Thursday, July 5, 2018

Third seeds Muguruza, Cilic ousted at Wimbledon

Belgian Alison Van Uytvanck, playing in the 2016 Stock-
ton (Calif.) Challenger, shocked defending champion
Garbine Muguruza today in the second round at Wim-
bledon. Photo by Paul Bauman  
   Alison Van Uytvanck and Guido Pella, who stunned the third seeds today in the second round at Wimbledon, are no strangers to Northern California fans.
   Van Uytvanck, a 24-year-old Belgian who beat defending champion Garbine Muguruza 5-7, 6-2, 6-1, won the 2016 Stockton Challenger during her comeback from ankle surgery.
   After two rounds at Wimbledon, only No. 1 Simona Halep and No. 7 Karolina Pliskova remain among the top eight seeds.
   Van Uytvanck reached the quarterfinals of the 2015 French Open but was 0-4 in main-draw matches at Wimbledon until this year. She is scheduled to play No. 28 Anett Kontaveit of Estonia on Saturday for a berth in the round of 16.
   Pella, a 28-year-old left-hander from Argentina, topped 2017 runner-up Marin Cilic 3-6, 1-6, 6-4, 7-6 (3), 7-5 in the completion of a match suspended by rain in the third set on Wednesday. Pella was seeded first in the Aptos Challenger five years ago and reached the quarterfinals.
   Pella's victory is a huge break for Mackenzie McDonald, a 23-year-old product of Piedmont in the San Francisco Bay Area who won his first Challenger title in nearby Fairfield last October. They are scheduled to meet for the first time on Friday at about 7:30 a.m. PDT on Court 18 (ESPN) for a spot in the last 16.
   Not only does the 5-foot-10 (1.78-meter) McDonald avoid playing the 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) Cilic, who won the 2014 U.S. Open, he has a day to rest while Pella has little time to recover physically and mentally from the biggest victory of his career. On the other hand, McDonald must deal with a lefty.
   In the completion of another match suspended by rain, No. 9 seed John Isner saved two match points and blasted 64 aces in a 6-1, 6-4, 6-7 (6), 6-7 (3), 7-5 victory over Belgian left-hander Ruben Bemelmans, who won the $25,000 Burlingame (Calif.) Futures in 2016.
   Isner's ace total is the third-highest ever at Wimbledon. The 6-foot-10 (2.08-meter) American hammered 113 in his three-day victory over Nicolas Mahut, who had 103, in the first round in 2010. The match, which went to 70-68 in the fifth set, is the longest in tennis history.
   The 33-year-old Isner, who won his first title as a pro in the Sacramento area in 2007, has a good chance to reach the Wimbledon quarterfinals for the first time. He could face No. 13 seed Milos Raonic, who never lost a set in three appearances in the now-defunct SAP Open in San Jose in 2011-13, at that stage in an ace-fest.
   Taylor Fritz, who won the Sacramento and Fairfield Challengers in consecutive weeks in 2015 at age 17, leads fourth-seeded Alexander Zverev of Germany 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (0) in a match suspended by darkness. Play is scheduled to resume on Friday at 5 a.m. on Court 1.
   Advancing in straight sets were No. 2 seed Rafael Nadal, No. 5 Juan Martin Del Potro, No. 12 Novak Djokovic, No. 15 Nick Kyrgios, No. 19 Fabio Fognini and No. 21 Kyle Edmund.
   Djokovic, a three-time Wimbledon champion, hurt his knee in the third set of his 6-1, 6-2, 6-3 victory over Horacio Zeballos of Argentina but hopes to be ready to play Edmund on Saturday.
   Edmund, 23, of Great Britain defeated Bradley Klahn, a 27-year-old Stanford graduate rebounding from his second back operation, 6-4, 7-6 (0), 6-2 on Centre Court.
   Klahn won the first of his five Challenger titles in Aptos, a two-hour drive south of San Francisco on the Pacific Ocean, in 2013, and Edmund reached the semifinals there in 2015. This year's $100,000 Nordic Naturals Challenger in Aptos is scheduled for Aug. 6-12.
   American Frances Tiafoe, who won the 2016 Stockton Challenger at age 18, beat 36-year-old Julien Benneteau of France 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 with the help of 22 aces to reach the third round of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time.
   Muguruza was not the only women's seed to lose today. No. 22 Johanna Konta of Great Britain fell to Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia 6-3, 6-4 in a matchup of former Stanford champions.
   Since reaching the Wimbledon semifinals last year, Konta has lost in the first or second round of all four Grand Slam tournaments. She is entered in the inaugural Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic, July 30-Aug. 5 at San Jose State.
   Also losing today were U.S. teenagers Sofia Kenin and Claire Liu.
   Qualifier Vitalia Diatchenko of Russia defeated the 19-year-old Kenin 6-4, 6-1 after surprising 24th-seeded Maria Sharapova, who won her first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon in 2004 at age 17, in the first round.
   No. 11 seed Angelique Kerber topped Liu, an 18-year-old qualifier, 3-6, 6-2, 6-4.
   Kerber won Stanford in 2015 and reached three Grand Slam finals in 2016, winning the Australian Open and U.S. Open and losing to Serena Williams at Wimbledon.
   Liu last year became the first Wimbledon girls champion from the United States since Chanda Rubin in 1992.
   The 76th-ranked Kenin, who won Challengers in Sacramento in 2016 and Stockton last July, heads the acceptance list for the inaugural $60,000 Berkeley Tennis Club Challenge on July 17-22. Liu withdrew from the tournament.

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