Thursday, July 9, 2015

Wimbledon Day 10: Serena, Muguruza gain final

Garbine Muguruza reached her first Grand Slam final.
2014 photo by Paul Bauman
   Women's semifinals -- Serena Williams continued her dominance over Maria Sharapova in a matchup of former Wimbledon champions, and Garbine Muguruza reached her first Grand Slam final.
   The top-seeded Williams beat the fourth-seeded Sharapova for the 17th straight time and 18th in 20 matches overall, 6-2, 6-4. Williams, 33, has won Wimbledon five times (2002, 2003, 2009, 2010 and 2012) and Sharapova, 28, once (2004).
   Muguruza, seeded No. 20, stopped No. 13 Agnieszka Radwanska, the 2012 runner-up to Williams, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3. The 6-foot (1.82-meter) Muguruza, 21, was born in Venezuela but plays for Spain. Her mother is Venezuelan and her father Spanish. 
   Women's final matchup -- Williams leads the head-to-head series against Muguruza 2-1, all in Grand Slam tournaments.
   Williams won the last encounter 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the round of 16 at the Australian Open in January. Muguruza routed Williams 6-2, 6-2 in the second round of last year's French Open. They first met in the second round of the 2013 Australian Open, and Williams cruised 6-2 6-0.
   Notable -- Andy Murray isn't the only member of his family with a chance to win a Wimbledon title this year. His older brother, Jamie, advanced to the men's doubles final with John Peers of Australia. Seeded 13th, they beat unseeded Jonathan Erlich of Israel and Philipp Petzschner of Germany 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2. Petzschner won the 2010 title with Jurgen Melzer of Austria.
   Murray and Peers will meet fourth-seeded Jean-Julien Rojer of the Netherlands and Horia Tecau of Romania. They edged ninth-seeded Rohan Bopanna of India and Florin Mergea of Romania 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 4-6, 13-11 in 3 hours, 23 minutes. Bopanna and Mergea had ousted top seeds and three-time Wimbledon champions Bob and Mike Bryan in the quarterfinals. 
   Tecau, 30, is 0-3 in Wimbledon men's doubles finals, losing with Robert Lindstedt of Sweden from 2010 through 2012. The other players will appear in their first Grand Slam men's doubles final. 
   Men's semifinal matchups -- No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic leads No. 21 Richard Gasquet 11-1 in the head-to-head series with a nine-match winning streak. In their last encounter, Djokovic crushed Gasquet 6-1, 6-2, 6-3 in the round of 16 at the recent French Open. This will be their first meeting on grass.
   No. 2 Roger Federer leads No. 3 Murray 12-11 with a three-match winning streak. However, those three matches came last year, when Murray was bouncing back from "minor" back surgery and the hoopla surrounding his 2013 Wimbledon title, which ended a 77-year drought for British men.
   Federer and Murray have split their two grass-court matches, which came within one month in 2012 in finals on Wimbledon's Centre Court. Federer won 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 for the last of his record 17 Grand Slam singles titles. Murray won 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 for the Olympic gold medal.
   Stars and stripes -- A U.S. boy is guaranteed to play in the singles final, as top-seeded Taylor Fritz will meet unseeded Reilly Opelka, who's 6-foot-10 (2.08 meters), in one semifinal.
   No. 12 Mikael Ymer of Sweden will face unseeded Patrik Niklas-Salminen of Finland in the other semi. Niklas-Salminen nipped No. 7 Tommy Paul, who won the French Open last month, 6-4, 1-6, 6-4.
   The last remaining U.S. girls in singles, unseeded Tornado Alicia Black and Michaela Gordon, lost in the quarterfinals.
   Black, 17, fell to 12th-seeded Anna Blinkova of Russia 1-6, 6-3, 12-10 in 3 hours, 7 minutes. Gordon, 15, succumbed to Vera Lapko, 16, of Belarus 6-3, 7-6 (4) and lost in the second round of doubles with 15-year-old Claire Liu of Thousand Oaks in the Los Angeles area.  
   Fast facts -- Williams extended her Grand Slam winning streak to 27 matches and improved to 38-1 this year, losing only to Petra Kvitova on clay in the Madrid semifinals in May. Williams is 20-4 in Grand Slam singles finals.
   Muguruza became the first Spanish woman in 19 years to reach the Wimbledon final. Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario lost to Steffi Graf in 1996, the third straight year a Spanish woman had appeared in the final. Conchita Martinez upset 37-year-old Martina Navratilova in 1994, and Sanchez-Vicario also lost to Graf in 1995. 
   Northern California connection -- All of the women's semifinalists except Sharapova are scheduled to play in the Bank of the West Classic, Aug. 3-9 at Stanford.
   Williams and Muguruza will defend titles. Williams defeated Angelique Kerber for her third Bank of the West singles championship, and Muguruza teamed with countrywoman Carla Suarez Navarro for the doubles crown. Kerber and Suarez Navarro also are set to return.
   Radwanska was the 2013 runner-up at Stanford to Dominika Cibulkova.
   Gordon, meanwhile, is from Saratoga in the San Francisco Bay Area.
   Two members of the Sacramento-based California Dream of World TeamTennis, Mike Bryan and Anabel Medina Garrigues, reached the mixed doubles semifinals with different partners.
   Top-seeded Bryan and Bethanie Mattek-Sands will meet seventh-seeded Leander Paes and Martina Hingis. The teams won this year's French Open and Australian Open mixed crowns, respectively.
   Unseeded Medina Garrigues and Lindstedt will play fifth-seeded Alexander Peya of Austria and Timea Babos of Hungary.
   The Bryan twins are scheduled to play three of the Dream's 14 regular-season matches. Medina Garrigues is a full-time member of the team, which is set to open the season Sunday night at San Diego and play its home opener on Monday at 7:30 p.m. against Springfield (Mo.) at Sunrise Mall in Citrus Heights.   
   Quote -- Williams on Muguruza: "She's beaten me before, and she's improved too. It's not going to be an easy match."
   Friday on TV (beginning at 5 a.m. California time, ESPN): Djokovic (1) vs. Gasquet (21), Federer (2) vs. Murray (3).

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