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Read & Watch: Soares/Murray Progress; Herbert/Mahut Eliminated

  • Posted: Jul 07, 2018

Read & Watch: Soares/Murray Progress; Herbert/Mahut Eliminated

Roland Garros champions Herbert/Mahut beaten in four sets

Fifth seeds Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares booked their place in the second week at Wimbledon in comfortable fashion, defeating Matthew Ebden and Taylor Fritz 7-5, 6-3, 6-1 on Saturday.

Murray and Soares, the highest-seeded pairing left in the draw, advanced after one hour and 45 minutes, dropping just five points behind their first serves (39/44). The British-Brazilian duo did not face a break point throughout the second-round encounter and will next face Nature Valley International finalists Ken Skupski and Neal Skupski.

The British brothers, who reached the quarter-finals in 2017, booked their place in the third round on Friday, defeating No. 9 seeds Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi and Jean-Julien Rojer 6-4, 6-4, 7-6(2).

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Fourth seeds Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut did not join Murray and Soares in the second week, as MercedesCup titlists Philipp Petzschner and Tim Puetz defeated the Roland Garros champions 6-4, 6-7(3) 7-6(4), 6-3. The German duo saved all five break points they faced to advance after two hours and 51 minutes.

Petzschner and Puetz will meet Ben McLachlan and Jan-Lennard Struff for a place in the quarter-finals. McLachlan and Struff, who reached the Australian Open semi-finals in January, beat N. Sriram Balaji and Vishnu Vardhan 7-6(2), 6-7(3) 7-6(3), 6-3.

No. 13 seeds Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus also progressed, beating Marcelo Arevalo and Hans Podlipnik-Castillo 6-4, 6-3, 6-4. Klaasen and Venus fired 11 aces and saved the only break point their opponents created to move on after one hour and 40 minutes.

Klaasen and Venus will play Leonardo Mayer and Joao Sousa in the third round. Mayer and Sousa defeated Federico Delbonis and Miguel Angel Reyes-Varela 6-1, 7-6(1), 6-4. Delbonis and Reyes-Varela recovered from two sets down to defeat top seeds Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic in the first round.

Also through to the third round are Divij Sharan and Artem Sitak. Sharan and Sitak beat Julio Peralta and Horacio Zeballos 6-7(5), 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(5), 6-4 to set a third-round clash with Jonathan Erlich and Marcin Matkowski.

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World Cup winner at Wimbledon, and lobster as a secret weapon

  • Posted: Jul 07, 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.

The British interest in the singles at Wimbledon ended for another year with Kyle Edmund going out in the third round, but there was still so much to enjoy on day six at Wimbledon.

Rafael Nadal cruised into the fourth round and asked if football was coming home, while top seed Simona Halep was knocked out by a veteran player who’s been enjoying lobster and burgers at the All England Club.

And Centre Court invited a host of celebrities into the famous Royal Box.

Here are five things you might have missed from middle Saturday at the Championships.

‘England, it’s coming home or not?’

With England playing their World Cup quarter-final against Sweden at 15:00 BST, the spectators at Wimbledon were faced with the difficult decision of whether to stay on court to watch the tennis or leave to watch the football elsewhere.

It wasn’t shown in any public areas at the All England club – although Britain’s Liam Broady revealed on Twitter that it was being shown in the players’ lounge.

World number one Nadal finished his third-round match shortly after kick-off, knocking out Australian Alex de Minaur in straight sets, and said he was off to watch the football. He ended his post-match BBC interview by asking: “England, it’s coming home or not?”

Angelique Kerber and Naomi Osaka were up next on Centre Court and it was almost empty in the stands at the start, although the crowd did increase throughout the match.

At full-time, when England sealed their first World Cup semi-final appearance since 1990, there was a loud cheer around the grounds.

  • Nadal wins and will keep top ranking
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  • Zverev beaten in five sets
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Edmund bows out on Centre

One person who wasn’t allowed to watch the football was British number one Kyle Edmund.

His Swedish coach Fredrik Rosengren told BBC Radio 5 live it was his job to stop Edmund from cheering on the Three Lions before his match with Novak Djokovic because it can “take too much energy from him”.

Edmund arrived on Centre Court after England’s win and took the first set 6-4, prompting BBC pundit John McEnroe to say: “The energy in here is incredible right now, it’s a direct connection to the football.”

But, unfortunately for Edmund, the crowd could not carry him into the fourth round for the first time.

Three-time champion Djokovic recovered to take the match 4-6 6-3 6-2 6-4, meaning no Britons are left in the singles at SW19.

Trick shots, arguments and random acts of kindness

Juan Martin del Potro made history on Saturday by becoming the first Argentine to reach the fourth round at Wimbledon on four occasions.

And he did it in style, with a thoroughly entertaining win over Benoit Paire.

The pair exchanged trick shots and the Frenchman argued with the umpire, while Del Potro cemented his reputation as the gentle giant of the men’s game by climbing over the net to scoop up a struggling Paire after he fell over during a rally.

The 2009 US Open champion and fifth seed came through 6-4 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 and will meet Gilles Simon in the next round.

Lobster and burgers help Hsieh knock out Halep

Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei had never made it past the third round in the singles at Wimbledon – until now.

The 32-year-old world number 48 knocked out top seed and French Open champion Simona Halep in a thrilling match on Court One.

Hsieh, a former doubles champion, survived seven breaks of serve and a match point to come through 3-6 6-4 7-5, meaning seventh seed Karolina Pliskova is the only top 10 seed left in the women’s draw.

Hsieh was asked after her match what she had done differently this year, to which she replied: “I was trying to enjoy, not just tennis, but life, the food like the strawberries and cream, the burgers and lobster, all the shops.

“When you play singles and doubles, I need to find tiny time to run out to get all these foods.”

World Cup winner in the Royal Box

As is tradition on middle Saturday, there were a host of special guests in the Royal Box on Centre Court.

Sir Bobby Charlton, one of the heroes from England’s World Cup win in 1966, got a huge reception from the crowd and opted to miss some of the England match to focus on the tennis.

Olympians Adam Peaty, Nile Wilson and Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill were also in attendance, along with legendary BBC commentator Barry Davies, who is commentating on his final Wimbledon.

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Novak Djokovic beats Kyle Edmund to end British hopes at Wimbledon

  • Posted: Jul 07, 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.

British number one Kyle Edmund is out of Wimbledon after three-time champion Novak Djokovic fought back to win their third-round match.

Serbian Djokovic, seeded 12th, regained control after 23-year-old Edmund made an encouraging start, going on to win 4-6 6-3 6-2 6-4 on Centre Court.

The 21st seed’s exit means there are no British players left in the singles.

Former world number one Djokovic, 31, will play Russian Karen Khachanov in the last 16 on Monday.

“I would have, looking back on it, liked to have been a little bit more aggressive at stages,” Edmund said.

“But it’s easier said than done when you’re in rallies. Today was reasonably good.”

Edmund had only won one main-draw match at Wimbledon going into this year’s tournament, but carried the nation’s hopes in the men’s draw after Andy Murray pulled out on the eve of the tournament.

Two routine wins over qualifiers Alex Bolt and Bradley Klahn – players ranked outside the top 150 – raised hopes he could cause a shock against Djokovic.

The Yorkshireman earned his maiden win over Djokovic at the Madrid Open in May, victory which he said would give him belief when they met again in SW19.

However, that win was on the clay and over three sets – this match proved a different proposition as Djokovic showed he remains one of the biggest threats in the draw.

It is the first time since 2007 a British singles player has not made the second week at Wimbledon.

“I thought it was a high-quality tennis match,” said Djokovic.

“It was very, very, very intense. Just a couple points here and there.”

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Edmund unable to ride English wave

The match was scheduled third on Centre Court on Saturday in an attempt to avoid a direct clash with England’s World Cup quarter-final against Sweden.

And the players walked out on to Centre – which had a sparse crowd watching the preceding match between Angelique Kerber and Naomi Osaka – just moments after England wrapped up victory.

There were still a few empty seats as play started, but those who had returned created a buzz which they hoped could help Edmund make a fast start.

It did not materialise immediately as his serve came under pressure in the second game.

Edmund saved two break points after edging a baseline rally and a forehand volley, going on to seal what proved to be a significant hold.

With the energy of the crowd behind him, a pumped up Edmund picked up the pace and began to hurt Djokovic with ferocious forehands.

His trademark shot and biggest weapon enabled him to take the first break of the match at the fourth attempt for a 4-2 lead, going on to serve out the opener.

However, the buoyancy of the crowd – no doubt boosted by England’s victory in the football – started to fade as Djokovic fought back.

Djokovic switches on to silence crowd

Djokovic has dropped down the rankings after spending six months out with an elbow injury and struggling to regain his consistency in recent months.

The 12-time Grand Slam winner has lost the aura of invincibility that surrounded him at his peak, at times seemingly lacking the focus which enabled him to win the biggest prizes.

It was evident in the opening set, particularly when the Serb pumped an easy forehand long when he threatened to break straight back.

His body language – angrily shouting at the court and often looking discouraged – as the opening set moved towards a conclusion was also stark.

However, something switched for the Serb in the second set.

Djokovic missed two more break points in Edmund’s first service game, but continued to apply all the pressure.

Eventually it told when Edmund coughed up a damaging double fault on Djokovic’s fourth break point of the eighth game, leaving his opponent to serve out for the set.

Edmund had lost the intensity he started with, his unforced error count creeping up as Djokovic broke in the opening game of the third set and then again for a 5-2 lead which he closed out.

The fourth set was another hard-fought battle, Edmund saving four break points in a dramatic seventh game – where he got away with a double bounce before hitting a winner.

It did not prove pivotal as Djokovic went on to break in Edmund’s next service game, clinching the match with an ace to win in two hours and 53 minutes.

‘Guys were coughing and whistling at me’

Djokovic – who had blown kisses to the crowd after they cheered a time violation given to him and then booed him – roared with delight in a wild celebration after reaching the last 16

“It was a Davis Cup-like atmosphere. I expected them to support Kyle, obviously. But at times they were slightly unfair to me,” he said.

“I got time violation deservedly because I took more time. I thought the crowd’s reaction after that was quite unnecessary.

“A couple guys really, you know, pretending they were coughing and whistling while I was bouncing the ball more or less to the end of the match at that end where I received the time violation.

“That’s what I didn’t like.”


Tim Henman, former Wimbledon semi-finalist on BBC TV

I’m disappointed Edmund lost, but I’m disappointed he lost to Djokovic, so in context it shows how far his game has come. Now he’s a genuine contender in the Slams to get into the second week.

And the way he played at the end of the first set and beginning of the second, you felt this could be another opportunity for him to make another breakthrough.

From Djokovic’s point of view it is a very important victory. He’s been trending in the right direction. He’s fit, he’s healthy, his movement is exceptional.

There’s some challenges mentally, he still looks frustrated out there, so I think it was good for him to get through.

Pat Cash, 1987 Wimbledon champion on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

That was a very good performance from Edmund and I think it will give him a lot of confidence going forward.

Watching this match and the way Djokovic had to raise his standard to the level we know he can has given me the confidence to say Kyle will be in Grand Slam finals in the future and a top 10 player. That was a good performance. Djokovic really had to get to his best level to beat him.

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Wimbledon 2018: Simona Halep loses to Hsieh Su-wei in third round

  • Posted: Jul 07, 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.

Top seed Simona Halep went out of Wimbledon in the third round after losing an epic three-set battle against Hsieh Su-wei.

The Taiwanese world number 48’s serve was broken seven times and she saved a match point before winning 3-6 6-4 7-5 in two hours and 20 minutes.

It means Czech seventh seed Karolina Pliskova is the only top-10 player remaining in the women’s singles draw.

It is the first time Hsieh, 32, has reached the last 16 of the singles.

The 2013 doubles champion will now play Dominika Cibulkova after the Slovak beat 15th seed Elise Mertens of Belgium 6-2 6-2.

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How did Hsieh topple Halep?

It was a match of ups and downs from both Romanian Halep and Hsieh, who were dealing with intense heat on Court One.

It took five games to see the first hold of serve – which went to the world number one – and there were 13 breaks overall.

After losing the first set, Hsieh, who last played in the third round of Wimbledon in 2012, put Halep under pressure in the second and broke twice before serving to love to take it 6-4.

With fatigue setting in, Hsieh found herself 5-2 down in the decider and it looked like Halep’s strength was going to see her through to the last 16 for the fourth time.

But the Taiwanese clawed her way back into it with a single break, and after fending off match point, she broke again and held her nerve to see out the match – much to the delight of the crowd.

“This is the first time I have beaten the world number one, it is amazing,” said Hsieh.

“She played amazing, I had to run and fight for every point. I tried to concentrate on my game and calm down a bit, that helped a lot.

“There was a lot of support from outside that pushed me and I kept fighting.”

Kerber and Ostapenko cruise into round four

Eleventh seed Angelique Kerber, now the second-highest ranked player in the women’s draw, looked unstoppable on Centre Court as she breezed past Japanese 18th seed Naomi Osaka 6-2 6-4.

German Kerber, the losing finalist in 2016, will now play Swiss 21-year-old Belinda Bencic, who won 6-1 7-6 (7-3) against 27th seed Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain.

Australian Ashleigh Barty, seeded 17th, went out in the third round against Russian Daria Kasatkina, who won 7-5 6-3.

Kasatkina will face Alison van Uytvanck in the last 16 after the Belgian beat Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit 6-2 6-3.

Former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko made short work of her third-round match, winning 6-0 6-4 against Vitalia Diatchenko of Russia.

Ostapenko will meet Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the last 16 after the Belarusian beat Australian Daria Gavrilova 6-3 6-1.

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Del Potro Breaks Argentine Records, Reaches Second Week

  • Posted: Jul 07, 2018

Del Potro Breaks Argentine Records, Reaches Second Week

Fifth seed to face Simon in fourth round

Juan Martin del Potro entered the Wimbledon history books in 2013 when he contested the longest semi-final in tournament history, a four-hour, 43-minute battle against Novak Djokovic.

The Argentine set a few more records on the hallowed turf of SW19 with a 6-4, 7-6(4), 6-3 victory over Frenchman Benoit Paire on Saturday.

The fifth seed reached the Round of 16 for the fourth time after two hours and 24 minutes, breaking a tie with David Nalbandian for most fourth-round appearances by an Argentine. Del Potro also overtook Nalbandian, in two further national categories, moving ahead of the 2002 finalist into second place for most Grand Slam match wins (87) while also breaking the record for most Wimbledon match victories (20).

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The 2013 semi-finalist fired 32 winners and converted five of 12 break points en route to victory, denying Paire a second consecutive appearance in the Round of 16 at The All England Club. In 2017, the Frenchman reached the fourth round for the first time, losing in straight sets to two-time champion Andy Murray.

Del Potro will meet 2015 quarter-finalist Gilles Simon for a place in the quarter-finals. Simon defeated Libema Open semi-finalist Matthew Ebden, for the first time in in three FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings, 6-1, 6-7(3), 6-3, 7-6(2).

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The Frenchman hit 42 winners and saved seven of eight break points to advance after two hours and 50 minutes. Del Potro leads Simon 4-3 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series, which includes wins in each of their three previous encounters on grass.

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Did You Know?
Juan Martin del Potro is yet to lose a set at Wimbledon this year. The No. 5 seed also won his opening two matches in straight sets, beating Peter Gojowczyk of Germany and 2017 Fever-Tree Championships titlist Feliciano Lopez.

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