A recap of 2023 Wimbledon so far — and forecast of what could happen next
MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:
We are headed into the homestretch of Wimbledon, the world's oldest and arguably most prestigious tennis tournament. I spent much of last week in London, and I can vouch that many bowls of the traditional strawberries and cream are being scoffed, also that big screens are up all over the city so fans can watch and that a lot of great tennis is being played. Courtney Nguyen has had her eye on volleys on the court and off. She's a senior writer for WTA Insider. Hey, there.
COURTNEY NGUYEN: Hello. How are you?
KELLY: Hi. I am well. Glad to have you with us. OK, so give us a real quick rundown of the biggest upsets so far, how the favorites coming into Wimbledon are faring.
NGUYEN: Well, so far, the favorite favorites are still trucking along pretty easily. The top four seeds on the women's side are through into the quarterfinals. The top three seeds on the men's side with Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic are into the quarterfinals as well. So things are bubbling up to be quite competitive and marquee on the back end of the tournament. But the tournament has had its upsets. And the big one today that we saw was Christopher Eubanks of the United States, 27 years old, who broke into the top 100 just a few months ago. He's into the - his first quarterfinal at Wimbledon, beat the world No. 5, Stefanos Tsitsipas, and it's been a really inspiring story there for him to make it through on Arthur Ashe's birthday, I believe, and third Black American to make the quarterfinals at Wimbledon...
KELLY: Oh, wow.
NGUYEN: ...In the open era. So it's a big story.
KELLY: Now, players from Russia, also players from Belarus, were banned last year following the invasion of Ukraine. They are back this year, although I gather there was some booing after a match that featured a Belarussian and a Ukrainian player.
NGUYEN: Yeah, there was a booing from the crowd this week. It was a round of 16 match between Elina Svitolina from the Ukraine and Victoria Azarenka of Belarus. And they haven't been shaking hands, the Ukrainian and Russian and Belarussian players - mainly driven by the Ukrainians who've made it clear, behind the scenes and in the locker room, that they don't intend to shake hands. And each Ukrainian player has had an individual reason for why they're doing it. Svitolina has said that for her, she doesn't want to give the troops the optics of this photo of a handshake with Russian and Belarussian players - that oftentimes she doesn't have any personal problem with the players themselves, but it's really an optics issue. And so the players have known about this for a long time. But the fans, they're not getting the message, and so they have been booing. Doesn't matter who the player is - sometimes it's a Ukrainian, sometimes it's a Belarussian, sometimes it's a Russian...
NGUYEN: ...That is on the brunt end of the booing, which is unfortunate.
KELLY: And what about - in the just minute we have left - this 16-year-old Russian, Mirra Andreeva? Am I saying that right?
NGUYEN: Yes, you are.
KELLY: There was some big controversy just this morning. Walk us through it.
NGUYEN: Yeah. She - young player playing Madison Keys of the United States - Madison Keys storming back from big deficit to get the win. And towards the end of the match she lunged for the ball, Mirra Andreeva, and kind of the racket slipped out of her hand and went banging into the grass at Wimbledon. And they're very protective of their grass at Wimbledon.
NGUYEN: She was given a code violation for that. It was her second one of the match, so she got a point penalty. A rough way for the 16-year-old's Wimbledon debut to end, but - a pretty harsh call, but well within the rules to make it.
KELLY: Courtney Nguyen monitoring the tennis and the state of the grass for WTA Insider. Thanks so much.
NGUYEN: Thank you.
(SOUNDBITE OF POST MALONE SONG, "CHEMICAL") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.