Martinez Falls to Peschke
Saturday, June 25, 2005
In 1994, a young Spanish girl stopped Martina Navratilova from taking the Ladies Singles' title for a record 10th time. She had pulled her muscle and dropped a set but persisted to end Navratilova's Wimbledon reign.
But a full 11 years have passed since that final. Conchita Martinez, at 33, is no longer young, does not have a seeding and has not won any major event in the past four years. On Court 18 today she was knocked out by a determined Kveta Peschke in straight sets 6-4, 6-1.
The Czech took just 70 minutes to finish the match against the struggling Spaniard. In the first five games, both players held their serves but then with a couple of crunching winners Peschke raced to two break points. Martinez tensed but, in no mood to give up, easily took the game to deuce. A long rally followed and with a passing winner Peschke reached her third break point. Martinez valiantly fought back and volleyed to drag the game back to deuce but stumbled again and with a wild backhand conceded the game to trail by 2-4.
Peschke seized the opportunity and was in top form. She played a fine baseline game but did not shy away from coming to the net. Martinez made a brief comeback when she broke Peschke in the ninth game but the Czech soon avenged the game and broke Martinez again to take first set 6-4.
The crowd cheered Martinez as she opened the second set. But her fans' support was not enough to rescue her. Peschke, meanwhile, became more aggressive. She hit to the forecourt more often, served meticulously and produced more passing winners. Martinez slumped and stared helplessly at second set scoreline of 6-1.
Written by Sajid Shaikh