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Sister Sledge: The Ecstatic Eastbourne Extravaganza

Semifinal Friday in Eastbourne started off in decidedly routine fashion, but soon became anything but.

After saving a total of 10 break points in her first two service games, No. 9 seed Agnieszka Radwanska took the first set from Sloane Stephens in the day’s first semifinal handily, 6-1. After coming from a break down early in the second, Radwanska served for a two set win at 6-1, *6-5. As the wind kicked up, however, Stephens rallied to break back and played a near-flawless tiebreak in the tricky conditions to knot the match at one set all. With Radwanska unsettled by the happenings on court, she also had to deal with some other unexpected intrusions from the locals.

The Pole’s encounter with nature seemed to put her back on the right track and she wrapped up a 6-1, 6-7(3), 6-2 win to move into the championship. Shortly afterwards, No. 2 seed Caroline Wozniacki and Belinda Bencic took to the court for the day’s second semifinal. Unfortunately for the Dane, she was forced to retire in the first set trailing 0-3* due to a back issue.

The bad news kept coming as word soon came out that Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina were withdrawing from the doubles semifinal — giving Zheng Jie and Chan Yung-jan a walkover into the final. While that was the end of scheduled play for the day, little did the assembled crowd in Eastbourne know — there was more tennis to come.

Zheng and Chan (along with the latter’s sister Chan Hao-ching, who lost alongside Flavia Pennetta in the quarterfinals, and hitting partner Lin Yu-chou) decided to put on a little exhibition for the fans.

They showed off a little bit of everything, from some three-on-one:

to impeccable teamwork (between opposing teams!):

and finally, a role reversal.

Anarchy reigned as Chan took over in the chair, and umpire Anja Vreg of Slovenia took her place on court. This wasn’t the first time Vreg has found herself a social media sensation in 2015, either.

Not totally incompetent, Vreg played exactly three matches as a professional tennis player at the age of 16 before switching jobs (and nationalities!). She was super into the idea of turning the tables.

Chan, on the other hand, wasn’t a big fan of this career change.

So, she tried another one — and got the ball kids involved.

A good time was had by all.

About Victoria Chiesa (113 Articles)
One time, Eva Asderaki told me I was lovely. It was awesome. @vrcsports

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