Thursday, July 4, 2019

Lucky loser stuns defending champ at Wimbledon

Lauren Davis, playing in Stockton (Calif.)
last October, ousted fifth seed and defend-
ing champion Angelique Kerber 2-6, 6-2,
6-1 today in the second round at Wimble-
don. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Lauren Davis is making the most of her second chance.
   Kristie Ahn, a Stanford graduate, upset fellow American Davis in the final round of Wimbledon qualifying last Thursday, but Davis also advanced to the main draw when some of the wild cards weren't used.
   Davis, one of the smallest players in professional tennis at 5-foot-2 (1.57 meters), shocked fifth seed and defending champion Angelique Kerber 2-6, 6-2, 6-1 today to reach the third round at Wimbledon, matching Davis' best result there.
   "(It's) definitely been incredible," Davis, 25, told reporters. "I was super disappointed having lost last round of qualies. I found out less than two hours later that I got into main. I was ecstatic about that. It's honestly a dream being here. I played qualies (at Roehampton) last year, so I wasn't able to come here. But, yeah, it feels amazing."
   Kerber, the champion of the 2015 Bank of the West Classic at Stanford, had 13 winners and 31 unforced errors.
   Davis, ranked No. 96 after reaching a career-high No. 26 in May 2017, is scheduled to play 30th seed and former top-10 player Carla Suarez Navarro, a 5-foot-4 (1.62-meter) Spaniard, on Saturday.
   Suarez Navarro, who won the Stanford doubles title in 2014 with compatriot Garbine Muguruza, defeated France's Pauline Parmentier 7-6 (2), 7-6 (4). Parmentier eliminated Maria Sharapova, who won her first Grand Slam title at 17 at Wimbledon in 2014.
   The only other women's seed to lose today was No. 25 Amanda Anisimova. The 17-year-old American, who won her first pro title in the 2017 Sacramento Challenger, fell to Magda Linette of Poland 6-4, 7-5.
   Eleventh-seeded Serena Williams, a part-time Silicon Valley resident seeking her eighth Wimbledon and record-tying 24th Grand Slam singles crown, outlasted Kaja Juvan, an 18-year-old Slovenian, 2-6, 6-2, 6-4.
   Advancing in straight sets were top-ranked Ashleigh Barty, two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova and ninth-seeded Sloane Stephens. Barty and Stephens, a 26-year-old Fresno product, needed less than an hour each.
   Meanwhile, six men's seeds lost.
   Kazakhstan's Mikhail Kukushkin, the runner-up to Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus in the 2014 Aptos (Calif.) Challenger, toppled ninth-seeded John Isner, who reached the Wimbledon semifinals last year for his best Grand Slam result to date, 6-4, 6-7 (3), 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 in 3 hours, 6 minutes.
   Isner, 6-foot-10 (2.08 meters), made his pro debut in a $15,000 Futures tournament in the Sacramento suburb of Shingle Springs in 2007 and won the title.
   Baghdatis, the runner-up to Roger Federer in the 2006 Australian Open who reached a career-high No. 8 later that year, retired from pro tennis at 34 after losing to Matteo Berrettini of Italy 6-1, 7-6 (4), 6-3.
   Joao Sousa of Portugal eliminated 13th-seeded Marin Cilic, the 2014 U.S. Open champion and 2017 Wimbledon runner-up, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.
   Great Britain's Daniel Evans, the Aptos champion in 2016 and runner-up in 2013, beat 18th-seeded Nicoloz Basilashvili of Georgia 6-3, 6-2, 7-6 (2).
   American Tennys Sandgren outlasted 20th-seeded Gilles Simon 6-2, 6-3, 4-6, 3-6, 8-6 in 3 hours, 48 minutes after losing to the Frenchman 7-5, 6-1 last week in the first round at Eastbourne. Sandgren reached the singles final in the 2017 Tiburon (Calif.) Challenger, losing to Cameron Norrie of Great Britain, and won the doubles title in the 2012 Sacramento Challenger with former University of Tennessee teammate Rhyne Williams.
   Two other former Aptos champions upset seeds. Steve Johnson (2012) of Redondo Beach in the Los Angeles area knocked off 25th-seeded Alex De Minaur of Australia 3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 in 3 hours, 21 minutes. Also, John Millman (2015) of Australia dismissed 31st-seeded Laslo Djere of Serbia 6-3, 6-2, 6-1.
   Sam Querrey, a 31-year-old San Francisco native, routed Andrey Rublev, a 21-year-old Russian, 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 in 1 hour, 36 minutes.
   Third-seeded Rafael Nadal, the Wimbledon champion in 2008 and 2010, subdued Nick Kyrgios 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (3) in 3 hours, 4 minutes to avenge losses to the mercurial Australian in the fourth round at Wimbledon in 2014, their first meeting, and second round at Acapulco in March, their last encounter. Nadal, 33, improved to 4-3 overall against Kyrgios, 24.
   Federer, the second seed and an eight-time Wimbledon champion, beat Jay Clarke, a 20-year-old British wild card, 6-1, 7-6 (3), 6-2.
   In the first round of doubles, seventh-seeded Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan topped Denys Molchanov of Ukraine and Igor Zelenay of Slovakia 7-6 (3), 6-4, 6-4. The 41-year-old Bryan twins (Stanford, 1997-98) seek their fourth Wimbledon title together and first since 2013. Mike Bryan also won last year's crown with Jack Sock while Bob Bryan was sidelined with a hip injury that required replacement surgery.
   Sixteenth-seeded Raquel Atawo, a Fresno native and former Cal star, and Lyudmyla Kichenok of Ukraine held off Mandy Minella of Luxembourg and Heather Watson of Great Britain 6-4, 1-6, 6-4.

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