Playing controlled tennis for 2 hours and 47 minutes, Great Britain’s Andy Murray lifted the Wimbledon trophy for the second time. In 2013, Murray had defeated Novak Djokovic in the final to win the championship for the first time. On Sunday, the Brit had Canada’s big-serving Milos Raonic playing against him on the other side. Though Murray looked a better player throughout the match, Raonic didn’t yield easily. He dropped his service just once in the first set and kept Murray on toe all through. The second and third sets were decided on tiebreaks with Murray bringing up a superior display. It proved to be a great day for sports in Britain as Murray’s famous triumph was preceded by Lewis Hamilton winning the British Formula-1 GP at Silverstone. Sunday’s final was attended by famous celebrities from all walks of life, including the British Prime Minister David Cameroon. Murray suffered from emotional upheavals through the match on several occasions, especially when he got ready to serve. But he managed to check himself and carried on. It all seemed natural because of big-stage pressure and a heavy burden of expectations from the jam-packed Wimbledon crowd. When he finally won, he went to his chair and wept uncontrollably. But the Brit had already overwhelmed the center court crowd on Sunday.
Murray achieved fatherhood in February 2016, soon after the Australian Open. Since then, he has been radiating a sense of inner contentment and his performance on tennis courts has seen a vast improvement. He also had a change in his coaching team with Ivan Lendl returning as the head. On the strength of his performance alone, Murray had an edge on Milos Raonic on Sunday but the Canadian is no less a gifted player. Raonic was not overawed by the occasion nor by the tag of the first-time entrant into the final of world’s most cherished tennis tournament. His service speed exceeded 140 mph at times but Murray is also known as one of the best returners of the service in the game. The Scot found a way to put Raonic’s booming service deliveries back into the court most often. If Raonic lost on Sunday, it was because his unforced error-count of 29 far exceeded Murray’s 12. The Canadian muffed several chances in net-play to benefit Murray.
The match started with Raonic serving first. Murray earned a break chance in the third game but Raonic saved it. In the seventh game, however, Raonic was down two break points and could only save one. An unduly rushed shot from the Canadian hit the net on the second break point and Murray led 4-3 with his service to follow. There were no other hiccups as Murray went into the second set having won the first 6-4. They went on serves all the way, although Murray had some break chances in between. Raonic’s service was working and he held comfortably in all his six games. However, in the inevitable tiebreak, Murray forced his way against a floundering Raonic and held several set points at 6-1. Raonic saved two but couldn’t survive and Murray led 2-0 on sets.
The first four games of the third set were uneventful but suddenly Murray found himself in trouble for the first time in the match. Raonic had forced two break points in the fifth game against the 2013 champion. When Murray managed to save both break points, he volubly appealed to the crowd for getting behind him for the rest of the match. They didn’t disappoint their hero and applauded him every inch of the way. With both players serving admirably, there were service holds throughout and the match slipped into another tiebreak. Murray carried the winning momentum into the tiebreak and led 5-0. After that, Raonic could only manage just 2 points and Murray finished with a well-deserved 6-4, 7-6, 7-6 victory.
Besides the immaculate service returns, another key to Murray’s victory was keeping the unforced error count low. Raonic had come into this match with 137 aces in the tournament but such was Murray’s capacity to return that the Canadian managed his 138th only after an hour into the match. On another occasion during the match, the Canadian fired his speediest service of the tournament at 147 mph but Murray not only returned the missile; he won that point with a brilliant pass. At the end of the match, Murray was overcome by raw emotions as he sobbed uncontrollably on his chair before recovering and claiming the cherished prize.
Serena Williams’ 22nd Grand Slam win didn’t come on a platter. Besides, it took her one full year to add to the earlier 21 Grand Slam victories. She can now heave a sigh of relief at having equaled Steffi Graf’s 22 victories in Grand Slam tournaments. In between, Serena had her chances but ran into rough weather. In 2015 US open, she suffered an unexpected semifinal loss to Italy’s doubles specialist Roberta Vinci, went down in Australian Open final to Angelique Kerber and lost to Spain’s Garbine Muguruza at French Open. Serena is less than 100 days shy of her 35th birthday but still ranked as world no.1 for the last 177 weeks. This period is just 9 weeks short of consecutive weeks’ record of 186, held by Germany’s Steffi Graf. In terms of overall total period as world’s no.1 women’s player, Serena’s 300 weeks are at third place behind Steffi Graf’s 377 weeks and Martina Navratilova’s 332. Of the currently active players, Caroline Wozniascki had been world no.1 for 67 weeks and Victoria Azarenka for 51. Thus the American s head and shoulders above them and until she hangs her boots, no one has a chance to come closer. In Saturday’s final however, Serena had to fight hard against Kerber, who showed no signs of giving up easily. Serena got the crucial breaks once in each of the two sets but Kerber put up a brave resistance throughout. In terms of spectator interest, it was a great match, worthy of being billed a classic. The German didn’t allow Serena an easy time and attacked on both flanks. She scored some breathtaking points against the defending champion but had to bow out in the end.
On Saturday, Serena Williams’ problems were more psychological than real. She was playing against an opponent, who had beaten her at Australian Open at Melbourne in January this year. The other mental block had to do with equaling Steffi Graf’s 22 Grand Slam wins, a record that the American had been expected to reach for a while. But on Saturday, she needed to beat Germany’s Angelique Kerber, whose game has seen vast improvement in the last one year. When Kerber reached the semifinals of the 2011 US Open 5 years ago, she was ranked no. 92 in the world. Today she is no.2 behind Serena and it was just as well that the best two women players in the world faced each other in 2016 Wimbledon final. Both of them had an impressive run-up to the final. While Kerber didn’t drop a set and defeated Simona Halep and Venus Williams on her way, Serena survived a wobble against compatriot Christina McHale in the third round. Other than that, the American didn’t face any other hurdle.
Saturday’s final began in gusty winds with Serena winning the toss to serve first. The level of tennis by both players was top class and they kept holding their service until the 11th game. In the twelfth, however, Serena held two break points on Kerber’s service at 15-40. The German saved the first but Serena raised her game and broke Kerber to steal the first set at 7-5. This was perhaps the only time in the first set that Kerber couldn’t control her game against the great Serena.
The second set was a replica of the first until the 7th game with both players admirably holding their serves. In the eighth game as Kerber served, she coasted to a 40-15 lead. Just when it looked an easy hold for the German, Serena played inspiring tennis to win three consecutive points and at deuce, she earned the advantage. With Kerber playing a backhand wide, Serena took a 5-3 lead with her service to follow. After such a brave resistance in the match, Kerber had cracked and Serena looked on her way. The world no.1 made things easy for herself in the ninth game. After she held three championship points at 40-0, Serena sent down another great service. Kerber was able to return but next, she charged to the net in trying to pass Serena. But the American had probably sensed the move and she was ready with a forehand volley. Her shot appeared to go over the line but the ball touched the line. It was all over at that moment. History was made as Serena fell on the court. She lay sprawled on her back for a while to allow the big moment to sink into her. Then she rose and ran across the net to hug her opponent. It was a historic occasion. After all the waiting, Serena Williams had reached a momentous milestone in her long and illustrious career. 22 Grand Slam victories is a huge achievement. Steffi Graf wouldn’t mind Serena coming at level with her, except perhaps that she has done it against a German!
Serena Williams beat German fourth seed Angelique Kerber to win a seventh Wimbledon and 22nd Grand Slam title. Serena who had an excellent tournament so far dropping just set so far didn’t disappoint in the final also as she beat Kerber in straight sets 7-5 6-3.
With this Williams did achieve a milestone ,Williams claimed her 22nd Grand Slam singles title, equaling the Open Era record held by Steffi Graf. Williams had lost her previous two Grand Slam finals earlier this year, falling to Kerber at the Australian Open and Garbine Muguruza at the French Open. But today she started strongly right from the first point and dominated the game right until the end to ensure that there is no Hiccup this time
And here’s how twitter saluted the champ
— Boman Irani (@bomanirani) July 9, 2016
— atul kasbekar (@atulkasbekar) July 9, 2016
— T.J. Holmes (@tjholmes) July 9, 2016
Roger Federer came very close to beating Milos Raonic in the fourth set. He was just a touching distance away from reaching another final at Wimbledon but Raonic denied him at crunch time. The 7-time Wimbledon champion, however, played marvelous tennis against an inspired opponent. He had beaten Raonic in the 2014 semifinal but it was Raonic’s turn to reverse that loss on Friday. Once the set scores were tied at 2-2, Federer’s extinction from the coveted tournament came from his third double-fault in the entire match and it came on a break point. In that sense, it seemed like an easy give away on Federer’s part. That was also the only break that Raonic earned in the final set and from there, the Canadian cruised to a 6-3, 6-7, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 victory. Raonic has entered a Grand Slam final for the first time in his career and he has the game to give frightening moments to Andy Murray, who defeated Czech Republic’s Tomas Berdych in the other semifinal.
As usual, the Swiss maestro Roger Federer had the entire center-court crowd on his side. They wanted him to win as much as the world no.3 wanted it himself. After he overcame Marin Cilic’s spirited challenge in the quarterfinal, he had gained in confidence. However, the match began with Milos Raonic taking the first set after breaking Federer in the fourth game. The second set went on serves and nothing happened until the 9th game. In the 10th, Federer earned three break points on Raonic’s service at 0-40. But the tenacious Canadian saved all three and with both players holding their service in the next two games, it was time for the tiebreak. They began well with the score reaching 3-3 at changeover. After that, Raonic didn’t win a single point and Federer took the second set.
The service holds continued in the third set until Federer found a chance to break Raonic in the seventh game. That became crucial in Federer taking a 2-1 sets lead by winning the third set 6-4. The fourth set was where Federer squandered his chances. In the ninth game, the big Swiss earned a break point at 30-40. If he hadn’t missed it, the current story could have been pretty different. But Raonic saved the break against him to make it 5-4 in his favor. That became 5-5 before Federer made it 0-30 on Raonic’s service in the 11th game. That was another time that Federer came close to making a decisive difference but with Raonic’s booming service delivery working for him, he managed to hold for a 6-5 lead. In the 12th game, Federer raced to 40-0 on his service and it looked like the tiebreak time. Precisely then, Milos Raonic changed the course of the match in his favor. He nullified the entire advantage that Federer had and won the set 7-5.
Going into the final set, Federer was not very positively disposed. However, the Swiss pushed Raonic in the first service game of the set. Raonic responded well and managed another hold. In the fourth game it was Federer’s service. 15-15 became 30-30 and when Federer stood at 40-30, Raonic brought the score to deuce. Then a 14-shot rally ensued with both players producing an electrifying game. Raonic extracted a break point, when Federer couldn’t reach one of the Canadian’s shot and tumbled on the court. Federer’s left knee was attended by his trainer before he played his next point. He saved the break point but Raonic got another very soon. Federer double-faulted on the break point and Raonic went up 3-1 and made it 4-1 on his own service next. Now Federer looked miles away from his cherished dream of 18 Grand Slam titles. The best he could do was to hold his next two service games but Raonic had all the cards now and finished in style by holding his serve at love for a 6-3, 6-7, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 victory.
In the other semifinal, Andy Murray scored a 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 straight sets victory over Czech Tomas Berdych. It was a great semifinal, where Berdych did his very best and the score-line doesn’t tell the true story. The Czech tried to fight back in the second set but the Scot was too hot on Friday. Murray stands on the threshold of his second victory at Wimbledon after the one in 2013. But for that, he will have to deal with the lanky Canadian Milos Raonic, who earlier created a stir by seeing off the great Roger Federer.
Friday at Wimbledon was highlighted by Serena Williams reaching another Grand Slam final and for the 9th time at the All-England Club. It was here in 2015 that the women’s world no.1 player scored her last victory in a Grand Slam tournament. In a one-sided contest, Serena saw off the unseeded Russian Elena Vesnina. To equal Steffi Graf’s record of 22 Grand Slam wins, Serena will have to overcome her Australian Open final’s conqueror Germany’s Angelique Kerber. On her part, Kerber denied an all-Williams final, when she defeated Serena’s elder sister Venus in straight sets in the other semifinal. In women’s doubles, the no.1 seeded Indo-Swiss defending champion pair of Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis went out of the reckoning after losing to the Hungarian-Kazakhstani pair of Timea Babos and Yaroslava Shvedova on Thursday. The pair of Leander Paes and Martina Hingis also lost their third round mixed doubles match.
Serena Williams sailed into the Wimbledon final with an easy victory over Russia’s Elena Vesnina, a most unlikely semifinal entrant in years. After winning her sixth Wimbledon final last year, Serena has reached two Grand Slams final out of the last three. But every time, she was stopped at the last hurdle. Now she has another chance for the 22nd Grand Slam win that will bring her at level with the celebrated German Steffi Graf. On Saturday, Serena squares up with Angelique Kerber, the woman, who denied her victory at the Australian Open. Serena also lost in the French Open final, when Spain’s Garbine Muguruza defeated her in the championship match. On Thursday, Serena proved too good for Russia’s Elena Vesnina. It wasn’t much of a contest with Serena needing just 48 minutes to overpower Vesnina. The score-line of 6-2, 6-0 is enough to tell the story.
The Wimbledon crowd, however, was denied a family fun final between the sisters. Angelique Kerber ensured that by defeating 5-time Wimbledon winner Venus Williams 6-4, 6-4. Venus fought hard but Kerber held the edge on most occasions. With her vastly improved level of play, the German too has her chances of winning the second Grand Slam of the year. But Kerber knows, like everyone else, that on her day, Serena could be difficult to beat.
Last year’s women’s doubles champions India’s Sania Mirza and Switzerland’s Martina Hingis suffered a tame loss in the quarterfinal. Sania/Hingis had won the last three Grand Slam titles at Wimbledon, the US Open and the Australian Open and they cherished their fourth Grand Slam victory together in London. That didn’t happen since their opponents Hungary’s Timea Babos and Kazakhstan’s Yaroslava Shvedova played much better tennis on Thursday. Sania/Hingis made a series of unforced errors in the first set and lost at 2-6. In the second set, they had a somewhat improved game and held three break points in the third game. But Babos/Shvedova leveled things up and raced to a 5-1 lead. The Indo-Swiss pair tried again to comeback in the match and won the next three games but the Hungarian/Kazakh combo finally won at 6-2, 6-4. India’s challenge at Wimbledon 2016 ended with Leander Paes also losing in mixed doubles third round. Martina Hingis and Paes were last year’s champions but couldn’t progress further this year. They won the first set 6-3, against Finland’s Henri Kontinen and Britain’s Heather Watson but lost the next two 3-6, 2-6 and went tumbling out of Wimbledon.
Before Roger Federer took on Marin Cilic in his quarterfinal match on Wednesday, the 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 straight sets thrashing that Cilic inflicted on him in 2014 US Open semifinal, would certainly have been playing on his mind. That was also the last time Federer had played against Cilic. Though the Swiss had a 5-1 head-to-head record against Cilic before the start of the match, he had always been wary of his opponent. The mental block continued in the first two sets and Federer found himself hanging by a thread as Cilic took both sets. The Swiss took the third set but in the fourth, his condition worsened. Cilic looked determined, when Federer got ready to serve and save the match at 4-5. It was in this 10th game that the Croat earned his first match point. Later in the match, Federer saved two more match points before bouncing back to beat Cilic in five grueling sets. It was a huge comeback for the 7-time Wimbledon champion. But the road to his 8th title is still not smooth. He takes on Canadian Milos Raonic next and in all probability, it will be the irrepressible Andy Murray in the final. On his part, Murray also had a five-set duel with Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga before beating him. The Scot will play against Czech Republic’s Tomas Berdych in the other semifinal on Friday.
The first set in the match between Federer and Cilic went on serves. Cilic was able to dish out great speed even with his second serve. At 40-0 in the opening game, Cilic’s second service traveled at 112 miles an hour and Federer couldn’t do much except netting his return. Federer began his own game with two consecutive aces and with both players holding their serves, the set slipped to the tiebreak. Cilic raced to a 5-0 lead and finished off at 7-4. The Croat carried the momentum into the second set and found an early break in the third game. Federer had a chance for the break-back, in the next game but he muffed it.
After an hour and 15 minutes, the match tilted in Cilic’s favor as he took a 2-set lead. Surprisingly, Federer looked relaxed at the start of the third set. Nothing happened until the seventh game but in the eighth, Federer feasted on a double-fault by Cilic on break point and led 5-3. The next game saw him reduce the set deficit to 1-2.
But the third-set win for Federer didn’t change the course of the match as Cilic raced to a 5-4 lead in the fourth and Federer got ready with his serve to stay in the match. At 30-30, Cilic produced a frightening backhand that sent Federer sliding on the court. Now the Croat had a match point as silence enveloped the center court. The release of tension was palpable as Federer somehow managed to hold. The set went to the tiebreak and Federer was still not out of the woods.
The first six points were won on big serves from both players as they came level at 3-3. But Federer took the next two points to lead 5-3 and when he made it 6-4, the applause on the set point was deafening. But Cilic was not finished. Federer missed the first set-point by mistiming a forehand and Cilic boomed an ace to draw level at 6-6. Another huge serve from the Croat gave him a third match-point at 7-6 and tension returned in the theater called the center court. Federer missed his first service next but managed a speedy second to coax Cilic into making an error. At 7-7, the thrill continued. Federer had a set point next at 8-7 but Cilic drew level again. The Swiss had another set point at 9-8 but Cilic wasn’t giving up. At 9-9, they changed end. The next point was remarkable. Cilic seemed to have won a point with an unstoppable backhand down the line but Federer amazingly found space to put the ball back into the court. When Cilic sent a volley out, Federer had another set point at 10-9. This time, Federer kept his nerve and the decider was on.
The first game of the final set went to deuce on Federer’s service but the Swiss finally took it. After three hours on the court, they were still fighting at 3-3. In the eighth game, Federer brought his best and broke Cilic’s service to lead 5-3. Now it was just the service hold between staring defeat earlier and the semifinal berth. Federer didn’t disappoint his admirers and finished the match with an ace for a 6-7, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6, 6-3 victory over an opponent, who almost had the match in his pocket at one stage.
Federer has another promising opponent in the semifinal now. Canadian Milos Raonic has John McEnroe as his coach for the grass season and it could have been a proxy-match between McEnroe and Stefan Edberg but Federer has a new coach in Ivan Ljubicic after his split with Edberg. Raonic reached the semifinal by defeating USA’s Sam Querrey 6-4, 7-5, 5-7, 6-4. In the other semifinal on Friday, Andy Murray will have deal with Czech Republic’s Tomas Berdych. In their quarterfinal matches, Murray had to work hard for five sets before defeating the feisty Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6, 6-1, 3-6, 4-6, 6-1. Berdych had it rather easy against another Frenchman Lucas Pouille as the Czech won in straight sets 7-6, 6-3, 6-2.
The Defending Champion put on a powerful performance to defeat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia in straight sets 6-4, 6-4 to progress to the semi-finals at the Wimbledon Championships on Centre Court today.Williams will meet Elena Vesnina, who beat Dominika Cibulkova, in the semi-finals.
Williams started the game Poorly making a couple of unforced error but soon got her game back on track with a couple of scintillating winners. After the first set got over Williams picked her game even more and looked like in a mood to finish things as quickly as Possible winning the second Set 6-4.
Meanwhile her Sister Venus had already qualified for the semis and will play Angelique Kerber. This the 11th time that both the sister have together made it to the semis in a slam and whenever it has happened the winner has always been among one of the sisters, so will this be also the same??
On day 7 of the All-England Championships, Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Serena Williams reached the quarterfinals. Joining them in the last eight were; Milos Raonic, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Sam Querrey, Marin Cilic, Simona Halep, Angelique Kerber, Dominika Cibulkova, Elena Vesnina and veteran American Venus Williams. India’s Sania Mirza also reached the women’s doubles quarterfinal with her Swiss partner Martina Hingis but Rohan Bopanna went out of men’s doubles. The biggest upset of the day was the injury-driven exit of Japan’s no.5 seed Kei Nishikori, who retired in the second set during his match with Croatia’s Marin Cilic.
Swiss maestro Roger Federer stands on the verge of another milestone in his glittering career. For the fourth match in a row, he recorded straight sets 6-2, 6-3, 7-5 victory over Steve Johnson and spoiled the American’s July Fourth celebrations. By that result, Federer had won his 306th match in Grand Slam tournaments and equaled Martina Navratilova’s record. Federer will most likely pass that mark, when he meets 9th seeded Croat Marin Cilic in the quarterfinal. He should be thankful to Johnson’s doubles partner, Sam Querrey, who had taken out Federer’s biggest hurdle in the tournament, when he beat the defending champion Novak Djokovic on Saturday. If Federer beats Cilic, he will likely face Milos Raonic in the semifinal and in all probability Andy Murray in the title game. Incidentally, Querrey also reached the quarterfinal by beating Spain’s Nicolas Mahut 6-4, 7-6, 6-4.
Meanwhile, another title aspirant Great Britain’s Andy Murray destroyed the defenses of Australian Nick Kyrgios in his fourth round match. Like Federer, Murray too hasn’t dropped a set in his four games so far, though Kyrgios matched him ball-by-ball in the first set. However once Murray took that set at 7-5, Kyrgios’ challenge faded away under sustained consistency of the 2013 champion Murray, who finished with a 7-5, 6-1, 6-4 victory. On Wednesday, Murray will have to deal with 12th seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga for a place in the semifinal. Murray also reached a landmark by reaching the Wimbledon quarterfinals for the 9th consecutive time and equaled the joint record of Pete Sampras and John McEnroe.
Sisters Venus and Serena Williams, collective winners of 11 Wimbledon singles titles, entered their umpteenth quarterfinals. The siblings proved that age was just a number as they beats players several years younger to them. The 36-year old Venus is now the oldest women’s singles quarterfinalist in 22 years. Venus defeated Spain’s 12th seeded Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro 7-6, 6-4 while the 34-year old Serena was back to her devastating best against 13th seeded Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova. The defending champion shut out the Russian 7-5, 6-0 with 43 winners against just 14 unforced errors. For a place in the semifinals, Serena will have to conquer another Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
Japan’s Kei Nishikori suffered another disaster under Marin Cilic’s sustained onslaught and the recurrence of the rib injury he picked up at Halle. Like last year, Nishikori retired during his fourth round match after losing the first set 1-6 and trailing 1-5 in the second. Canada’s no.6 seed Milos Raonic had a five-set battle with Belgian 11th seed David Goffin before winning at 4–6, 3–6, 6–4, 6–4, 6–4. Another major upset came in women’s singles draw, when no.3 seeded Pole Agnieszka Radwanska lost 3-6, 7-5, 7-9 to Slovakian pint-rocket 19th seeded Dominika Cibulkova. However, no.5 seeded Romanian Simona Halep advanced to the quarterfinal by disposing of 9th seeded American Madison Keys 6-7, 6-4, 6-3. Fourth seeded German Angelique Kerber had an easy 6-3, 6-1 victory over Japan’s Misaki Doi and in a contest between two unseeded Russians and doubles partners, Elena Vesnina Prevailed over Ekaterina Makarova 5-7, 6-1, 9-7.
In women’s doubles, Indo-Swiss defending champions Sania Mirza/Martina Hingis entered the quarterfinals by thrashing their American/Latvian counterparts Christina Mchale/Jelena Ostapenko 6-1, 6-0 in just 46 minutes. But the other Indian Rohan Bopanna playing with his Romanian partner Florin Mergea went out of the reckoning. Bopanna/Mergea lost their third round match 6-2, 3-6, 4-6, 7-6, 6-8 to 10th seeded Henri Kontinen/John Peers in a fierce battle lasting close to three hours.
In one of the biggest upsets in tennis history, world no.1 Novak Djokovic made a third-round exit at Wimbledon 2016. The defending champion and world no.1 lost to USA’s Sam Querrey in four sets in a match that was interrupted several times because of rain. Djokovic’s loss was a huge shock and the sensational news took center-stage at Wimbledon on Saturday. When the rain-interrupted match resumed, Djokovic began by winning four straight games before the rain returned. The players went out and waited for the third resumption. The Serb had done very well until the rain and looked like turning the match on its head. But when play resumed, he lapsed into errors once more and despite winning the third set, lost the fourth on tiebreak. It was a sad end for the winner of the last four Grand Slams. The Serbian has had an amazing run of successes in the last 18 months and he became hard to beat with his extraordinarily consistent game. But Sam Querrey had obtained a big advantage on Friday and needed to win just one more set. He lost the third but took the fourth on tiebreak to send Djokovic out of contention. The biggest beneficiary of Djokovic’s defeat could be Roger Federer, who was slated to meet the defending champion in the semifinal but now it could be Milos Raonic. Meanwhile 2013 champion Andy Murray also cruised to the third round by defeating Australia’s John Millman. With Djokovic out of the way, Murray also looks a potential Wimbledon winner this year.
The morning began well for Djokovic. He kept winning points on his serve and broke Querrey early to lead 4-0 in the third set. Just when everyone thought about the Serb breaking the American’s defenses, rain interrupted the match yet again. The players went to the locker rooms and when they came back, Djokovic took the next game as well but looked circumspect. He allowed Querrey to score three points before winning the third set. In the fourth, the American’s booming service began to work again. But at 1-1, there was another rain-break. On the next resumption, both players saved break point opportunities before Djokovic converted on his 12th chance and got ready to serve at 5-4. It was here that the reigning champion really surrendered the advantage. He allowed Querrey to break right back and make the score 5-5. The American held his own service to make it 6-5 and the set slipped into tiebreak. In the tiebreak, Djokovic played tentatively and committed errors unbecoming of him. Querrey kept the pressure by serving well. With Querrey’s service finding its mark, he earned his first match point that Djokovic saved with an ace. But a little later, Querrey jumped in air, when the Serb sent a forehand wide on the second match point against him. It was all over for the world no.1 as he lost 6-7, 1-6, 3-6, 7-6. The 28-year old Querrey finished the match with 31 aces and 56 winners and for the first time in his tennis career, the American advanced to the fourth round of a Grand Slam tournament.
While the Djokovic-exit drama was unfolding in the nearby court no.1, Great Britain’s Andy Murray advanced to the fourth round by defeating Australia’s John Millman in three sets. His Australian opponent didn’t have much to offer against the consistent Murray, who won the match 6-3, 7-5, 6-2. The match was of full of long rallies but Murray prevailed in the end. In another rain-affected match, Australian Open champion Germany’s Angelique Kerber entered the fourth round by defeating compatriot Carina Witthoeft 7-6, 6-1. Other seeded men and women players advancing on Saturday were; Milos Raonic, Simona Halep, Madison Keys, Kei Nishikori, David Goffin and Agnieszka Radwanska.
On a rain-drenched Friday at Wimbledon, men and women’s defending champions faced even heavier weather in the matches against their opponents. While Serena Williams managed to extricate herself from a losing position to advance to the third round, Novak Djokovic found himself on the brink of an early extinction from the All England Club. In the third-round match against big-serving American Sam Query, Djokovic lost the first two sets before the game was called off due to rain. When the match resumes on Saturday, the defending champion will face an uphill struggle to stay in this year’s Wimbledon. Meanwhile world no.3 Roger Federer duly won his third round match against a second British player Dan Evans, after the theatrical show on Wednesday with Marcus Willis. With the weather having wrecked the first week’s draw at the All-England Club, Sunday’s usual rest day will now be used for the first time in Wimbledon since 2004 to clear the backlog of accumulated matches.
Novak Djokovic is staring down the barrel in his rain-interrupted third round match against USA’s Sam Query. After the tightly fought first set was taken at 8-6 by the world no.28 Query, Djokovic faced enhanced heat in the second. The American simply blew away the Serb 6-1 and they called off the match, when Query had delivered his ninth ace of the match. The interruption would have relieved Djokovic more than anybody else. The 12-time Grand Slam winner played second fiddle to someone, who is credited with an ATP record of sending down 10 consecutive aces in a 2007 match against fellow American James Blake. The world no.1 didn’t have any trouble in his first two matches of the tournament and he didn’t drop a set. But he looked strangely vulnerable against Query, who has only beaten the Serb once in their last 9 meetings. Though the balance is heavily tilted in Query’s favor, it will still be unwise to write Djokovic off. The man has the capability of bouncing back from the brink. Djokovic could return with a vengeance by winning three quick-fire sets on Saturday. Until then, the world will wait.
The other defending champion Serena Williams was fully stretched by compatriot Christina McHale in her second round match on Friday. McHale was the dominant player for the better part of the match and Serena’s hard work didn’t yield any benefit in the opening set. At 4-4, the rains began pouring down and the center court roof had to be closed. The set went to the tiebreak that McHale won at 9-7. However, the world no.1 found her game in the second set and the decider came after she allowed McHale only two games. But McHale was not about to give in. She took a 2-0 lead by breaking Serena early and when Serena served; she went down 15-40. Just when her dream of winning the record-equaling 22 Grand Slams was about to end, Serena produced three consecutive aces to bounce back in the match. After that, the legendary American held off her fellow countrywoman and finished off the match at 6-7, 6-2, 6-4. Earlier, Serena’s sister Venus was also given a hard time by Russian Daria Kasatkina. Venus squandered a 5-1 first set advantage and just managed to win the set at 7-5. But the drop in tempo allowed the Russian to rule in the second set. Kasatkina forced the decider and fought hard in the third. However, the 5-time Wimbledon winner still won the match 7-5, 4-6, 10-8 after flirting with the tournament exit.
While the two defending champions had tough time in their matches, Roger Federer was on song at the center court. He played another British player on Friday, after disposing off Marcus Willis on Wednesday. But Dan Evans couldn’t unruffle the 7-time All-England champion. The Swiss had great starts in all his three sets and easily won 6-4, 6-2, 6-2. Federer has struggled this year with injury and illness but looks in good touch now. Regardless, Evans was pleased with his effort and felt his dreams of playing against Federer were realized. Though Federer sailed into the fourth round, he is yet to produce his best tennis. However, three wins on trot would have consolidated his resolve to make it the Grand Slam no.18 this time round. The Swiss is on the same end of the draw that should see him on collision course with Novak Djokovic but things could change with the Serb yet to clear a huge hurdle against Sam Query on Saturday. Last year Germany’s Dustin Brown created shockwaves by beating Rafael Nadal in the second round. Yesterday, he came close to upsetting Australia’s 15th seed Nick Kyrgios also in a five-set second round match. The temperamental Australian swore and argued with match officials during the match before beating Brown 6-7, 6-1, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4.