August 1, 2015

Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer Reach Wimbledon Final with Straight Set Victories

228 Federer Djokovic-001

(July 10, 2015)

It will be a repeat of last year’s Wimbledon Gentlemen’s final on Sunday when No. 1 Novak Djokovic faces No. 2 Roger Federer. Both men had straight set wins in their respective semifinals on Friday.

Two-time winner Djokovic defeated No. 21 seed Richard Gasquet 7-6(2), 6-4, 6-4 to book a spot in his fourth Wimbledon final and his 17th major championship final. Seven-time Wimbledon titlist Federer bested 2013 champion Andy Murray 7-5, 7-5, 6-4.

“The first set was really close,” said Djokovic who played the first semifinal of the day. “I thought Richard played some really good tennis, especially from the backhand side. It was really difficult for me at times to play any kind of ball to his backhand side because he was really going for it, especially down the line. He made a lot of winners. He used the chipped backhand, slice variety as well.”

“Winning the first set tiebreak was psychologically very helpful for the rest of the match.”

“I tried to do my best,” Gasquet said.  “I did a good first set.  I did some great backhand.

“But, of course, I would like to do a little bit better then after that.  I tried to be aggressive.  I try my best.  I did a good match.  It was tough to do better.  Sometimes I did mistakes in the tiebreak, of course.  Some backhand I could put on the court.

“It was 2‑All, then it was 7‑2 very fast after that.  It wasn’t good.  He never miss on some returns.  He serves well.  That’s why he’s No. 1 in the world.”

The second semifinal of the day provided stunning hitting and rallies of the highest quality by both players. Despite the straight-set score the match was extremely close.

“Andy’s been playing very well for the season,” Federer said to the BBC after the match. “There is so much expectation riding on the match. I’m unbelievably happy. I played so well in the biggest occasion today.

“I’ve been serving very well for the entire tournament. I wasn’t broken against one of the best returners. I kept the pressure up and went for my shots. I mixed it up like I usually do and kept pushing forward and staying focused. It all worked out really well.”

“He served fantastic, apart from the first game where I had the chance there,” Murray said. “Didn’t really have any opportunities. Then, you know, that puts pressure on you.”

“Obviously I got broken right at the end all of the sets. But I didn’t actually play a bad match. Played pretty well.”

“Today I was clearly able to play very well from the start,” Federer elaborated.  “The beginning was always going to be an important part of the game.  I had to save breakpoint first, then I was able to start rolling on my serve.  Played a great game to break.

“So, I mean, definitely one of the best matches I’ve played in my career.  I don’t know, the first set, I don’t remember point by point, but it was definitely really, really solid.”

 

The win puts the Swiss in his 10th final at the All-England Club, 26th Grand Slam final, which will make him the oldest finalist at 33, since 39-year-old Ken Rosewall in 1974. He is seeking a record 8th Wimbledon title and 18th major.

“Doesn’t matter whether it’s No. 8 or No. 1,” Federer said, “Wimbledon finals is always a big occasion.”

Federer on playing Djokovic in the final: “Well, I mean, it’s great to play Novak anywhere these days, you know, because he’s a great player.  He’s had great success, unbelievable success actually, throughout his career.  But especially now the last few years, he’s been unbelievably dominant, especially on the hard courts, then he improved on the grass.  On the clay, he’s one of the best, if not the best.

“He’s become very match‑tough.  He always shows up.  It’s tough to beat him.  You know, he’s been very injury‑free.  He’s been good for the game.

“For me, I don’t really think about the match we played against each other last year.  I just remember it was unbelievably thrilling.  The crowd really got into it.

“I’m just happy personally for myself to be back in a finals.  Whoever that’s going to be against, it’s always a big occasion.  That is Novak, the world No. 1, it obviously adds something extra.”

“I need to keep it up for one more match,” Federer said, “to really make it the perfect couple of weeks.”

The Serb, who comes into the final as the defending champion, will be playing in his fourth Wimbledon final.

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Williams Beats Sharapova, Will Face Muguruza in Wimbledon Final

 

(July 9, 2015) Serena Williams continued her 11 year win-streak against Maria Sharapova on Thursday, beating the 2004 Wimbledon champion 6-2, 6-4 to reach her eighth Wimbledon final and 25th major final overall. It was the world No. 1’s 17th straight win over the Russian.

Williams is now just a victory away from winning a fourth straight major title, a “Serena Slam” as she dubbed it when she won four straight majors in 2002-03. Should she win on Saturday it would be her 21st major title and third leg of a calendar grand slam. The last woman to win a Grand Slam was Steffi Graff in 1988.

Williams overpowered the Russian with 29 winners and 13 aces.

“At least I made it to a final of four,” Williams said after the match. “That’s pretty good. That’s pretty good.”

Williams is now on a 27-match win streak in majors.

“I think it definitely gets better,” she said. “It’s been a long time since I’ve been in the final here. I just feel really good just to be in another final, so it’s really cool.”

Williams last won Wimbledon in 2012, she has five titles at the All-England Club.

“I always expect her to play the best tennis against myself and a few other elite players,” Sharapova said. “She does always come up with great tennis. You have to be able not to just produce your best tennis, but more. Obviously it hasn’t happened for me.”

“I think she had better depth than I did on her shots.  That certainly makes a big difference.

“I think one of the things she does extremely well is to take her from a defense position into the offense again.  I was not able to do that.”

“Well, it’s never easy to beat such a great player who’s had such a wonderful career,” Williams said. “So, you know, I don’t know. “Whenever you play someone that you know, has beaten you before, you really get really focused, I think. That’s what I do.

“Whenever I know I have to play Maria, I know I have to be focused because she wasn’t the best in the world for no reason.”

The 33-year-old Williams will face 21-year-old, the 20th seed Garbine Muguruza, who defeated Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2, 3-6, 6-3. She’s the first woman from Spain to reach the Wimbledon final since Arantxa Sanchez Vicario did in 1996.

The Spaniard is 1-2 against Williams, with her lone win coming in the second round of last year’s French Open 6-2, 6-2, her worst loss in games in a major tournament.

“You work all your life to achieve Grand Slam final, to be in this situation,” said Muguruza.  “It’s like a dream, like a present after the hard work.”

“I think is the best final you can play,” the Spaniard added.  “You know, to have Serena in the Wimbledon final I think is the hardest match you can have.

“If you want to win a Grand Slam, when you dream, you say, I want Serena in the final.  She’s like one of the best players in all these years.  So it’s obviously I think the best challenge to have.”

“Because she has like so many good things.  She’s stronger, good mentality, good shots, power, confident.  You know, a lot of things that make her a great player.”

“It’s definitely not an easy matchup,” Williams said.  “She actually has a win against me.  We had a tough match the last time we played.  And she’s given me problems in the past.

“So this time I have to just, you know, go in it like have fun and do the best that I can, just try to stay positive and stay focused.”

“I lost to her last year, I believe.  It was an eye‑opening loss for me, “Williams noted.  “Some losses you’re angry about, and some losses you learn from.  That loss I think I learned the most from in a long time.

“I got so much better after that loss.  I was able to improve a lot.  I worked on things.

“I didn’t see the results straightaway.  But months later I started seeing the results more and more.  I learned so much from that.  You know, sometimes as much as you don’t want it or as bad timing as it could be, I don’t want to lose to anyone at a Grand Slam.  But unfortunately, I did.

“But it was really an experience that helped me say, Okay, Serena, you want to be the best, you’re going to have to do certain things and you’re going to have to improve certain things.”

“I’ve been in this stage,” Serena added.  “I’ve won so many Grand Slam titles.  And, you know, I’m at a position where I don’t need to win another Wimbledon. I could lose tomorrow.  Sure, I won’t be happy.  But I don’t need another Wimbledon title.  I don’t need another US Open.  I don’t need any titles to make it.

“Every time I step out on court, the practice court, the match court, I do look at it as a more fun time because it’s not as much stressful as it was. Like getting to 18 was super stressful for me.  It was fun, but I was so stressed out.

“After that, I’ve just been really enjoying myself.”

The Ladies’ final takes place on Saturday.

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USTA Launches 2015 US Open Wild Card Challenge

ustalogo

 

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., July 9, 2015 – The USTA today announced the launch of the 2015 US Open Wild Card Challenge, which will once again utilize the USTA Pro Circuit to award wild cards into the US Open.

 

In the US Open Wild Card Challenge, the American man and American woman who earn the most ATP World Tour and WTA ranking points at two of three select USTA Pro Circuit hard-court events this summer will earn main draw wild cards into the US Open. Only Americans who did not earn direct entry into the US Open are eligible.

 

All tournaments will be streamed live on www.procircuit.usta.com. Tournaments can also be followed on the USTA Pro Circuit’s smartphone app by searching “procircuit” in the app store.

 

The University of the Pacific $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit Challenger, a new $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit women’s event in Stockton, Calif., kicks off the wild card challenge the week of July 13. The men’s component of the wild card challenge will begin the following week.

 

The US Open Wild Card Challenge will consist of the following events:

 

USTA Pro Circuit Women’s Events

  • University of the Pacific $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit Challenger, $50,000, Stockton, Calif. (week of July 13)
  • FSP Gold River Women’s Challenger, $50,000, Sacramento, Calif. (week of July 20)
  • Kentucky Bank Tennis Championships, $50,000, Lexington, Ky. (week of July 27)

USTA Pro Circuit Men’s Events

  • Levene Gouldin & Thompson Tennis Challenger, $50,000, Binghamton, N.Y. (week of July 20)
  • Kentucky Bank Tennis Championships, $50,000, Lexington, Ky. (week of July 27)
  • Comerica Bank Challenger, $100,000, Aptos, Calif. (week of August 10)

The USTA first used this US Open wild card format for its 2012 wild cards, won by Steve Johnson and Mallory Burdette, both of whom reached the third round of the US Open. In 2013, Bradley Klahn and Shelby Rogers earned the wild cards, with Klahn winning his first-round match. And, last year, Nicole Gibbs reached the third round of the US Open (her career-best Grand Slam result), while Wayne Odesnik earned the men’s wild card. The USTA also utilizes this wild card challenge format for the French Open and Australian Open.

 

The 2015 US Open main draw will be held Monday, Aug. 31, to Sunday, Sept. 13.

 

Information on the US Open Wild Card Challenge will be available at www.procircuit.usta.com and on Twitter through @USTAProCircuit.

 

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Djokovic, Federer and Murray Advance to Wimbledon Semis, Wawrinka Knocked out in Five Sets by Gasquet

 

(June 8, 2015) Top three seeds Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray reach the semifinals of Wimbledon easily on Wednesday with straight set wins. Richard Gasquet spoiled a potential “top four” party in the last four, when he upset No. 4 Stan Wawrinka in five sets 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-4, 11-9.

For the Frenchman, this will be his third major semifinal. “I’m the worst,” Gasquet said with a grin, “when you see Federer, Djokovic and Murray and me. There is something, I want to enjoy it.”

Gasquet will face off against Djokovic, who reached his 27 Grand Slam semifinal, defeating U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic 6-4, 6-4, 6-4. It was the world No. 1’s 650th win on tour and 50th at Wimbledon.

“I came out with the right intensity, moved well all over the court, tried to get as many returns back in play,” said Djokovic. “I didn’t allow Marin to come back to the match. It was a close game when I was serving for the set. I think that helped my confidence to feel better afterwards.”

“It was great to watch them go backhand-to-backhand today,” said Djokovic about the Wawrinka – Gasquet match. “Some great points, great exchanges.”

Djokovic discussing his match-up against Gasquet said, “the experience of being in these final stages of Wimbledon many times is going to help me.” The Serb is 11-1 against Gasquet.

Andy Murray reached his 150th match won at a Grand Slam on Wednesday when he stopped Canadian Vasek Pospisil 6-4, 7-5, 6-4. For the Canadian Posposil, it was his first appearance in a major quarterfinal.

Murray said of the win: “I needed to (step up) because at times, (he) was serving really well, (which) made it very difficult for me. Then I just managed to, at a few key moments, come up with some good shots. Third set was tricky, as well, because I had a bunch of break points. When you don’t take them, obviously you start to think about that a little bit. Overall, it was a good match.”

 

Murray will face Roger Federer for place in the final. Federer bested Gilles Simon, the 12th seed 6-3, 7-5, 6-2 to reach his 10th Wimbledon semifinal and 37th major semifinal overall, to keep his hopes of winning a record eighth title at the All-England Club alive.

Federer won his last major at Wimbledon in 2012 when he defeated Murray, but then about a month later, Murray defeated Federer for the gold medal at the London 2012 Olympics.

“We both like to look back at that summer,” said Federer. “Me, not so much at the Olympics; him, probably not so much at Wimbledon.”

Federer is 12-11 against Murray and is 9-0 in Wimbledon semifinals.

“I’m very happy to be in the semis again,” said Federer. “The road is long getting here. But still I feel like I’m fresh and I’ve got energy left in the tank for hopefully a great match with Andy and then we’ll see. But I’m looking forward to it.

“It’s been good so far. I felt like I played a very solid last year or so, especially on the grass I’ve done very well. I’m happy to keep it up here now. This is obviously now crunch time when you want to show if your game’s really up to par.”

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Serena Williams, Sharapova, Radwanska and Muguruza Reach Wimbledon Semis

 

(July 7, 2015) Serena Williams kept her hopes for a fourth straight major alive on Tuesday, rallying to defeat Victoria Azarenka, taking 10 out of the last 13 game to win 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 and reach the Wimbledon semifinals. Williams blasted 17 aces and 46 winners en route to her 26th straight Grand Slam match win.

“It’s been up and down, up and down, but somehow I’m still alive. I don’t know how,” said Williams. “So we’ll see what happens, but I’m just happy to still be here.”

“I can’t lie and say I’m not disappointed, because that’s a normal reaction,” Azarenka said. “But it is what it is. It was a high quality match. I can’t say I went out there and didn’t play well – we just saw why Serena is No.1. I haven’t seen her play like this, honestly, even the last matches before that.”

“I feel like Victoria and I always have really wonderful matches. She’s always able to push it to three sets, we always have some great three set matches,” Williams said to media.

“Whenever I see her name I get excited, because I feel like there’s going to be an opportunity to see how well I’m doing. We play each other pretty much every tournament. I’m getting used to that.”

“I’ve been really proud of her and her comeback,” Williams said when asked about her post-match hug at the net. “I told her in Madrid, ‘Man, you’ve gone through a lot. I really support that. I really support you coming back.’ And we really get along off the court. She’s so sweet – we always text each other when we’re doing well.

“She’s a really nice girl. I really admire her because she’s so intense on the court, but the second she comes off the court, she’s just so different. It’s really interesting to see. It’s super respectful.”

“I have a lot of respect for Serena,” said Azarenka.  “We have a great friendship off the court.  You know, once the match is over, we put it out a long time ago.  We’re going to put it out all on the court.  She played a great match and I respect that.”

Williams, who is now 37-1 on the year is looking to complete a second “Serena” Slam with a Wimbledon trophy, which would mean she would be holding the last four major trophies. She did this in 2002-03.

Winning Wimbledon would also give her the third leg of the calendar-year Grand Slam.

Next for the world No. 1 and 20-time major winner, will be the fourth seed Maria Sharapova who bested unseeded American youngster CoCo Vandeweghe 6-3, 6-7 (3), 6-2.

“I’ve played five matches already, I’ve faced different challenges, matches, opponents, circumstances – the first four matches I was playing quite well and got the job done in two sets,” Sharapova said.

Sharapova led 6-3, 5-3 when Vandeweghe made a comeback.

“Today, serving for the second set, I could have made it easier,” Sharapova said. “It went to a third, but I still got the job done. I have to be pleased with that, that I’m in the semifinals again here after so many years.”

“I thought I relished it pretty well,” said the young American about her fortnight.  “I enjoyed my experience.  I enjoyed the crowd out there.

“I didn’t enjoy the result too much.  But I’m sure tomorrow I’ll be feeling even less happy about this, at least body‑wise.

“It’s been a long two weeks, playing singles and doubles here.  So I’m happy with my progress through the tournament, and I’m happy with the whole experience of it.”

Williams owns a 17-2 record against Sharapova, including a winning streak against her at 16 in a row.

“Definitely no secrets between each other’s games,” Sharapova said.

“But, I mean, look, I haven’t played Serena here in 11 years.  That would be an incredible moment for me to step out on Centre Court against her again.”

“I love playing Maria,” Williams said.  “I think she brings out the best in me.  I think I bring out the best in her.  I thought we had a wonderful final in Australia.  It was very entertaining.  She played really well.

“For me, I don’t feel like I have any pressure going into this match.  We both actually lost early last year.  We both are kind of enjoying this moment and one of us will be in the final.”

The other semifinal will pit No. 13 seed and 2012 Wimbledon finalist Agnieszka Radwanska against No. 20 Garbine Muguruza.

Radwanska beat No. 21 Madison Keys 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-3. Muguruza defeated No. 15 Timea Bacsinszky 7-5, 6-3 to reach her first major semifinal.

“I couldn’t feel any better, I’m just so happy I managed to stay in that match. It was very tight and I just tried to play it point by point, game by game,” Radwanska said. “That’s how you have to play it and in the third set one break was the difference.”

“I’ve seen a few of her matches this tournament and she’s playing great tennis,” Radwanska said. “She’s actually playing very similar to Keys so I think it could be a similar match.

“It’s the semifinals so, of course, there’s nothing to lose. All the players are playing great tennis. I’m just going to fight for each point and try to play my best. One day’s rest and I’ll be ready to go.”

“It’s amazing, I’m so happy. It was a very tough match,” said Muguruza, the first Spaniard to reach the Wimbledon semifinals since Arantxa Sánchez-Vicario in 1997. “The last game was a very intense one, so there was so much relief after that.”

“It’s very hard to achieve this, so I’m very proud and happy for Spain also! All this experience helps you a lot and makes you believe that you can do it. So I’m going to be confident and ready for the match.”

Novak Djokovic completed a five-set match held over from Monday, due to darkness with a win over to reach the Gentlemen’s quarterfinals 6-7(6), 6-7(6), 6-1, 6-4, 7-5.

The world No. 1 will play Marin Cilic on Wednesday. The other men’s quarterfinal match-ups include: Roger Federer vs. Gilles Simon, Andy Murray vs. Vasek Pospisil, and Stan Wawrinka vs. Richard Gasquet.

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Serena Williams Beats Sister Venus To Reach Wimbledon Quarters

 

(July 6, 2015)

On the second Monday of Wimbledon, it was “Sister Act” part 26 as No. 1 Serena Williams defeated her sister and the 16th seed Venus 6-4, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals. It was the younger sister’s sixth victory of the last seven, raising her head-to-head record to 15-11.

“I just thought,`Wow, I’m 33, and she just turned 35. I don’t know how many more moments like this we’ll have.’ I plan on playing for years, but you never know if we’ll have the opportunity to face each other,” Serena said after walking off the court. “I just took the moment in, and I thought, `We’re at Wimbledon.’ I remember when I was 8 years old, we dreamed of this moment, and it was kind of surreal.”

“When that moment is over, it will be over,” Venus said, shrugging her shoulders. “It’s not now.”

Tuesday’s win puts Serena closer to winning her 21st major title, fourth in a row, keeping hope alive the possibility of a Grand Slam should she win at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.

“I no longer answer questions about Grand Slams,” Serena told media.

“It’s been six years since we played each other,” Serena said.  “I just really was enjoying the moment out there.  It was such a great vibe, such a great situation to be in, when we were both so young and dreaming of coming to Wimbledon.

“Not only did we fulfill our dreams, we both won it five times.  That’s pretty amazing.

“I just had an opportunity to reflect on that.”

Serena Williams will play Victoria Azarenka on Tuesday for a spot in the semis. Azarenka defeated Belinda Bencic 6-3. 6-2.

I’ve had a couple of tough matches with Victoria,” Serena said.  “It doesn’t matter who I play, I’m going to be ready.  I’m going to have to be ready.  She’s due to win big and to do really well.”

“I look forward to tomorrow.  I feel like my tournament has finally begun.  This is where I feel really comfortable in a Grand Slam.”

“Well, the key is for me, I still need to find it because I haven’t beat her in the Grand Slam,” said Azarenka.  “So for me, I still have to find that extra step to go a little bit further.

“But she’s a great player.  I mean, one of the greatest players of all time.

“I just try to really focus on what I have to do instead of thinking who is on the other side and try to execute my game.

“I think I have been playing pretty well, trying to climb and put my game together more and more.  So I’m just trying to focus on tomorrow, is another day, another match, and keep it simple.”

Two more Americans join Serena Williams in the quarterfinals – Madison Keys and Coco Vandeweghe. Keys beat qualifier Olga Govortsova 3-6, 6-4, 6-1while Vandeweghe beat French Open finalist and sixth seed Lucie Safarova 7-6(1), 7-6(4)

“I mean, every moment there is a breakthrough whether it’s in a WTA tournament or in a Grand Slam,” Vandeweghe said.  “Yes, this is the farthest I have ever gone in a Grand Slam and I’m playing really well at this time, but, you know, I’m not really considering it like, wow, a breakthrough.

I mean, I had set goals of what I wanted to do, and because I’m achieving it doesn’t mean it’s a breakthrough.  I think it’s stepping stones more than a breakthrough.  You know, I would more say it’s on the lines of it’s been a while coming because of what I felt that I have dedicated to my game of tennis.”

Vadeweghe will face Maria Sharapova next. The 2004 Wimbledon champion beat Zarina Diyas 6-4, 6-4.

 

“I think there is still going to be the nerves,” Madison Keys said about reaching her second major quarterfinal.  “It’s second quarter and it’s against a different person.  But I think there is at least some, Okay, I have done it before, I have been through it, I know what to expect.

“No matter what, it will be fun and will be exciting, and I just have to go out and try to focus on the match.”

Garbine Muguruza had the upset of the day when she ousted fifth seed Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 6-4.

“I went very like focused and prepared because I knew that she was going to try to do a long and physical match against me,” the Spaniard said. “So I think I used my opportunities of the short balls, good shots, the serve.  I think I played really good.  This helps me a lot against these types of players.”

On the men’s side of the draw Novak Djokovic and Kevin Anderson will have to complete their match on Tuesday. Djokovic lost the first two sets in tiebreaks and won the next two. Play was halted on Court 1 due to darkness.

Marin Cilic awaits the winner in his quarterfinal.

Roger Federer and Andy Murray moved into Wimbledon’s “elite 8.” Second-seeded Federer won 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 over No. 20 Roberto Bautista Agut. Murray bested Ivo Karlovic 7-6 (7), 6-4, 5-7, 6-4

The other men’s quarterfinal pairings are: Roger Federer vs. No. 12 Gilles Simon, Andy Murray vs. Vasek Pospisil, and Stan Wawrinka vs. No. 21 Richard Gasquet.

 


Ladies’ Singles – Fourth Round

(1) Serena Williams (USA) d. (16) Venus Williams (USA) 64 63
(4) Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. Zarina Diyas (KAZ) 64 64
(20) Garbine Muguruza (ESP) d. (5) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) 64 64
CoCo Vandeweghe (USA) d. (6) Lucie Safarova (CZE) 76(1) 76(4)
(13) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) d. (28) Jelena Jankovic (SRB) 75 64
(15) Timea Bacsinszky (SUI) d. Monica Niculescu (ROU) 16 75 62
(21) Madison Keys (USA) d. (Q) Olga Govortsova (BLR) 36 64 61
(23) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. (30) Belinda Bencic (SUI) 63 62

Gentlemen’s Singles – Fourth Round

[2] Roger Federer (SUI) d. [20] Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) 62 62 63
[3] Andy Murray (GBR) d. [23] Ivo Karlovic (CRO) 76(7) 64 57 64
[4] Stan Wawrinka (SUI) d. [16] David Goffin (BEL) 76(3) 76(7) 64
[12] Gilles Simon (FRA) d. [6] Tomas Berdych (CZE) 63 63 62
[9] Marin Cilic (CRO) d. Denis Kudla (USA) 64 46 63 75
[21] Richard Gasquet (FRA) d. [26] Nick Kyrgios (AUS) 75 61 67(7) 76(6)
Vasek Pospisil (CAN) d. [22] Viktor Troicki (SRB) 46 67(4) 64 63 63

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Jelena Jankovic Upsets Defending Champion Petra Kvitova at Wimbledon

Jelena Jankovic

Jelena Jankovic

 

(July 4, 2015) Former No. 1, 28th seed Jelena Jankovic pulled off the biggest upset of the Wimbledon fortnight on the Ladies’ side when she defeated No. 2 and defending champion Petra Kvitova 3-6, 7-5, 6-4.

The Czech looked to be confidently cruising past the Serbian, with a 6-3, 4-2 lead, but Jankovic turned the match around from that point onward.

“Playing on grass is very difficult for me. It does not come natural,” Jankovic said. “I just tried to stay one point at a time, just hang in there, stay positive and fight, and I made it. But playing on Centre Court against the defending champion was just unbelievable. I’m really really happy to win this match!”

“I’m overwhelmed. I’m so excited. My heart is still pumping,” Jankovic said after the match.

“It didn’t matter how badly I was playing or what was happening out there, I really just tried to stay one point at a time and fight, and when I won that second set I knew I just had to keep going out there.

“When I won, I couldn’t believe what just happened. I lost to Petra the last time we played in Rome, and I know she plays amazing here. But that’s what this sport is all about. It’s such a great excitement for me – I’m so glad I was able to win and this gives me a lot of confidence the rest of the tournament.”

For Kvitova who also won Wimbledon in 2011, this was her earliest exit from the All-England Club since 2009.

“I’m not really sure what happened out there,” Kvitova said in press. “Suddenly I felt like she’s coming back, playing a little bit aggressive.

“Suddenly from my side, I didn’t have answer for it. My serve didn’t help me at all this time, as well. I was really struggling with each shot which I played.”

“But I don’t think that I lost today because I was defending champion from last year,” Kvitova said.  “I don’t think is really the thing why.

“I think that she really played a good match.  Looked a little bit on the other side when I played Venus last year, when I was the worst player in the first two sets, then I won.  This time just turn the other side for her.”

“Here I am in the fourth round, in the second week of Wimbledon,” Jankovic said.  “I just beat a defending champion.  I mean, it’s unbelievable.  You know, I don’t think I can ask for more.  I hope to keep going.”

“I think I always believe in myself, no matter what.  Like I said, if I’m healthy, if I can put that work in on a daily basis and work hard, improve.

“You know, to be honest, right now I’m not at the level I want to be at. First of all, physically I have to get a lot stronger a lot faster.  As I said before, getting injured, not being able to go to the gym, to spend some time on the practice court.  I will need some time to get to the form, to the level I want to be at, and where I can be. That’s what will satisfy my, you know, needs and wishes.

“So we’ll see.  I always think I can do it.  I’m not old. I’m still young at heart.  I look pretty good, so why not (laughter)?  I mean, give me a break, guys.  What’s old?”

“I’m very determined.  Like I said, I want to get, you know, to where I think I belong.  I’ve done it in the past.  I’ve been many years in the top 10, I’ve been No. 1 in the world, I’ve played against all these players.

“Like I said, just if I’m able to work hard and believe in myself, hopefully my time will come again.”

Other winners on the Ladies’ side included fifth seed Caroline Wozniacki over Camila Giorgi 6-2, 6-2, No. 20 Garbine Muguruza dismissed 2012 semifinalist Angelique Kerber 7-6 (12), 1-6, 6-2, No. 13 Agnieszka Radwanska, No. 15 Timea Bacsinszky, No. 21 Madison Keys, Olga Govortsova and Monica Niculescu also advanced.

Seven-time Wimbledon winner Roger Federer dropped a set to advance to the round of 16 beating hard-hitting Sam Groth 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-2.

Groth hit the second fastest serve in Wimbledon history – 147 mph.

No. 3 Andy Murray beat No. 25 Andreas Seppi of Italy 6-2, 6-2, 1-6, 6-1.  Seppi received a visit from a trainer to work on his lower right leg, and won the next six game. Murray also received a medical time out for a stiff right shoulder after trailing 1-0 in the fourth set, and then took next six game to win the match.

Dustin Brown, the qualifier who upset Rafael Nadal, lost his very next match to 22nd seed Viktor Troicki 6-4, 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-3.

“Obviously having the pleasure and being able to play on Centre Court and then to play a match like that (on Thursday), doesn’t make a difference if I lost today or not, no one will ever be able to take that away from me,” said Brown.

“I think I played well and I wouldn’t compare it to any other matches.  That’s what I said after winning against (Rendy) Lu, and Rafa (Nadal), it’s always a totally different match.  I’m happy with my tournament.  When I came to quallies, someone would have said sign here for beating Rafa, making second round and qualifying, I would have signed that paper.”

Completing a match held over from Friday at 10-10 in the fifth due to darkness, Marin Cilic bested John Isner 7-6 (4), 6-7 (6), 6-4, 6-7 (4), 12-10

Also Saturday, Wimbledon’s marathon man fell short this time. John Isner, the American who won the longest tennis match in history in 2010, lost 12-10 in the fifth set to U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic. The Croat beat Isner 7-6 (4), 6-7 (6), 6-4, 6-7 (4), 12-10 in a match that resumed Saturday at 10-10.

“Marathon man” Isner defeated Nicolas Mahut 70-68 in the fifth set at Wimbledon in 2010, the longest match in tennis history.

No. 12 seed Gilles Simon defeated French countryman No. 18 seed Gael Monfils in five sets, in a match which had to be moved from
Court 1  when darkness came early in the fourth set, and completed under the roof of Centre Court.

Other men moving in to the fourth round: Vasek Pospisil, No. 23 Ivo Karlovic and No. 20 Roberto Bautista Agut.


Ladies Singles – Third Round

(28) Jelena Jankovic (SRB) d. (2) Petra Kvitova (CZE) 36 75 64
(5) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) d. (31) Camila Giorgi (ITA) 62 62
(20) Garbine Muguruza (ESP) d. (10) Angelique Kerber (GER) 76(12) 16 62
(13) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) d. Casey Dellacqua (AUS)
(15) Timea Bacsinszky (SUI) d. (18) Sabine Lisicki (GER) 63 62
(21) Madison Keys (USA) d. Tatjana Maria (GER) 64 64
(Q) Olga Govortsova (BLR) d. Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK) 76(4) 63
Monica Niculescu (ROU) d. Krystina Pliskova (CZE) 63 75

Gentlemen’s Singles

Third Round – Third Round

[2] Roger Federer (SUI) d. Sam Groth (AUS) 64 64 67(5) 62
[3] Andy Murray (GBR) d. [25] Andreas Seppi (ITA) 62 62 16 61
[6] Tomas Berdych (CZE) d. Pablo Andujar (ESP) 46 60 63 76(3)
[9] Marin Cilic (CRO) d. [17] John Isner (USA) 76(4) 67(6) 64 67(4) 12-10
[12] Gilles Simon (FRA) vs. [18] Gael Monfils (FRA)
[23] Ivo Karlovic (CRO) d. [13] Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) 76(3) 46 76(2) 76(9)
[20] Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) d. Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO) 76(4) 61 60
[22] Viktor Troicki (SRB) d. Dustin Brown (GER) 64 76(3) 46 63
Vasek Pospisil (CAN) d. James Ward (GBR) 64 36 26 63 86

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Serena Williams Survives Heather Watson, Will Face Sister Venus in Wimbledon Fourth Round

(July 3, 2015) Serena Williams was just two points away from ending a bid for her fourth straight major title and the third leg of the Grand Slam. Britain’s No. 1 player and world No. 59, Heather Watson almost stood in the way of halting potential history on Friday at Wimbledon.

This was Williams’ 24th straight match-win at a major.

Williams recovered from two breaks down in the third set to stop Watson 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 to advance to the round of 16, where her sister Venus will be waiting.

The older Williams defeated Aleksandra Krunic 6-3, 6-2. This will be the 26th time the sisters have played each other – Serena leads Venus 14-11. “We’ve been facing each other a long time,” Venus said.

“I honestly didn’t think I was going to win,” said the 20-time major champion. “How I pulled through, I really don’t know.”

“She just did everything so well. I wasn’t able to keep up. You know, sometimes you just don’t have your day,” Serena said about her opponent, who served for the match at 5-4 in the third set. “I thought maybe today just wasn’t my day.”

“I was two points away from winning that match, so I’m pretty disappointed,” Watson said to media. “But, I mean, the atmosphere on that court was amazing. I think it really helped me and pushed me. I just wish I could have closed it out at the end.

“I wouldn’t call losing the greatest day of my career. It’s very positive that I put myself in this position. I mean, I could have been out first round in this tournament.  I was match points down. I gave myself the opportunity to play against the best player in the world.

“I also gave myself the opportunity to beat her. I didn’t take it this time. But I’m really glad I was in that situation because I can learn from it and do better next time.”

Serena told the BBC: “I’ve had some tough losses here, but that was probably my toughest match here, playing Heather in front of her home crowd. She played unbelievable. I think she should have won the match at this point. She was up two breaks, she really gave it her all.”

 

Ladies’ Singles – Third Round
(1) Serena Williams (USA) d. Heather Watson (GBR) 62 46 75
(4) Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. (29) Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU) 64 63
(6) Lucie Safarova (CZE) d. Sloane Stephens (USA) 36 63 61
Zarina Diyas (KAZ) d. (14) Andrea Petkovic (GER) 75 64
(16) Venus Williams (USA) d. Aleksandra Krunic (SRB)  63 62
CoCo Vandeweghe (USA) d. (22) Samantha Stosur (AUS) 62 60
(23) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) 64 64
(30) Belinda Bencic (SUI) d. (Q) Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) 75 75

 

Gentlemen’s Singles – Third Round
[1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) d. [27] Bernard Tomic (AUS) 63 63 63
[4] Stan Wawrinka (SUI) d. Fernando Verdasco (ESP) 64 63 64
[26] Nick Kyrgios (AUS) d. [7] Milos Raonic (CAN) 57 75 76(3) 63
[21] Richard Gasquet (FRA) d. [11] Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) 63 64 64
[14] Kevin Anderson (RSA) d. [24] Leonardo Mayer (ARG) 64 76(6) 63
[16] David Goffin (BEL) d. Marcos Baghdatis (CYP) 63 64 62

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Dustin Brown Upsets Rafael Nadal in Second Round of Wimbledon

(July 2, 2015) Germany’s Dustin Brown had never been on Wimbledon’s famed Centre Court until Thursday and made the most of his opportunity when he upset two-time Wimbledon champion and 10th seed Rafael Nadal 7-5, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 to reach the third round of Wimbledon.

“I’m playing the first time on Centre Court,” Brown said. “It was awkward actually, I thought I was going to freak out a little bit.”

The 102nd ranked Brown, who had to qualify to play at the All-England Club, played the match of his life at a major gave Wimbledon the biggest shock of the tournament so far. Brown who was born in Germany to a German mother and Jamaican father, used his serve-and volley game to defeat a seed at a major for the first time in his career. He won 71 points serve-and-volley points, 49 points and the net and hit 58 winners.

Brown is now 2-0 against Nadal. The German defeated Nadal at a grass-court event at Halle last year 6-4, 6-1.

“I knew what the plan was because I played against him in Halle before,” Brown said. “Obviously he’s a great tennis player. Knowing that the grass might be a little slower than in Halle, obviously doing it over best‑of‑five sets is a different situation than doing it only best‑of‑three.”

“Well, the point is whatever I do is to take him out of his comfort zone.  If I would stay in the back and rally with him left, right, that would not be a very good match for me.  I know that.  Obviously I try to play my game.”

This was the first time that Spaniard has ever lost to a qualifier at a major. This is the fourth straight year that the 14-time major winner has fallen to a player ranked 100 or lower in the early rounds of Wimbledon – 2012 to No. 100 Lukas Rosol in the second round, 2013 to No. 135 Steve Darcis and 2014 to No 144 Nick Kyrgios.

“I cannot describe relationship with grass,” Nadal said in his post-match news conference.  “You know, when you love one thing, and even last couple of years I didn’t have the best relationship possible with them, going to be in my heart and in my memories forever the 2008 final.  That was probably one of the most important moments of my career, and was here, no?

“You know, at the end of the day, today I lost.  Don’t forget I played five finals here.  I don’t know how many players did that.”

“With my game, it makes him not play his game at all,” Brown said after the match. “He gets two balls, or he doesn’t get any balls, and he doesn’t get in a rhythm.”

“Being on grass, being with him on the court and having won the last match, it made me feel more comfortable,” Brown added. “It was easy for me to play my game against someone like him, because I had nothing to lose.”

“Obviously today is a bad moment for me,” Nadal said in press. “I need to accept. This kind of things, they happen. … It’s a sad moment for me, but life continues. My career too. I have to keep going, working more than ever.”

“Losing in Roland Garros, going straight to Stuttgart and Queen’s, then came here very early to prepare the tournament,” Nadal said.  “So I lost.  Sad today for that, obviously.

“But end of the day, that’s sport.  Good moments, bad moments.  Obviously today is a bad moment for me.  Just I need to accept these kind of things that can happen.  I did all my career.

“Keep going.  You know, it’s not the end.  Is a sad moment for me, as I said before.  But life continues.  My career, too.  I have to keep going and working more than ever to try to change that dynamic.”

“On this surface, when I go out there, obviously I’m confident that I can play my game,” Brown explained.  “But then I said, again, I lost the match against (Jerzy) Janowicz who started serving too good. I lost against Kei (Nishikori).  Obviously I am not unbeatable on this surface, but it comes more natural playing on this, especially with my type of game.

“Yeah, what other players think, no one has said anything to me obviously, but I know that I can play really well on this.  I’m looking forward to the next match.”

The 30-year-old Brown will play Viktor Troicki, the No. 22 seed next for a place in the fourth round.

 

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Federer, Murray and Kvitova Have Easy Wins to Move into Third Round at Wimbledon

 

(July 2, 2015) Roger Federer won his 75th match at Wimbledon while Andy Murray also won in straight sets to advance to the third round of Wimbledon on Thursday.

Roger Federer going for an eighth title at the All-England Club, defeated American Sam Querrey 6-4, 6-2, 6-2. The Swiss is second behind Jimmy Connors (84) for most wins at Wimbledon in the Open Era.

The highlight of the match came when Federer hit a “tweener” lob over Querrey’s head leading 4-2 in the second set.

“It’s rare that it happens, so when you get them you’ve got to pull it off,” Federer said.

“It all happens very quickly.  I can’t put it on super slow and go, All right, what’s best?  ‘Cause I guess so many things shoot through your mind like, Well, what’s the score?  Is it 30‑Love?  Is it Love‑30?  Love‑30, I wouldn’t have hit a shot like that, no chance.  I probably would have adjusted, changed my grip and tried to hit a normal forehand or gone around and hit a normal backhand.

 

“What the situation was, I had the grip in hand.  It was an open grip, you know, one for a slice I would think, or one you scoop it.  But then I was like I feel better almost shuffling my feet and giving myself, with the right grip, without changing that anymore, to hitting a lob.

 

“Easiest way for me was somehow through the legs rather than coming to a complete standstill and then hitting a lob, which he would have seen where it was going to go.  Through the legs, you’re not sure if it’s going to come short or high.  I got lucky.  I hit it perfect.

 

“Yeah, I felt like there was a chance, legitimate chance, to win the point.  And it was fun.  It just happened to be the right thing.  I picked the right side.  Like I said, I got lucky also to be there.”

 

Third seed Murray is making a bid for his second Wimbledon title made easy work of Robin Haase 6-1, 6-1, 6-4,.

 

Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cornwall was given one of Murray’s wristbands at the end of the by Richard Lewis, the chief executive officer of The Championships who caught the wrists bands.

 

“I heard that she was coming today,” Murray said.  “I saw her briefly after the match.

 

“But the wristband actually hit the chairman of Wimbledon.  He was there with her.  Normally you see who catches it.  Then the Duchess opened up her bag and my wristband was in there, so he obviously had given it to her.”

 

Another former champion had an easy day on Thursday and that was defending champion Petra Kvitova. She dismantled Kurumi Nara of Japan 6-2, 6-0. The world No. 2 has dropped only three games in the tournament.

 

“It wasn’t really easy,” Kvitova said.  “I mean, of course, the score look very easy.  But few games which we play was really close.

 

“I’m just glad that I won.  That’s important, you know, counting is the last point.  I still have a lot of space where I can improve for the next match. That’s a good sign, as well.

 

“Of course, the next match will be tough again, and tougher and tougher, if I’m going to stay in the tournament.  I have to be prepared for everything.”

 

There were upsets on the Ladies’ side of the draw on day four of Wimbledon. Eighth seed Ekaterina Makarova lost to Magdalena Rybarikova, 6-2, 7-5, Svetlana Kuznetsova lost 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 to Kristyna Pliskova,  No.17 seed Elina Svitolina fell to Casey Dellacqua, 7-6(3), 6-3,  and No.25 seed Alizé Cornet was osted by Belarusian qualifier Olga Govortsova, 7-6(6), 2-6, 6-1.

Seeded winners on the day included: No.5 seed Caroline Wozniacki, No.10 seed Angelique Kerber, No.13 seed Agnieszka Radwanska, No.15 seed Timea Bacsinszky, No.18 seed Sabine Lisicki, No.20 seed Garbiñe Muguruza, No.21 seed Madison Keys, No.28 seed Jelena Jankovic and No.31 seed Camila Giorgi.

 


Ladies’ Singles – Second Round

(2) Petra Kvitova (CZE) d. Kurumi Nara (JPN) 62 60
(5) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) d. Denisa Allertova (CZE) 61 76(6)
Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK) d. (8) Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) 62 75
(10) Angelique Kerber (GER) d. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) 75 62
(13) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) d. Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) 60 62
(15) Timea Bacsinszky (SUI) d. Silvia Soler-Espinosa (ESP) 62 61
Casey Dellacqua (AUS) d. (17) Elina Svitolina (UKR) 76(3) 63
(18) Sabine Lisicki (GER) d. Christina McHale (USA) 26 75 61
(20) Garbine Muguruza (ESP) d. Mirjana Lucic-Baroni (CRO) 63 46 62
(21) Madison Keys (USA) d. Elizaveta Kulichkova (RUS) 64 64
(Q) Olga Govortsova (BLR) d. (25) Alize Cornet (FRA) 76(6) 26 61
Krystina Pliskova (CZE) d. (26) Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) 36 63 64
(28) Jelena Jankovic (SRB) d. Evgeniya Rodina (RUS) 67(4) 61 63
(31) Camila Giorgi (ITA) d. Lara Arruabarrena (ESP) 60 76(5)
Monica Niculescu (ROU) d. Jana Cepelova (SVK) 63 63
Tatjana Maria (GER) d (Q) Ying-Ying Duan (CHN) 16 62 108

Gentlemen’s Singles – Second Round

[2] Roger Federer (SUI) d. Sam Querrey (USA) 64 62 62
[3] Andy Murray (GBR) d. Robin Haase (NED) 61 61 64
[6] Tomas Berdych (CZE) d. Nicolas Mahut (FRA) 61 64 64
Dustin Brown (GER) d. [10] Rafael Nadal (ESP) 75 36 64 64
[12] Gilles Simon (FRA) d. Blaz Kavcic (SLO) 61 61 67(5) 61
[13] Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) d. Albert Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) 63 64 64
Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO) d. [15] Feliciano Lopez (ESP) 75 36 63 26 64
[18] Gael Monfils (FRA) d. Adrian Mannarino (FRA) 76(5) 63 75
[20] Roberto Bautista-Agut (ESP) d. Benoit Paire (FRA) 26 46 63 63 63
[22] Viktor Troicki (SRB) d. Aljaz Bedene (GBR) 64 36 62 64
[23] Ivo Karlovic (CRO) d. Alexandr Dolgopolov (UKR) 57 63 64 67(4) 13-11
[25] Andreas Seppi (ITA) d. Borna Coric (CRO) 46 64 67(3) 61 61
Vasek Pospisil (CAN) d. [30] Fabio Fognini (ITA) 63 64 16 63
James Ward (GBR) d. Jiri Vesely (CZE) 62 76(4) 36 63
Pablo Andujar (ESP) d. Lukas Rosol (CZE) 64 16 46 76(4) 64
Sam Groth (AUS) d. James Duckworth (AUS) 75 64 76(6)

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