Saturday, June 28, 2014

Wimbledon Day 5 highlights: Venus, Li ousted

2014 photo by Paul Bauman
   Match of the day -- In a battle of former champions, sixth-seeded Petra Kvitova outlasted No. 30 Venus Williams 5-7, 7-6 (2), 7-5 on Friday to reach the round of 16. Kvitova recorded her only break of the match in the final game, at love. There were only three break points among the 224 total points. Kvitova, a 24-year-old Czech, won Wimbledon in 2011 for her only Grand Slam title. Williams, 34, has won Wimbledon five times, but her last title at the All England Club came six years ago. She was diagnosed with Sjogren's syndrome, an energy-sapping autoimmune disease, in 2011.
   Biggest upset -- Barbora Zahlavova Strycova of the Czech Republic took out second-seeded Li Na 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5). Li, a three-time quarterfinalist at Wimbledon, fell in the first round of the French Open last month after winning the Australian Open in January for her second Grand Slam crown. 
   Biggest rout -- Fourth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska, the 2012 runner-up from Poland, dismantled qualifier Michelle Larcher de Brito of Portugal 6-2, 6-0 in 57 minutes. Larcher de Brito, 21, is the top-ranked player entered in the $50,000 FSP Gold River Women's Challenger, July 7-12 at the Gold River Racquet Club in the Sacramento area, at No. 102 in the world.
   Notable -- Top seed and 2011 champion Novak Djokovic defeated Gilles Simon of France 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 but hurt his left shoulder in a fall midway through the third set. Djokovic is right-handed. ... Sixth-seeded Tomas Berdych, the 2010 runner-up from the Czech Republic, lost to 26th-seeded Marin Cilic of Croatia 7-6 (5), 6-4, 7-6 (6). ... Third-seeded Andy Murray, who last year became the first British man to win Wimbledon in 77 years, coasted past No. 27 Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain 6-2, 6-3, 6-2.  
   U.S. report -- With losses by Williams and 5-foot-2 (1.57-meter) Lauren Davis, no American women remain in the bottom half of the draw. Three U.S. ladies -- top-seeded Serena Williams, Madison Keys and Alison Riske -- are left in the top half. They are scheduled to play their third-round matches today, as is No. 9 John Isner, the only American man remaining.
   Northern California connection -- Top seeds and defending champions Bob and Mike Bryan, former Stanford stars, topped Matthew Ebden and Samuel Groth of Australia 3-6, 7-6 (2), 6-2, 6-2 in the first round of men's doubles. Groth is credited with the fastest serve in history, 163 mph (263 kph) in the 2012 Busan (South Korea) Challenger. ... Seventh-seeded Raquel Kops-Jones of San Jose and Abigail Spears of San Diego advanced in the first round of women's doubles. ... Dmitry Tursunov, a Russian based in the Sacramento suburb of Granite Bay, and 5-foot (1.52-meter) Megan Moulton-Levy of Washington, D.C., fell in the opening round of mixed doubles.
   Statistic -- Qualifier Tereza Smitkova, a 19-year-old Czech ranked No. 175, had won just one match on the WTA tour entering Wimbledon. By reaching the round of 16, she is guaranteed almost $200,000, almost triple her career earnings of $75,562. 
   Quotes --ESPN analyst Pam Shriver of the Kvitova-Venus Williams clash: "That was the best-serving women's match I've seen since the 1980s or early '90s." ... Li, on skipping the Wimbledon tuneup tournaments: "I think I (made the) wrong decision. I need to play some matches before (Wimbledon)." ... Murray on his mother and first coach, Judy, watching older brother Jamie's doubles match instead of Andy's singles encounter: "It’s a shame that we were on the same time. None of my family came to watch me, so obviously I’m the No.2 son. My brother is the priority – he’s No.1 son. He’s always had the preference, which is why I’m so competitive since I’ve been a kid.”

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