Two more Russians – in the Wimbledon semifinals! Korneeva, 16, continues to make history
Sergey Emelyanov July 13, 2023, 17:50 Moscow time
The rain and the character helped our champion to change the course of the game. Yaroslav Demin also won his quarterfinal.
In the junior Wimbledon singles category this year, only three Russian representatives were announced: two girls and just one boy. The small representation was partly due to visa problems: England did not provide documents to those who have contracts with the Russian Tennis Federation: those who receive at least some financial assistance, such as partial refunds for flights or accommodation. As a result, only Anastasia Grechkina, Alina Korneeva and Yaroslav Demin were allowed to participate in the tournament.
And if Grechkina’s performance in the English capital turned out to be very short and ended after the first round, then Korneeva and Demin could enter the quarterfinal stage. Korneeva, who is ranked 324th in the WTA rankings, is fighting for the record of a historic achievement in London. Alina can score a championship hat-trick if she wins the third consecutive junior Grand Slam this season.
Previously, the 16-year-old Muscovite was unrivaled in Melbourne and Paris, becoming the first Russian in tennis history to win the first two TBSH of the season in juniors. In addition, Alina was the first since 1990 to win both the Australian and French TSH among girls in one season. 33 years ago, so did the future fourth racket in the world, the Bulgarian Magdalena Maleeva.
The grandiose triumph of Korneeva in the “RG”! The 15-year-old Russian won the second TBSH in a row
And the Russian did not intend to stop at the success achieved. At Wimbledon, Alina reached the quarterfinals, extending her TBS junior winning streak to 15 matches. In the first round, she easily defeated the Moroccan tennis player Aya El-Auni, then in the hardest three-set match of the second round, she broke the resistance of the Czech Vendula Waldmannova, and in the 1/8 final she confidently overcame to the Italian Greta Greco Lucchina qualifier.
In the quarterfinals, she would face the Japanese Ena Koike, who had not yet passed the first round in the W25, W40 and W60 tournaments. Although the girl is 12th in the junior ranking and eighth seed in London. In addition, Ena debuted in the Cascos del AO-2023 in singles and even reached the third round. And in a couple there, she completely broke through to the semifinals, as well as at the next Roland Garros.
Already in the third game, Koike faced the first difficulties in his serve. In it, the Japanese had to win back two break points, and Ena coped with this task not without the help of the Russian, who made several optional mistakes. Korneeva in general for a long time could not really get into the game. The young Russian made a lot of mistakes, which her opponent took full advantage of, who quickly took the lead with a confirmed break: 4:1.
At that moment, the rain, which was lashing the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, intervened in the course of the match at the right moment for our athlete. Unlike Central and the first court, which are covered, the rest of the courts are open to the sky, so the game was stopped before the rain stopped. The break in the game turned out to be quite long and amounted to just under an hour.
After returning to the court, Alina played much better. At first, it became much easier to win games on her serve, and then a magnificent catch helped the Russian tennis player complete the all-important reverse break. After the Muscovite she had another quality game on the field, and the situation in the set finally stabilized-5: 5. At such moments, Korneeva was already in full possession of the initiative of the game, and the score of the game kept changing in her direction. At the end of the game, Alina again broke the Japanese player, after which, with a series of excellent serves, she ended the protracted first set – 7: 5. And this is after 1:4 before the rain.
The beginning of the second game played out in the same vein as the end of the first. Koike immediately got 0:40 into the field, and from the second break point, the top-seeded Wimbledon junior issued the third break in a row. Balls after Ena’s shots continued to fly over and over through several outs, while Alina churned out aces and actively won rallies as if she were on a conveyor belt. In less than five minutes, Korneeva was already in the lead with two breaks in the set: 3:0.
It may seem that the Japanese is already completely broken, but be that as it may, the end of the match for the two-time high school team champion definitely did not become an easy road. Koike showed character and knew how to impose desperate resistance on the Russian woman. In addition, a series of successful netballs also helped the representative of the land of the rising sun: the first allowed the Japanese woman to win the game on her serve and the second to make a reverse break in the set.
In addition, the eighth seed junior from Wimbledon won three more games in a row and not only managed to level the score in the set, but also took the lead for herself – 6:5. Here Alina had to turn on her fighting skills and demonstrate her character as her champion. What she did at the right time. Having held the service since 30:30, Korneeva earned the right to a tiebreaker, which she subsequently retained – 7: 6 (7: 4).
Korneeva storms the third consecutive high school. But she does not need a calendar “Helmet”?
In the third consecutive junior TBSH, the Russian tennis player reached at least the semifinals, extending the winning streak in these tournaments to 16 matches. Ahead of the Russian woman is waiting for a meeting with the 17-year-old Czech Nikola Bartanuva, who had previously won a strong victory over the local British athlete Rana Akua Stoiber – 1: 6, 6: 1, 6: 2.
In a big fight, 17-year-old Demin also won his quarterfinal match in the junior singles category. In two tiebreakers in a row, the fifth-seeded junior from Wimbledon beat Polish Tomas Berket – 7:6 (7:5), 7:6 (8:6). In both games, the outcome of the meeting was decided by only a couple of draws, in which Yaroslav turned out to be stronger. In the semifinals of the English Slam, his next opponent will be a very young 15-year-old American Darwin Blanche, who won the quarterfinal against his compatriot Kaylan Bigun-7: 6, 6: 3.
The semifinal meetings with the participation of Alina and Yaroslav will take place in London on July 14. The same day Daniil Medvedev, 27, will also play his men’s singles semifinal, who will fight against the first racket in the World Cup, the Spanish Carlos Alcaras.