The women's competition at this year's Wimbledon has been fascinating, not that I've been able to watch any of it. As we reach the final four, all the big names and familiar faces are gone. It reminds me of the men's tournament in 1996 (the year Sampras didn't win) which I found equally fascinating. Some people seem to think the loss of former champions like Serena Williams and Sharapova diminishes the competition but I don't see it that way. I think all the remaining women are a breath of fresh air. Agnieszka Radwanska beat Li Na in a great match last night and as she is seeded four and reached last year's final you can hardly call her a no-name. She plays Sabine Lisicki in the semis, a very popular player who has done well at Wimbledon before but really hit the headlines when she knocked out Serena. Also through (and yet to drop a set) is Marion Bartoli, who I've always liked since I saw her win the Auckland title in 2006. Bartoli plays two-handed on both sides and takes a lot of small steps during points to say nothing of all the bouncing around between them. In other words she's a bit mad. The crowd booed her throughout her win over Sloane Stephens last night; the booing was at its loudest when she wanted to stop play as the rain came down. Playing on grass with a grand slam semi and big money at stake, I'd want to come off too. Bartoli was runner-up in 2007 and she'll be up against Kirsten Flipkens, a name that's fun to say. Last night Flipkens beat Petra Kvitova, the 2011 champ, in three sets.
The men's tournament has seen its fair share of shocks too, but I still get the feeling that Djokovic and Murray are on a collision course to meet in the final.
Edit: I underestimated Verdasco a bit, didn't I? I shouldn't have done - he's a very good player.
Tonight there was a meeting about all the road works. I went along and peered through the window but left as soon as I realised it was a presentation which I'd already missed the start of. I didn't want to walk in and make a scene. I must say the communication to residents about all the work has been excellent. However I'd really hoped to meet some of my neighbours there and talk about the earthquake business which seems a more pressing concern.
My computer is playing up badly and I'm worried it might die on me completely.