Saturday, July 9, 2016

Former San Jose champs reach Wimbledon final

Milos Raonic, serving at Indian Wells in March, defeated
Roger Federer in five sets on Friday at Wimbledon and
became the first Canadian man to reach a Grand Slam
singles final. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Andy Murray and Milos Raonic, who will meet in the Wimbledon final on Sunday, are no strangers to Northern California tennis fans.
   Not only did they combine for five singles titles, including their first on the ATP World Tour, in the now-defunct SAP Open in San Jose, they never lost a match in the tournament. Raonic, in fact, never lost a set.
   Murray won the 2006 title at 18 and repeated in 2007, going 10-0. Raonic took the first of his three straight crowns at 20 in 2011 and finished 13-0 with two byes. The tournament ended a 125-year run after the 2013 edition.
   Raonic, seeded sixth at Wimbledon, eliminated seven-time champion Roger Federer, seeded third, 6-3, 6-7 (3), 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 on Friday.
   Federer, who will turn 35 on Aug. 8, came within a point of serving for the match in the fourth set, but the 6-foot-5 (1.96-meter) Raonic escaped the jam with a 139-mph (223.7-kph) service winner.
   Uncharacteristically, Federer double-faulted twice in a row in the last game of the fourth set and tripped on the grass in the middle of the fifth set. He might have reinjured his left knee, on which he had arthroscopic surgery for a torn meniscus in February, in the fall.
Andy Murray beat Tomas Berdych in straight
sets to reach his 11th Grand Slam singles final.
He has won two, including Wimbledon in 2013.
2015 photo by Paul Bauman
   Raonic, the first Canadian man to advance to a Grand Slam singles final, hammered 23 aces and saved eight of nine break points. His serve reached 144 mph (231.7 kph).
   Murray, seeded second, dismissed 2010 Wimbledon runner-up Tomas Berdych, seeded 10th, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 to reach his 11th Grand Slam singles final.
   Murray has won "only" two Slams, including Wimbledon in 2013 to become Great Britain's first men's champion in 77 years. But this will be the 29-year-old Scotman's first major final against someone besides Federer or Novak Djokovic.
   Murray is 6-3 against Raonic. Their only previous meeting on grass came only three weeks ago, when Murray won 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-3 in the Queen's Club final in London.
   Sunday's final will be televised live at 6 a.m. PDT by ESPN and on tape delay at noon by ABC.  
   Meanwhile, Raquel Atawo (formerly Kops-Jones) of San Jose fell to 0-3 in Grand Slam women's doubles semifinals. The 10th-seeded team of Atawo, a 33-year-old Fresno native and former NCAA doubles champion from Cal, and Abigail Spears of Colorado Springs, Colo., lost to fifth-seeded Timea Babos of Hungary and Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan 6-4, 6-2.  
   In the mixed doubles quarterfinals, Henri Kontinen of Finland and Heather Watson of Great Britain coasted past ex-Stanford star Scott Lipsky of Irvine, Calif., and Alla Kudryavtseva of Russia 6-3, 6-2.

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