Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Wimbledon Day 8 highlights: Sharapova, Nadal fall

ANGELIQUE KERBER
2014 photo by Paul Bauman
   Match of the day -- Ninth-seeded Angelique Kerber needed seven match points to subdue fifth-seeded Maria Sharapova 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-4 in 2 hours, 37 minutes and reach the quarterfinals. Sharapova, who's notorious for her mental toughness, won Wimbledon 10 years ago at 17 for her first Grand Slam title. Although she has not repeated at the All England Club, she has won four other majors and earned a career Grand Slam.
   Kerber, a Wimbledon semifinalist in 2012, will face 13th-seeded Eugenie Bouchard, 20, of Canada. Bouchard is the only woman to reach the semifinals at both previous Grand Slam tournaments this year.
   Third-seeded Simona Halep of Romania will meet No. 19 Sabine Lisicki of Germany in another quarterfinal. Lisicki, last year's runner-up to Marion Bartoli, took a medical timeout for a shoulder and neck problem early in the third set of her 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 victory over Yaroslava Shvedova. Halep reached her first Grand Slam final last month in the French Open.
Nick Kyrgios, 19, shocked top-ranked
Rafael Nadal. 2013 photo by Paul Bauman
   Biggest upset -- Top-ranked Rafael Nadal lost the first set for the fourth straight time in the tournament, but he couldn't recover against hard-hitting Nick Kyrgios (pronounced KEER-ee-ose). The 19-year-old wild card from Australia shocked the No. 2 seed and two-time champion 7-6 (5), 5-7, 7-6 (5), 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals.
   This was no fluke. If the 144th-ranked Kyrgios stays healthy, his combination of overwhelming power and supreme confidence eventually could take him to No. 1. He saved a Wimbledon record nine match points in the second round against 13th-seeded Richard Gasquet of France and played fearlessly against Nadal.
   Here's a link to my story on Kyrgios during the $100,000 Sacramento Challenger last October: http://norcaltennisczar.blogspot.com/2013/10/potential-star-kyrgios-upsets-klahn.html
   Men's quarterfinal matchups -- Novak Djokovic (1) vs. Marin Cilic (26), Andy Murray (3) vs. Grigor Dimitrov (11), Roger Federer (4) vs. Stan Wawrinka (5), Milos Raonic (8) vs. Kyrgios.
   Notable -- Sharapova and Nadal won the French Open last month. ...
   Czechs Petra Kvitova and Lucie Safarova advanced to a semifinal showdown. Kvitova, the sixth seed and 2011 champion, beat unseeded countrywoman Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 6-1, 7-5, and 23rd-seeded Safarova routed No. 22 Ekaterina Makarova of Russia 6-3, 6-1. ...
   In women's doubles, No. 8 seeds and five-time champions Serena and Venus Williams retired from their second-round match against Kristina Barrois of Germany and Stefanie Voegele of Switzerland at 0-3. Serena suffered from dizziness caused by a virus.
   U.S. report -- The only remaining American men or women are in doubles. Top-seeded Bob and Mike Bryan and unseeded Jack Sock of Tampa, Fla., and Vasek Pospisil of Canada reached the men's doubles quarterfinals, seventh-seeded Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears advanced to the round of 16 in women's doubles, and second-seeded Bob Bryan and Kveta Peschke (Czech Republic) moved into the round of 16 in mixed doubles.
   Northern California connection -- The 36-year-old Bryan twins, the defending and three-time men's doubles champions from Stanford, defeated 15th-seeded Juan Sebastian Cabal of Colombia and Marcin Matkowski of Poland 7-5, 6-3, 7-6 (5). ...
   In women's doubles, Kops-Jones of San Jose and Spears of San Diego topped Alize Cornet and Caroline Garcia of France 6-7 (8), 6-4, 6-2. ...
   In mixed doubles, top-seeded Mike Bryan and Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia lost to Chris Guccione of Australia and Oksana Kalashnikova of Georgia 2-6, 6-4, 6-3. Although Bob Bryan and Peschke advanced, 11th-seeded Cabal and Kops-Jones lost to Russians Mikhail Elgin and Anastasia Rodionova 6-2, 7-5. ...
   In the first round of girls singles, second-seeded CiCi Bellis, 15, of Atherton lost to wild card Maia Lumsden of Great Britain 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-4. Qualifier Michaela Gordon, 14, of Los Altos Hills eliminated No. 14 seed Sandra Samir, 16, of Egypt 6-1, 3-6, 6-0.
   Fast facts -- Kyrgios is the first player ranked outside the top 100 to defeat a world No. 1 at a Grand Slam since No. 193 Andrei Olhovskiy beat Jim Courier in the third round at Wimbledon in 1992. ...
   Kyrgios' 37 aces were the most ever against Nadal. The previous high was 35 by Ivo Karlovic in the quarterfinals at Queen's in 2008. Nadal won the match.
   Quote -- Kyrgios, on his victory over Nadal: "I'm going to draw so much confidence out of that, no matter where I play now. To have that under my belt, it's massive. I definitely had nothing to lose out there."

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