On an eventful fifth day, British no.1 Heather Watson came close to upsetting the top seed and world no.1 Serena Williams as she served for the match at 5-4 in the third set. But the 20-time Grand Slam champion shifted gears and broke Watson’s service before defeating her in three sets. The Watson-Serena third-round thriller at Center court ended to a huge disappointment for the British supporters at Wimbledon. Nick Kyrgios of Australia extracted his revenge for his last year’s quarterfinal loss against Milos Raonic, when he beat the Canadian in a third round match. Grigor Dimitrov was another seed to fall on Day-5, when he was disposed of by Frenchman Richard Gasquet in straight sets. In other matches on Day-5, defending champion Novak Djokovic had a smooth passage into the fourth round with a straight sets victory over Australia’s Bernard Tomic; fourth seeded Stan Wawrinka proved too strong for Spain’s Fernando Verdasco; Victoria Azarenka beat Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic and women’s no.4 seed Maria Sharapova defeated Romania’s Irina-Camelia Begu.
In an engrossing Center Court battle, Britain’s Heather Watson locked horns with the world’s best tennis player. After Serena outplayed Watson in the first set at 6-2, the 23-year old Briton fought back courageously reeling off six straight games from 3-3 in the second set. That resulted in Watson not only taking the second set 6-4 but opening a big 3-0 lead in the third. But the world no.1 won the next four points to make a comeback. However, Watson was not done yet. Egged on by the enthusiastic supporters, she broke Serena in the ninth game. Now the darling of the crowd stood on the verge of causing a huge upset as she got ready to serve for the match at 5-4 in the decider. But that was not to be. Serena recomposed herself and denied any further pleasure to Watson by breaking right back and finally emerging victorious at 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 in 2 hours and 15 minutes. Serena now meets sister Venus in the fourth round.
Australia’s Nick Kyrgios had an upper hand in the battle of the big servers as he faced Canada’s no.7 seed Milos Raonic. The 20-year old Australian lost the first set but came back to win the next three and entered the fourth round. The 26th seeded Australian boomed 34 aces and 61 winners in his 5-7, 7-5, 7-6, 6-3 win over the Canadian. Next up for Kyrgios is Frenchman Richard Gasquet, who demolished 11th seeded Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets. The Frenchman was in control from the start as he broke Dimitrov to a 2-0 lead after the Bulgarian committed a double fault. Gasquet kept the momentum going with a series of superb winners and won the first set 6-3. In a match, where Dimitrov served 11 aces to Gasquet’s 3 and scored more points on his first serve, his undoing came from the 24 unforced errors. The Bulgarian also had more break-point opportunities than the Frenchman but he blew up them all. Gasquet, on the other hand, kept his game even and finished a winner at 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.
Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka had a business day in dealing with their opponents routinely. The top seed defeated Australian Bernard Tomic 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 while Wawrinka played dominant tennis to move swiftly past Spain’s Fernando Verdasco with a 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 win to set up a fourth-round clash with Belgium’s David Goffin on Monday. Among women, Victoria Azarenka beat Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic 6-4, 6-4 on superior play while no.4 seed Maria Sharapova defeated Romania’s Irina-Camelia Begu 6-4, 6-3 to advance to the fourth round.
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