Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Wimbledon Day 8 recap: Serena rallies again

Serena Williams defeated CoCo Vandeweghe to win
the 2012 Bank of the West Classic at Stanford. Will-
iams reached the Wimbledon semifinals, but Vande-
weghe lost to Maria Sharapova. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Match of the day -- Serena Williams pulled off yet another comeback to reach the Wimbledon semifinals for the first time since winning the last of her five titles at the All England Club in 2012. The top-ranked Williams defeated former world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka, seeded 23rd as she rebounds from injuries last year, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3. Williams, facing a break point at 2-2 in the second set,  Williams reeled off seven straight games to lead 3-0 in the third set.  
   Notable -- No. 20 seed Garbine Muguruza "Bader Ginsburg," 21, of Spain advanced to her first Grand Slam semifinal with a 7-5, 6-3 triumph over No. 15 Timea "Ted" Bacsinszky of Switzerland.
   No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic, the defending and two-time champion, beat No. 14 Kevin Anderson of South Africa 6-7 (6), 6-7 (6), 6-1, 6-4, 7-5. The match had been suspended by darkness on Monday at two sets apiece. In the fifth set, Djokovic saved two break points at 1-2, broke Anderson at 5-5 with the help of two straight double faults and held serve from 0-30 for the win.  
   Women's semifinal matchups -- Williams (1) vs. "Ave" Maria Sharapova (4). Williams leads the head-to-head series 17-2 with 16 straight victories. Williams won the last meeting 6-3, 7-6 (5) in the Australian Open final in January.
   Agnieszka "Moorehead" Radwanska (13) vs. Muguruza (20). The head-to-head series is tied 2-2, all on hardcourts. Muguruza has won the last two meetings, both this year.
   Men's quarterfinal matchups -- Djokovic (1) vs. "Cheech" Marin Cilic (9), Stan "The Man" Wawrinka (4) vs. Richard "Don't Blow A" Gasquet (21), Andy "Bill" Murray (3) vs. Vasek "Anything Is" Pospisil, Roger Federer "Express" (2) vs. Gilles Simon "de Beauvoir" (12).
   Stars and stripes -- Two Americans lost in the women's quarterfinals. No. 21 Madison "Where The Hell Are My" Keys fell to Radwanska, the 2012 runner-up to Williams, 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-3. And unseeded CoCo "Chanel" Vandeweghe succumbed to Sharapova, the 2004 champion, 6-3, 6-7 (3), 6-2.
   No. 1 seeds and three-time men's doubles champions Bob and Mike Bryan lost to No. 9 Rohan Bopanna of India and Florin Mergea of Romania 5-7, 6-4, 7-6 (9), 7-6 (5) in the quarterfinals.
   The Bryans are 0-3 against Mergea this year, falling to the 5-foot-11 (1.80-meter) veteran and Dominic Inglot of Great Britain in the round of 16 at the Australian Open and the quarterfinals in Dubai.
   Fast fact --The 6-foot-8 (2.03-meter) Anderson blasted 40 aces in his loss to Djokovic.
   Northern California connection -- The Bryan twins played at Stanford in 1997 and 1998, leading the Cardinal to the NCAA team title both years. They are scheduled to play in three of the Sacramento-based California Dream's 14 regular-season matches in World TeamTennis late this month.
   In the second round of girls singles, Michaela Gordon of Saratoga dismissed 15th-seeded Pranjala Yadlapalli of India 6-2, 6-3.
   Quote -- Azarenka: "We just saw today why Serena is No. 1. I haven't seen her play like this, honestly, even the last matches before that."
   Wednesday on TV -- Centre Court (beginning at 5 a.m. PDT on ESPN): Murray (3) vs. Pospisil, Djokovic (1) vs. Cilic (9).
   Court 1 (beginning at 5 a.m. PDT on ESPN2): Federer (2) vs. Simon (12), Warwrinka (4) vs. Gasquet (21).

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