of Russia were to enter the courts. Anna Blinkova also held the meeting of her. The rival of the 24-year-old Muscovite was not easy: not just anyone, but the second racket in the world itself, the representative of Belarus Arina Sobolenko.
The Australian Open – 2023 champion, along with Iga Sviontek and Elena Rybakina, is rightfully one of the top favorites in the Grass Major. The Belarusian’s game is ideal for this coverage, because she has an extremely powerful serve and Arina herself had already reached the semifinals at this tournament at one point. Sobolenko started the current draw of the competition with a sure victory over the representative of Hungary, Panna Udvardi, after having met her in two games (6: 3, 6: 1). But in the next round, the 25-year-old Sobolenko native was in very big trouble. Arina had to try hard to defeat Varvara Gracheva in three games, who now plays under the French flag.
Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
The Belarusian herself commented on the victory over her rival. “In the first set I didn’t show my best tennis. It was a really crazy experience. But then I changed the strings, I changed the game a little bit and I started to feel better on the court. I told myself: keep fighting and you can turn the game around. It was a very tough game and I am very happy with the victory. I tried to fight, I found my rhythm and in the second set I felt better, I felt that I had everything under control. And in the third I realized that I was back in the game. My scream in the second set? A crazy little moment. I couldn’t throw the racket, but at least I had to scream, get it off my chest. After that, I felt relieved and began to think better,” the Belarusian said at a press conference.
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Blinkova, in turn, has recently pleasantly surprised Russian tennis fans with stable performances on TBSh. After reaching the 1/16 final on the clay at Roland Garros, Anna was able to break into a similar stage on the grass at Wimbledon. In the first round, the Russian faced Belgian Wickmayer in three games with a score of 6: 2, 4: 6, 6: 3, and in the next match she faced Romanian Irina Begu (7: 5, 6 : 3).
It’s worth noting that Blinkova and Sobolenko have already worked things out on the court twice in their professional careers. In addition, the girls met for the first time at the ITF tournament in Manchester, which is played on grass, six years ago. So it was Arina who won. In 2020, the Russian and the Belarusian faced each other again, but already in the highest category WTA-250 tournament in Strasbourg. And again, it was the Minsk native who was stronger than her rival. We add that there were two head-to-head clashes in a tenacious three-setter.
Today’s duel was played indoors because the weather conditions were not the most favourable. Arina started the reporting match very confident, immediately taking three games in a row and making a break at zero:3:0. The Belarusian cousin could have won the fourth game in a row, but she missed two break points, allowing Blinkova to soak the score in the confrontation: 3:1. Then the opponents allowed themselves to take games at the reception, but this was the end of the jump with breaks. Sobolenko crushed his rival and after the score 4: 2 he took two more games in his favor. 6:2 – it was with this result that the winner of the Australian Slam took the opening set.
The second batch was developed in a completely different setting. The tennis players took their serves first, but this time it was Anna who made the first break. However, she did not manage to hold the lead for a long time: already in the next game she allowed her opponent to break-2: 2. Sobolenko did not stop there. The Belarusian then took three games in a row, reaching the goal with a very significant advantage – 2:5. Blinkov, after the initial pressure on the set, simply couldn’t get enough of it anymore. She was able to win only one game after the score 2: 1 in her favor. 6:2, 6:3 – the final figures of today’s confrontation.
Thus, this season Arina has won 15 games in the TBSh with a loss. This is her best match-winning record in a season in the majors (exactly the same number of Slam wins the Belarusian had in the 2021 season). To reach the 1/4 final of Wimbledon, the second racket in the world is waiting for a game with another representative of Russia, Ekaterina Alexandrova, who was seeded at the tournament with number 21.