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Wednesday Preview: Fashionable Federer Focused On Ninth Wimbledon Title

  • Posted: Jul 03, 2018

Wednesday Preview: Fashionable Federer Focused On Ninth Wimbledon Title

Cilic, Raonic, Anderson also headline day three action

The fashion news out of the way, the focus will surely be all on tennis on Wednesday when Roger Federer faces Lukas Lacko of Slovakia for a place in the third round at Wimbledon (second on Centre Court). Federer surprised fans and industry observers on day one when he walked onto Centre Court with no Nike swoosh in sight, instead wearing the all-white clothes from Uniqlo, his new clothing sponsor.

I was excited to wear Uniqlo today. I must tell you, it’s been a long time coming. I felt very good out there. It’s also crucial to play well, so it was helpful,” Federer said.

The Swiss star had been with Nike for 20 years, as long as he’s played at Wimbledon. The 36-year-old became the first man in the Open Era to make 20 consecutive Wimbledon appearances. Federer also evened Jimmy Connors’ Open Era record for most total appearances at the All England Club.

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Lukas Lacko, who made his second ATP World Tour final last week in Eastbourne (l. to M. Zverev), took advantage of a nice draw to start The Championships, beating French qualifier Benjamin Bonzi in four sets. He’ll face bigger odds against Federer: The Swiss has lost in the Wimbledon second round only once, in 2013 to Ukraine’s Sergiy Stakhovsky.

Marin Cilic, the man Federer beat in last year’s final, will look to win his seventh match in a row against Argentine Guido Pella (third on No. 1 Court). Cilic beat Novak Djokovic in the Fever-Tree Championships final last month to capture his 18th tour-level title and second on grass.

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Canada’s Milos Raonic, 2016 Wimbledon finalist, struck 18 aces in his first-round win against Brit Liam Broady. The 13th seed will hope for a repeat effort against Aussie John Millman, who’s trying to reach the third round of a Grand Slam for the fourth time and second at Wimbledon (2016, l. to Murray).

Eighth seed Kevin Anderson, three times a Round of 16 finisher at SW19, meets Italy’s Andreas Seppi, and Stakhovsky will have another chance at a Wimbledon upset when he meets 11th seed Sam Querrey, a semi-finalist last year.

In a battle of #NextGenATP old and new, American Jared Donaldson will meet 31st seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece. Donaldson competed at the 2017 Next Gen ATP Finals, but he was born before 1997, making him ineligible for this year’s Next Gen ATP Finals, to be held 6-10 November in Milan.

Tsitsipas, however, is only 19 and is in good position to make his debut at the 21-and-under event. The Greek right-hander is currently in third place in the ATP Race To Milan, which will determine seven of the eight players who compete at the prestigious event. The eighth spot will be rewarded to the winner of an all-Italian qualifying tournament held just before the Next Gen ATP Finals.

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Kvitova & Sharapova in first-round exits – women's round-up

  • Posted: Jul 03, 2018
Wimbledon 2018 on the BBC
Venue: All England Club, Wimbledon Dates: 2-15 July
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button, Connected TVs and the BBC Sport website and app; Live Radio 5 live and 5 live sports extra commentary; Text commentary online.

Two-time champion Petra Kvitova and former winner Maria Sharapova both suffered surprise defeats in the first round of the women’s singles at Wimbledon.

Eighth seed Kvitova never looked comfortable against world number 50 Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus, who won 6-4 4-6 6-0.

Qualifier Vitalia Diatchenko came from a set and 5-2 down to defeat Sharapova.

The world number 132 battled back to win 6-7 (3-7) 7-6 (7-3) 6-4.

Sixth seed Caroline Garcia from France also went out after a 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 defeat by Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic.

But last year’s winner Garbine Muguruza made a solid start to the defence of her title with a 6-2 7-5 win over British wildcard Naomi Broady.

There was also an easy win for top seed Simona Halep, who beat Japan’s Kurumi Nara 6-2 6-3.

  • Konta reaches second round
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  • Zverev and Del Potro advance in men’s singles

Kvitova has now gone out before the quarter-finals in five of her six Grand Slam appearances since returning to action after the stabbing that left her with severe lacerations to her playing hand in 2016.

“I’m sad. I wanted to win very badly, maybe too much. The nerves were there again. I just tried to kind of fight with myself,” she said.

“I was the biggest opponent I could have. I didn’t really have a clear mind. I was thinking a little bit too much.

“Probably at Wimbledon it’s a little bit more than the other Grand Slams because obviously I know I can play well.

“But it is how it is. I think the worst pressure is in the first rounds, second rounds, and third rounds. After that it’s fine.”

Sharapova, back at SW19 after a two-year absence, served 10 double faults in her match against her fellow Russian, including the final point of the match.

As well as missing her chances in set two, the 2004 champion was twice a break up in the deciding set as Diatchenko needed treatment from the trainer on a back problem.

It was Sharapova’s first-ever defeat in the opening round of Wimbledon.

Good start for Muguruza

Spain’s Muguruza, the third seed this year, is bidding to make her third Wimbledon final after also reaching the decider in 2015.

Broady, the British number four ranked 138th in the world, looked nervous initially on her Centre Court debut.

She made more of a fight of it in the second set but Muguruza was too strong.

“I’m back. It’s always good, I’m thinking to win and actually enjoy this time more,” Muguruza told BBC Sport.

“I’m pretty happy with my serve and controlling the emotions. To be back in a Grand Slam is always difficult, so I’m excited with the way I’m playing.”

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Wimbledon 2018: Fourth seed Alexander Zverev and fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro advance

  • Posted: Jul 03, 2018
Wimbledon 2018 on the BBC
Venue: All England Club, Wimbledon Dates: 2-15 July
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button, Connected TVs and the BBC Sport website and app; Live Radio 5 live and 5 live sports extra commentary; Text commentary online.

Fourth seed Alexander Zverev and fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro both made it safely into the second round of the men’s singles at Wimbledon after straight-sets wins.

Germany’s Zverev defeated Australia’s world number 748 James Duckworth 7-5 6-2 6-0.

Del Potro, who reached the semi-finals in 2013, beat Zverev’s compatriot Peter Gojowczyk 6-3 6-4 6-3.

The Argentine will next face Spanish veteran Feliciano Lopez.

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Lopex, 36, celebrated moving past Roger Federer’s record of 65 consecutive Grand Slam appearances by beating Federico Delbonis 6-3 6-4 6-2.

The three-time Wimbledon quarter-finalist has not missed a Slam since making his debut at the 2002 French Open.

“It means a lot to me but as I said before, it’s not about reaching this number of the most consecutive Grand Slams played. It’s about being 15 years or more playing at the top level,” said Lopez.

“The most important thing is to stay healthy and to be able to compete against these monsters, because for me I played in the past against monsters.

“After I passed 30 it was so important for me to stay fresh and healthy, just to challenge these animals, because their level overall is getting higher and higher in the last decade.”

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Zverev has never been past the fourth round on his three previous visits but the 21-year-old has risen up the rankings and is tipped as a future Grand Slam winner.

Duckworth was playing only his fifth event of the year having featured in just one match in the whole of 2017 after undergoing foot surgery.

Zverev will next face either Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego or Taylor Fritz of the United States.

Del Potro, who won the US Open in 2009, had a brief wobble in the second set of his match but his opponent was unable to take advantage.

Also through is 15th seed Nick Kyrgios who sent down 42 aces in his 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-4) 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 win over Denis Istomin.

One of Kyrgios’s aces, which reached 135mph, hit a ball girl at the far end of the court, forcing her to leave the arena in tears for treatment.

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Del Potro Cruises Into Second Round At Wimbledon

  • Posted: Jul 03, 2018

Del Potro Cruises Into Second Round At Wimbledon

Argentine to face 2017 Queen’s Club champion Lopez in second round

Just seven different men have captured the Wimbledon title in the Open Era without competing at a grass-court event beforehand. Juan Martin del Potro, attempting to become No. 8 on that list, got off to a strong start on Tuesday.

The Argentine fifth seed faced few complications in dispatching tricky German Peter Gojowczyk 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 in one hour, 50 minutes to advance to the second round.

While the 29-year-old is playing his first event on the surface in 2018, he arrives at the third major of the year in good form, having advanced to the Roland Garros semi-finals for the first time since 2009. The World No. 4 will also still be carrying the confidence from capturing his maiden ATP World Tour Masters 1000 trophy at the BNP Paribas Open in March.

Del Potro, who has now won at least one match in each of his nine appearances in this tournament, hit 22 aces and broke three times without getting broken himself to defeat the World No. 39. He earns his 18th match win at Wimbledon, putting him just one behind David Nalbandian (19) for the most victories on the historic grass by an Argentine. Del Potro, now holding 85 Grand Slam wins, is also just one triumph behind Nalbandian for second in their country’s history.

A stiff test awaits in the second round, though. Del Potro next faces 2017 Fever-Tree Championships titlist Feliciano Lopez, who beat Argentine Federico Delbonis 6-3, 6-4, 6-2. By competing, the Spaniard breaks Roger Federer’s all-time record by playing in his 66th straight Grand Slam main draw. Lopez has not missed a major since the 2002 Australian Open.

“When I was about to break the record, I thought, ‘Wow, I’m going to beat Federer at something’, which is a lot already,” Lopez said with a laugh. “It”s only a number, and I’m really proud of my consistency. It’s not about the number of Grand Slams played. It’s about how many years I have been playing at the top level. This is the most important thing.”

Lopez and Federer have known one another since they played the Under-16 division of the Junior European Championships two decades ago. And the Swiss said after his own victory on Monday that he is happy for Lopez.

“It’s nice that more and more players are able to keep themselves in shape,” Federer said. “That we can talk about breaking each other’s records, him breaking mine, it’s a great thing. It’s a testament for both of us to keep ourselves in shape, loving the sport. I hope that many more players can achieve such a thing.”

Did You Know?
Del Potro has captured 22 tour-level titles, but none of them have come on grass. Michael Stich, Andre Agassi and Novak Djokovic are the only three men in the Open Era to have won their first grass court titles at Wimbledon, in 1991, 1992 and 2011, respectively.

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