Ash Barty was all smiles after progressing to the quarter-finals of Wimbledon for the first time but tennis commentators believe whoever she faces next has been dudded by a scheduling stuff-up at the All England Club.
Barty beat reigning French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova 7-5 6-3 on Manic Monday to keep her hopes of a second grand slam title alive and will face fellow Australian Ajla Tomljanovic after British teenager Emma Raducanu retired from their match for medical reasons.
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But while Barty can put her feet up before her next match, Tomljanovic won’t be so fortunate because of the short turnaround between their match and the upcoming clash against the world No. 1.
Barty stepped onto court at 1pm local time and wrapped up victory by 2.42pm. Felix Auger Aliassime then beat Alexander Zverev in a marathon five-setter on Court 1 that lasted just over four hours, meaning Tomljanovic and Raducanu were forced to cool their heels.
They didn’t play their first point until 7.59pm local time, setting the scene for a late finish that would give the winner little time to recover before an afternoon match against Barty the next day.
That women’s quarter-final has been scheduled for not before 4.30pm local time, Tuesday.
The saga sparked questions about why the two women’s matches weren’t scheduled one after the other, with many saying the decision to put Aliassime vs Zverev in between them on Court 1 has made it unfair on Tomljanovic, because they won’t have nearly as much time to recover as Barty.
Things panned out perfectly for Barty.Source:AFP
Tennis world slams Wimbledon ‘catastrophe’
New York Times tennis writer Christopher Clarey tweeted: “Clearly a tactical error to schedule Raducanu & Tomljanovic for 3d on No. 1 Court. FAA & Zverev into a 5th set so won’t start until 7.30pm or later. Women must turn around tomorrow & play quarterfinals. Barty, who will play the winner, already in the clubhouse for ages. Not right.”
Fellow journalist Ben Rothenberg wrote: “Ash Barty finished her fourth round match at 2:42pm on Court 1. The match to determine her opponent tomorrow, Raducanu-Tomljanovic, is yet to begin on Court 1, still waiting for this fifth set of FAA-Zverev. Fairly baffling to put the men’s match between those two.
“Very odd not to frontload the women’s matches more on today’s schedule considering they all come back to play their quarterfinals tomorrow.”
Metro UK’s George Bellshaw added: “Looking like a shocker from Wimbledon scheduling Emma Raducanu’s match last on Court 1.”
When a rain delay prolonged things even further, The Tennis Podcast said: “The people this rain delay is unluckiest for … Emma Raducanu & Ajla Tomljanovic, who follow FAA-Zverev. Crazy that match was scheduled third. Ash Barty’s been off court for hours.”
Sports writer Zenia D’Cunha tweeted: “Wimbledon really should’ve known that FAA & AZ won’t actually be straight sets in the fourth round. So unfair to whoever next faces Ash Barty.
“Of course it was a prime time TV call … but it’s also unfair knowing Barty has played already & women don’t get a break.”
Stu Fraser of The Times was another who criticised the scheduling, calling it a “catastrophe”.
“Captain Hindsight here … but not sure it was the best idea to schedule a women’s match 3rd on today when the winner has to play the quarter-final tomorrow,” he wrote.
“I’m sure TV scheduling will be cited but it’s compromising fairness as a result.”
Emma Raducanu is the new darling of British tennis.Source:Getty Images
Ajla Tomljanovic is desperate to qualify for her first grand slam quarter-final.Source:Getty Images
Dramatic rides for Tomljanovic, Raducanu
Tomljanovic is through to the quarter-finals at a grand slam for the first time in her career, but there’s been some drama along the way.
The world No. 75 accused Jelena Ostapenko of lying and cheating by faking injury to score a medical time-out and disrupt her rhythm when the Aussie star was on the brink of victory in their round three clash on the weekend.
Meanwhile, everyone in Britain has fallen in love with 18-year-old Raducanu. The teenager played her first match on the main WTA Tour just four weeks ago and went into Wimbledon as the lowest-ranked British player, earning a last-minute wildcard entry into the main draw of a grand slam for the first time.
But incredibly, she entered the tournament’s second week as the only remaining Brit.
After defeating Czech star Marketa Vondrousova 6-2 6-4 on Friday, Raducanu became the youngest British woman to reach the third round of Wimbledon since Elena Baltacha achieved the feat in 2002.
But the best was yet to come, with the teen toppling Romania’s Sorana Cirstea in straight sets to become the youngest British woman to reach the last 16 since Christine Truman in 1959.
Raducanu was No. 338 on the WTA rankings ahead of her maiden major tournament, but is guaranteed a spot in the top 200 following her victory over Cirstea.
Before Wimbledon, she had never faced a top 100 opponent.
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