Saturday, July 4, 2015

Wimbledon Day 5 recap: Serena survives thriller

Serena Williams twice came within two points
of losing to Heather Watson. 2014 photo
by Paul Bauman
   Match of the day -- The Queen of Comebacks did it again. Top-ranked Serena "Vanessa" Williams, who twice was two points from losing, held off No. 59 Heather "Elementary My Dear" Watson of Great Britain, 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 in the third round. Watson led 3-0 (two service breaks) in the third set and later served for the match at 5-4. Serena will play older sister Venus "And Mars" Williams on Monday in a matchup of five-time Wimbledon singles champions. It will be their first meeting in a major since Serena won the 2009 Wimbledon final. Serena leads the head-to-head series 14-11.
   Upset of the day -- No. 26 seed Nick "I'm Just" Kyrgios, 20, avenged a loss to Milos "Kunis" Raonic in last year's quarterfinals, beating the seventh-seeded Canadian 5-7, 7-5, 7-6 (3), 6-3. Raonic still hasn't recovered from surgery for a pinched nerve in his right foot on May 13, which caused him to miss the French Open.
   Notable -- The match between No. 9 "Cheech" Marin Cilic, the reigning U.S. Open champion, and No. 17 John "Wayne" Isner was suspended by darkness at 10-10 in the fifth set. Five years ago at Wimbledon, Isner topped Nicolas "I Don't Give A" Mahut 70-68 in the fifth set in the first round. Spread over three days, it's the longest match in tennis history. 
   Men's seeded winners -- No. 1 Novak "It's No" Djokovic, No. 4 Stan "The Man" Wawrinka, No. 14 Kevin Anderson "Cooper," No. 16 David "Gerry" Goffin, No. 21 Richard "Don't Blow A" Gasquet, No. 26 Kyrgios.
   Men's seeded losers -- No. 7 Raonic, No. 11 Grigor "Mortis" Dimitrov, No. 24 Leonardo "Da Vinci" Mayer, No. 27 Bernard "A." Tomic. 
   Women's seeded winners -- No. 1 Serena Williams, No. 4 Maria "Shriver" Sharapova, No. 6 "I Love" Lucie Safarova, No. 16 Venus Williams, No. 23 Victoria "Station" Azarenka, No. 30 Belinda "Johnny" Bencic.
   Women's seeded losers -- No. 14 Andrea Petkovic "Park," No. 22 Samantha "Stephens" Stosur, No. 29 Irina-Camelia "Ain't Too Proud To" Begu.
   Stars and stripes -- Unseeded CoCo "Chanel" Vandeweghe and wild card Denis "The Menace" Kudla reached the fourth round of a major for the first time. Vandeweghe, the 23-year-old niece of former NBA star Kiki Vandeweghe, whipped 22nd-seeded Stosur, the 2011 U.S. Open champion, 6-2, 6-0. Kudla, 22, outlasted Santiago Giraldo "Rivera" of Colombia 6-2, 6-7 (3), 2-6, 6-1, 6-3. See my 2012 story on Vandeweghe here and 2013 article on Kudla and U.S. men's tennis here.
   Fast fact -- Serena Williams, who's trying to win the first calendar-year Grand Slam since Steffi "Para" Graf in 1988, has won 24 consecutive matches in majors.
   Northern California connection -- Top-ranked Bob and Mike Bryan beat Steve Johnson and Sam Querrey 6-1, 5-7, 7-6 (3), 6-3 in the second round of men's doubles. The 37-year-old Bryan twins starred at Stanford in 1997 and 1998, and are scheduled to play part-time this month for the Sacramento-based California Dream of World TeamTennis.
   Three full-time members of the Dream played in the first round of mixed doubles. Jarmila Gajdosova and Anabel Medina Garrigues won, but Aisam Qureshi lost. Also falling was former Stanford standout Scott Lipsky. 
   Quote -- Serena Williams: "I honestly didn't think I was going to win. How I pulled through, I really don't know."
   Today's top matches (beginning at 5 a.m. PDT on ESPN) -- Centre Court: Roger Federer "Express" (2) vs. Sam "Adams" Groth, Petra "Fied Forest" Kvitova (2) vs. Jelena "Weird Al" Jankovic (28), Andy "Bill" Murray (3) vs. Andreas Seppi "Blatter" (25).
   Court 1: "Sweet" Caroline Wozniacki (5) vs. Camila Giorgi "Girl" (31), Cilic (9) vs. Isner (17), James "Montgomery" Ward vs. Vasek "Anything Is" Pospisil, Gilles "Paul" Simon (12) vs. Gael "Sayers" Monfils (18).

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