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Wimbledon 2018: Jay Clarke and Cameron Norrie lose five-hour epic

  • Posted: Jul 06, 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.

Britain’s Jay Clarke and Cameron Norrie were knocked out of the men’s doubles first round at Wimbledon after a five-set thriller against Marcelo Arevalo and Hans Podlipnik-Castillo.

The pair were leading two sets to one before losing the dramatic fifth set which finished 22-20 on Court 14.

The British duo were handed a wildcard to compete in their first Grand Slam.

But fifth seed Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares beat Paolo Lorenzi and Albert Ramos-Vinolas in three sets.

  • Live scores, schedules and results
  • Why are so many seeds out already?

It was a comfortable victory for Britain’s Murray and his Brazilian partner – winning their match 7-5 6-2 6-1 in an hour and a half.

Murray is partnering Victoria Azarenka in the mixed doubles and their first-round match against Czechs Lucie Hradecka and Roman Jebavy was suspended a one set all because of bad light.

Teenager Clarke recovered from his earlier five-set loss to join Harriet Dart in a 4-6 6-1 6-4 mixed doubles victory over the Chinese-Swedish pair of Yang Zhaoxuan and Robert Lindstedt.

In the men’s doubles, Liverpudlian brothers Ken Skupski and Neal Skupski beat Nabeel Qureshi and Jean-Julien Rojer 6-4 6-4 7-6 (7-2) to reach the third round..

Compatriot Joe Salisbury is also through to round three with his Danish partner Frederik Nielsen after their opponents Rohan Bopanna and Edouard Roger-Vasselin retired two sets and 3-2 down in the third.

Dominic Inglot and Franko Skugor came through to win 6-3 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 2-6 6-2 in five sets against Santiago Gonzalez and Marcelo Demoliner.

Ken Skupski was back in action later in the day, alongside fellow Briton Anna Smith, to make it through to the mixed doubles second round with a 6-1 6-7 (3-7) 7-5 victory over Nicholas Monroe and Oksana Kalashnikova.

Heather Watson and her partner Tatjana Maria also ensured they had a place in the third round of the women’s doubles with a routine 6-3 6-1 win over Raquel Atawo and Anna-Lena Gronefeld.

But Luke Bambridge and Katie Boulter were knocked out of the mixed doubles event at the first stage, losing two tie-breaks against Andrei Vasilevski and Arina Rodionova.

And in an all-British affair, it was Neal Skupki and Naomi Broady who came through as winners in the mixed doubles first round with a two-set victory over Salisbury and Katy Dunne.

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Wimbledon 2018: Roger Federer and Serena Williams through, Venus Williams knocked out

  • Posted: Jul 06, 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.

There were more shock exits in the women’s singles draw on day five at Wimbledon.

But elsewhere Nick Kyrgios still grabbed the headlines, Roger Federer and Serena Williams continued to dominate on Centre Court and there was a three-day, five-hour, five-set thriller involving two Britons in the men’s doubles.

Here are five things from Wimbledon day five.

Federer sweeps aside Struff

Top seed Federer was flawless yet again.

Whatever Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff threw at him, he had an answer and it was in typically emphatic fashion that he made it through to round four with a 6-3 7-5 6-2 win on Centre Court.

The defending champion needed just one hour and 34 minutes to win – a much easier ride than his next opponent Adrian Mannarino, who had to come from behind in the fifth set to make it through to the last 16.

The Swiss has still not even dropped a set at Wimbledon this year – extending his winning streak to 29 in a row – and he looks full of energy.

  • Federer continues flawless tournament
  • How can Kyle Edmund beat Novak Djokovic?
  • Monfils beats Querrey – men’s round-up

Venus the latest star to fall

Five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams was the biggest casualty on another tough day for the seeded players.

Eight of the top 10 seeds in the women’s singles have now failed to make it through to the last 16.

“Some of it is players not having a plan B, or plan C,” former Australian Open semi-finalist Chanda Rubin told BBC Sport.

“You have to somehow find a way to win on those days when you are not at your best and some of the top players just haven’t been able to do that.”

  • Why are so many seeds out of Wimbledon?

Ninth seed Williams, 38, was beaten 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 8-6 by 26-year-old Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens.

Williams’ fellow American Madison Keys, 23, also exited after an erratic 7-5 5-7 6-4 loss to Russian qualifier Evgeniya Rodina who is ranked 120th in the world.

Romanian Mihaela Buzarnescu fought back the tears as she lost 3-6 7-6 (7-3) 6-1 to Czech seventh seed Karolina Pliskova.

Russian Ekaterina Makarova, Germany’s Julia Goerges and Donna Vekic of Croatia all progressed.

Serena improves again in third showing

While many around her are falling, Serena Williams is only growing in stature.

She came through her first proper test against France’s Kristina Mladenovic 7-5 7-6 (7-2) despite going a break down in the first set.

The 23-time Grand Slam champions still hasn’t dropped a set and with eight of the top 10 women’s seeds now out, the road is clearing rapidly towards an eighth Wimbledon title.

“Just getting to the round of 16 twice is not bad. Hopefully I can do a little bit better,” she said. “I don’t have anything to lose. I have absolutely nothing to prove.”

  • Serena Williams powers into round four

Britons come out on wrong side of 42-game final set

With only one home player left in action in the singles draws, attentions turned to the doubles, where eight Britons made it through.

Jay Clarke and Cameron Norrie did not but they were involved in an epic five-hour battle on court 14 against first-round opponents Marcelo Arevalo and Hans Podlipnik-Castillo.

The match began on Wednesday and was suspended with the Britons 3-2 up in the first set because of rain. It resumed on Thursday but bad light forced another stoppage with Clarke and Norrie two sets to one up and leading 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 7-5 4-3.

Arevalo and Podlipnik-Castillo bounced back to take the fourth set 6-4 on Friday. The players tussled back and forth in the fifth and final set, before Clarke and Norrie lost it 22-20 in front of a highly entertained crowd.

It was the first time the two Britons were playing together at a Grand Slam after they were handed a wildcard to compete in the men’s doubles – and it was certainly a match to remember.

  • Round-up of all the doubles action

Kyrgios at the centre of it all again

Kyrgios has already caused controversy at this year’s Wimbledon championships and he did so again on Friday without even lifting a racquet.

After getting caught up in two exchanges with umpire James Keothavong on Thursday, receiving a code violation for inappropriate language, the Australian 15th seed has now caused further sparks with his social media use.

He went on Instagram to respond to criticism from 2013 champion Marion Bartoli after she said he was “childish” and lacks “work ethic” on Radio 5 live on Thursday.

Kyrgios asked Bartoli to “stop assuming you know what’s best for others” in a lengthy post which he signed off with the words: “we don’t care what you have to say”.

He faces Japan’s Kei Nishikori in the third match on Court One on Saturday.

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McDonald Shows Poise To Reach 'Manic Monday'

  • Posted: Jul 06, 2018

McDonald Shows Poise To Reach ‘Manic Monday’

American joins compatriot Isner in fourth round

Mackenzie McDonald came into The Championships with three tour-level match wins. On Friday, he doubled that tally (6-9 overall in his career) by reaching the fourth round on his Wimbledon debut.

Watch: McDonald Making His Mark

The 23-year-old American held his nerve in an all-baseline encounter to knock out Guido Pella of Argentina 6-4, 6-4, 7-6(6) in just over two hours for a place in the second week at the All England Club.

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McDonald led 4/2 in the third set tie-break only to see Pella win three straight points. On his first match point, McDonald struck a forehand into the net but on his second opportunity Pella netted a backhand.

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McDonald began the year at No. 176 in the ATP Rankings and is now at No. 103, on the back of picking up the South Open Challenger crown (d. Thompson) in May and reaching the Libema Open quarter-finals (l. to Chardy) — on the ATP World Tour — last month.

You May Also Like: #NextGenATP Tsitsipas Makes Grand Slam History

Pella, 28, had been bidding to reach the fourth round of a major championship for the first time, just one day after knocking out third seed and last year’s runner-up Marin Cilic in five sets.

McDonald joins compatriot John Isner in the fourth round. Both will be making their first Round of 16 appearance at SW19. McDonald will next meet 2016 finalist Milos Raonic or Dennis Novak of Austria.

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Roig's Five Takeaways From Nadal's R2 Win

  • Posted: Jul 06, 2018

Roig’s Five Takeaways From Nadal’s R2 Win

Rafa’s coach breaks down his second-round victory over Kukushkin at Wimbledon

Francisco Roig, coach of World No.1 Rafael Nadal, will be breaking down Rafa’s performances at Wimbledon for Nadal hopes to lift the trophy for the third time.

On Thursday, Nadal defeated Mikhail Kukushkin 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 to set up a third-round showdown against 19-year-old #NextGenATP standout Alex de Minaur. Roig lists five key takeaways from Nadal’s win over Kukushkin, and what the 17-time Grand Slam champion will need to do if he’s to get past the Australian and reach the fourth round.

Getting The Job Done
Rafa did well. The slice backhand was clicking for him today, a lot better than on Tuesday against Dudi Sela. He was more able to impose his will on returns of serve, compared to the other day. All in all, it was a more complete performance versus that match. He handled key moments a lot better, but we already know that’s something he’s accustomed to doing when he finds his stride. Just think back to the match against Juan Martin del Potro at Roland Garros [d. Del Potro 6-4, 6-1, 6-2]; that’s one example that immediately comes to mind for me. It’s a characteristic of Rafa: start slow, find your groove, then roll.

Keeping Focus
Apart from playing at a very high level, Rafa is also really adept at keeping his focus throughout long periods of play. When things got tough, he didn’t stumble; instead, he kept on the attack. There wasn’t any letting up. For example, around 11 minutes into the match, he could have lost his composure but instead, he kept going for it. He made adjustments during the match and wasn’t getting any less aggressive with his backhand. When he saw an opening, he went for it.

Avoid Backpedaling
Rafa has to keep an attack-minded approach and maintain his aggression toward the net. He has to be on top of the ball at all times. I don’t want to see him being pushed backward; I want him forward. He’s getting used to grass play, so he knows what he has to do. There’s no room for hesitating here. He’s going for more, correcting things as he progresses and adjusts to the surface. But it’s a matter of improving a little every day.

Tapering Off
The other day, we practised for an hour-and-a-half. Friday, we’re going to reduce that to even less. The match against Kukushkin was taxing on Rafa’s body, honestly. Now, it’s more about just acclimating a little more to the surface, rather than practising hard. We’re already planning for future rounds, so we’re not just thinking about the next round; we’re looking toward what we’ll have to do in the later rounds. It’s a process, and we can’t be slow to act.

The Next Test: De Minaur
Rafa and [De Minaur] have never played [an ATP World Tour] match before and I don’t see De Minaur backing down. From what I can tell, he steps up to challenges. For what he lacks in experience, he makes up for in his dynamic and gutsy shot-making, and he can move around the court very well. From my perspective, we’re going to see some really good exchanges from the baseline, and that intrigues us as a team.

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Zverev fights back to beat Fritz after overnight suspension

  • Posted: Jul 06, 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 beat Taylor Fritz 6-4 5-7 6-7 6-1 6-2 in the second round of Wimbledon after a suspension in play overnight.

Play was halted because of bad light on Thursday with world number three Zverev two sets to one behind on Court One.

But the German bounced back in emphatic style to win the following two sets as Fritz struggled to regain his form.

The American, ranked 68th, held on early in the fifth but Zverev then broke away to reach round three.

The 21-year-old is yet to win a Grand Slam but picked up his fourth ATP title in New York in February.

“Unfortunately we are out in the football,” he told BBC Sport, referring to Germany being eliminated form the World Cup in Russia at the group stage.

“But hopefully I can win a few more matches here and the crowd can have something to cheer about.”

In the third round, South African eighth seed Kevin Anderson, who reached the 2017 US Open final, beat German fifth seed Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3 7-5 7-5.

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