Friday, July 2, 2021

Samsonova stymies Stephens for 10th straight win

Sloane Stephens fell to Russian wild card in three sets
today in the third round at Wimbledon. 2019 photo by
Mal Taam
   Wild card Liudmila Samsonova, a 22-year-old Russian, extended her winning streak to 10 matches today with a 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 victory over unseeded Sloane Stephens, a 28-year-old product of Fresno, Calif., in the third round at Wimbledon.
   Samsonova won her first WTA title as a qualifier in Berlin on grass two weeks ago. Ranked No. 65, she is playing in the Wimbledon main draw for the first time.
   Stephens, the 2017 U.S. Open champion, has not advanced past the third round at Wimbledon since reaching the quarterfinals in 2013.
   Also today, No. 21 seed Ons Jabeur of Tunisia eliminated No. 11 seed Garbiñe Muguruza of Spain 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 to become the first Arab woman to reach the round of 16 at Wimbledon. Since winning the 2017 title, Muguruza has not gone past the third round at the All England Club.
   Muguruza starred in the now-defunct Bank of the West Classic at Stanford, advancing to the semifinals in the last edition in 2017 and the quarterfinals in 2014. Muguruza also won the Stanford doubles crown with compatriot Carla Suarez Navarro in 2014.
   In the third round of the Wimbledon men's draw, No. 10 seed Denis Shapovalov of Canada dominated 34-year-old British wild card Andy Murray, the Wimbledon champion in 2013 and 2016, 6-4, 6-2, 6-2. Shapovalov lost in the opening round of the 2017 Fairfield, Calif., Challenger at 17. 
   Murray, who underwent right hip surgery in 2018 and 2019, played at Wimbledon for the first time in four years. He won the first of his 46 tour-level singles titles in San Jose in 2006 at 18 and repeated the following year. Murray also won the Challenger in Aptos, Calif., a 45-minute drive south of San Jose, in 2005 at 18.
   Halfway through the third round, the only remaining Wimbledon singles champions are No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic, No. 6 seed Roger Federer and No. 25 seed Angelique Kerber.
   In men's doubles, Andre Goransson (University of California, Berkeley, 2014-17) of Sweden and Casper Ruud of Norway upset No. 9 seeds Kevin Krawietz of Germany and Horia Tecau of Romania 6-4, 7-6 (4) in the second round. Goransson, 27, is playing in his first Grand Slam tournament.
   No. 6 seeds Rajeev Ram, a volunteer assistant coach at Cal from Carmel, Ind., and Joe Salisbury of Great Britain routed Laslo Djere of Serbia and Gianluca Mager of Italy 6-1, 6-2 in the first round.
   In the opening round of mixed doubles, Oliver Marach, a 40-year-old Austrian, and Lyudmyla Kichenok of Ukraine beat Santiago Gonzalez and Giuliana Olmos of Mexico 7-5, 7-5. 
   Kichenok reached the women's doubles final with her twin sister, Nadiia, in the inaugural (2018) Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic in San Jose. Olmos was born in Austria and grew up in Fremont in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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