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As the top 10 seeds depart, who are the Wimbledon women's quarter-finalists?

  • Posted: Jul 09, 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 top 10 seeds are all out and Serena Williams has been grabbing all the headlines, but who stands between her and an eighth Wimbledon singles title?

The highest-ranked player to reach Tuesday’s quarter-finals is 11th seed Angelique Kerber – who Williams was quick to point out is actually the world number 10. Kerber, Williams and Jelena Ostapenko are the only Grand Slam champions left.

This is the first time since seedings were introduced in 1927 that none of the top eight women has made it through to the quarter-finals here.

Here we look at who’s who in the last eight.

Angelique Kerber v Daria Kasatkina

Kerber, the 2016 Australian Open and US Open champion, says she is “not feeling the pressure” of being the top seed left.

The German former world number one has played Kasatkina six times, winning half of them, but has lost twice to the Russian this year – including in last month’s Eastbourne quarter-finals.

A left-hander, the 30-year-old – who reached the Wimbledon final in 2016 – is appearing in the last eight at the All England Club for a fourth time.

Kasatkina, 21, is into her first Wimbledon quarter-final but is much more relaxed than when she reached the same stage at Roland Garros this year.

“This is what I call experience,” she said. “You’re getting used to these things. It’s really good because I will go on the court with the feeling that it’s just the next match, it’s not like something huge. I will be not that stressed, for sure.”

Asked how she would describe herself to people who did not know much about her, Kasatkina replied: “I’m just like an artist and I’m playing with the heart.”

Jelena Ostapenko v Dominika Cibulkova

Cibulkova would have been seeded, had it not been for the decision by the All England Club to give a seeding to Williams despite her world ranking of 181.

The Slovak, 29, was vocal about how it was “not fair” and has been playing at this tournament as if fired up by a sense of injustice.

The 2014 Australian Open runner-up is in the opposite side of the draw to Williams, so could still get a chance to make her point across the net in the final.

Cibulkova, who knocked out Britain’s Johanna Konta in the second round, has yet to drop a set here.

She faces Ostapenko, who became Latvia’s first Grand Slam champion when she won the French Open in 2017 as an unseeded 20-year-old.

Her title defence ended in the first round this year but she says she is playing more freely because the pressure of defending a title has gone.

“I’m just not afraid to miss,” she said. “I think I’m serving very well this tournament. In general, I think my level is much better than in the last Grand Slam.”

Kiki Bertens v Julia Gorges

Twentieth seed Bertens and 13th seed Gorges will be appearing in their first Wimbledon quarter-final.

The pair are friends, and have played doubles together.

A French Open semi-finalist in 2016, Dutchwoman Bertens’ five WTA titles have come on clay and she says she is “surprised” to have made it this far at the grass-court Grand Slam.

On her way to the last eight she beat five-time champion Venus Williams and seventh seed Karolina Pliskova, the latter of whom was the only top-10 seed to reach the fourth round.

“It’s going to be tough. We know each other so well,” Bertens, 26, said. “It’s going to be really exciting.

German 29-year-old Gorges lost the Charleston final to Bertens 6-2 6-1 earlier this year.

Serena Williams v Camila Giorgi

Asked what she most liked about what she had seen of Williams over the years, world number 52 Camila Giorgi replied: “I don’t follow tennis.”

But even if you do not follow the sport, you probably know all about the 23-time Grand Slam champion, who is on a comeback from having a baby last September.

With the seeds tumbling at a rapid rate, Williams is many peoples’ favourite for the title and is yet to drop a set, though she is also yet to face a top-50 player.

Giorgi, who has one WTA title to her name, is appearing in her first Grand Slam quarter-final and is the first Italian to reach the last eight at Wimbledon since Francesca Schiavone in 2009.

She describes herself as an “aggressive” player, and is likely to need to be just that on Centre Court on Tuesday.

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Wimbledon 2018: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams, Angelique Kerber

  • Posted: Jul 09, 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.

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal remain on course to meet on Sunday, while Serena Williams serenely moved into the last eight.

Meanwhile, Federer suggested that Sunday’s likely clash between the finals of the men’s singles and the World Cup should worry football, not tennis – and Andy Murray announced he has a new job.

Here are five things from day seven at Wimbledon.

It’s been a while, Rafa

It’s been seven years since Nadal last featured in a final at Wimbledon.

The two-time champion made five finals between 2006 and 2011 – only missing out in 2009, when an injury kept him out of the competition.

Yet since 2011, Nadal has failed to go beyond the fourth round – until now.

The world number one looked impressive in overcoming Jiri Vesely 6-3 6-3 6-4. He remains a strong favourite – alongside rival Federer – to go all the way to Sunday’s final.

That could mean a repeat of the 2008 final – which many consider to be the greatest match of all time – when Nadal was victorious in a fixating battle with the Swiss top seed.

Federer at 32 and counting

Federer produced another near-faultless performance on Centre Court, outclassing France’s Adrian Mannarino 6-0 7-5 6-4 to reach the last eight.

He has won 32 sets in a row at Wimbledon – two short of his personal best streak, between 2005’s third round and the 2006 final.

According to Gracenote, he is five behind Nadal’s 37 sets in succession at the French Open – a sequence that ran from 2016 until the opening set of his quarter-final against Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman in June.

The men’s Grand Slam record is held by Bjorn Borg, who won 41 sets in a row at Roland Garros between 1979 and 1981.

Federer could match that record with straight-set victories in the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final. A big if, admittedly.

He will play South African eighth seed Kevin Anderson on Wednesday as he bids for a ninth Wimbledon singles title to draw level with record holder Martina Navratilova.

New faces break through in women’s singles

Seventh seed Karolina Pliskova’s defeat by Kiki Bertens means that for the first time in the Open era, there will not be a top 10 women’s seed in the last eight of a Grand Slam.

But who are the new and the newish faces?

Bertens, who ousted Pliskova and Venus Williams in the first round, reached the French Open semi-finals in 2016. A former world number 15, she talked about retiring last year, saying that tennis “just wasn’t fun” any more and that her main goal in 2018 was to feel good.

Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko is only 21 but is already a Grand Slam champion, having won the French Open last year, and she credits ballroom dancing for helping with her footwork.

Camila Giorgi, who has beaten eight top 10 players during her career, is into her first Slam quarter-final, while Dominika Cibulkova reached the Australian Open final in 2014.

German Julia Gorges dropped out of the top 100 four years ago but is now ranked 13th in the world. She has gone past the first round at Wimbledon for the first time since 2012.

Daria Kasatkina is one of the emerging talents of the WTA Tour. The Russian, 21, won her first title last year and reached the French Open quarter-finals last month.

Angelique Kerber is not exactly a new face. She won the Australian Open and US Open in 2016 – becoming the first German to win a Slam since Steffi Graf in 1999 – and reached the Wimbledon final that year. She is also a former world number one.

As for Serena Williams? Well, you might know a thing or two about her…

Wimbledon more important than the World Cup?

England’s footballers play in their first World Cup semi-final since 1990 when they face Croatia on Wednesday, and supporters will be at fever pitch if they win to reach their first final since 1966.

That match kicks off at 16:00 BST on Sunday and the men’s singles finalists will walk out on Centre Court two hours earlier. The chance of it being over by the time the football starts is fairly slim.

If England get there, then surely even the biggest tennis supporter would face a dilemma?

Well, not according to Federer.

“I’m more concerned the World Cup final will have issues because the Wimbledon final is going on,” said the Swiss.

“They’ll hear every point, Wow, Love-15, 15-30. The players are going to look up in the crowd and not understand what’s going on at Wimbledon.

“That’s how important Wimbledon is to me and to us over here. Maybe you should ask the questions over in Russia, how they’re going to feel about Wimbledon being played at the same time.”

All England Club chief executive Richard Lewis, meanwhile, says Wimbledon organisers will not alter the schedule to accommodate a potential England final appearance.

“We are a sold-out event and there’s massive interest. There are absolutely no plans to change anything,” he explained.

“We didn’t have one single complaint of anybody here feeling that the football interfered with their enjoyment of Wimbledon. We have free public wi-fi in many areas, so if people want to watch quietly on their phone or tablet, they are able to do so.”

Murray back at Wimbledon after all

Two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray was not fit enough to compete in this year’s championships but can’t get away from the SW19 buzz.

Murray will be joining BBC’s TV coverage of Wimbledon this week.

He’ll be putting his punditry to the test on Tuesday – joining Tim Henman in the studio – before showing John McEnroe how it’s done on the mic during commentary on Wednesday.

Murray added on Facebook: “What could possibly go wrong?”

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Confident Djokovic Hitting Top Form At Wimbledon

  • Posted: Jul 09, 2018

Confident Djokovic Hitting Top Form At Wimbledon

Serbian will face Nishikori in Wednesday’s quarter-finals

At the business end of The Championships, Novak Djokovic is growing in confidence at just the right time. The Serbian was quick to move up the court and struck 29 winners on Monday as he continued to dream of a fourth trophy at the All England Club.

The former World No. 1, winner in 2011 and 2014-15 at Wimbledon, has shown flashes of a return to peak form in recent weeks and on Monday he played with great discipline to overcome the power of Russia’s Karen Khachanov 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 for a place in the quarter-finals.

“I’m really happy with the way I played tonight. I managed to win in straight sets against a player in form. I was really pleased with my second and third set. Really, really pleased,” Djokovic said. “I made him play a lot. I served accurately, picking my spots, not really forcing the serve too much, trying to get easier first shots in the rally. Just overall, I felt good in these difficult conditions.”

Djokovic recorded his 248th match win at Grand Slam championship just as daylight faded on No. 1 Court and will now prepare to challenge Japanese No. 24 seed Kei Nishikori, who beat Latvian qualifier Ernests Gulbis. Djokovic leads Nishikori 13-2 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series, but the pair has not met on grass.

“I like my chances in the match against Nishikori. I played very well at Queen’s coming into Wimbledon. So far, four matches have been really, really good for me. I haven’t spent too much time on the court. I feel physically, mentally ready, fit, positive,” Djokovic said. “Now the matches are only going to get tougher. I’ve been in this position and situation before many times. I don’t want to look ahead too much. I’m just focusing on Nishikori for now.”

You May Also Like: Nishikori Survives Tough Test Against Gulbis

The No. 12 seed committed just 12 unforced errors against Khachanov, showcasing his great retrieval skills for his 22nd victory of the year in one hour and 46 minutes. Broken once at 4-2 in the first set, Djokovic bounced back immediately and tightened up his game in the pair’s first meeting.

Two weeks ago, 31-year-old Djokovic finished runner-up to Marin Cilic at the Fever-Tree Championships, which was his first ATP World Tour final since capturing the Nature Valley International crown in June 2017.

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Khachanov came out firing by putting Djokovic under immediate pressure, but it was the experienced Serbian who gained the first break in the second game. Although Khachanov recovered to 3-4, in a game of four errors for Djokovic, the 22-year-old was unable to dominate and paid the price in hitting three straight groundstroke errors at 4-5.

Djokovic won 12 of the first 15 points in the second set, building up his service fluency and taking control of the shorter points. At 2-5, 30/40, Khachanov slipped when playing a forehand and Djokovic struck a forehand into space. The former champion lost just four of his service points in the third set, breaking serve in the sixth and eighth games.

The 22-year-old Khachanov had been bidding to become the fifth Russian man to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals. He is now 23-14 on the season.

“Honestly, he was too good today. Too good,” Khachanov admitted. “He had an answer for everything I did. Okay, of course I could maybe do some things better, like serve, for example. But I don’t know, he was returning everything. I felt like the ball was always coming back.”

Did You Know?
Djokovic joins Jimmy Connors with 41 major championship quarter-final appearances, which is second only to Roger Federer with 53.

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Anderson Reaches First Wimbledon QF After Maiden Monfils Victory

  • Posted: Jul 09, 2018

Anderson Reaches First Wimbledon QF After Maiden Monfils Victory

Anderson to meet defending champion Federer in quarter-finals

After winning one set in five previous FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings, Kevin Anderson finally scored his first victory over Gael Monfils to reach his maiden Wimbledon quarter-final on Monday.  

Anderson landed 20 aces and won 43 net points to secure a 7-6(4), 7-6(2), 5-7, 7-6(4) victory. The 32-year-old becomes the first South African to reach the quarter-finals at SW19 since Wayne Ferreira in 1994. Anderson improves to 16-9 at Wimbledon, finally advancing beyond the Round of 16 on his fourth attempt at the All England Club after three hours and 29 minutes.

The No. 8 seed has now reached seven quarter-finals at tour-level this year, which includes lifting his fourth ATP World Tour title at the inaugural New York Open in February and runner-up finishes in Pune and Acapulco. Anderson will be aiming to advance to his second Grand Slam semi-final on Wednesday, after reaching his first Grand Slam championship match at the US Open last year (l. to Nadal).

Standing between Anderson and the final four will be defending champion Roger Federer. Federer defeated Adrian Mannarino 6-0, 7-5, 6-4 to reach his 16th quarter-final at the All England Club. The eight-time champion has won each of his four FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings against Anderson.

You May Also Like: Federer Rolls Into Wimbledon Quarter-finals

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With strong tie-break performances, Anderson took a two-set lead over Monfils on No. 1 Court after one hour and 37 minutes. The South African won each of his 11 service points on serve, finding success in both tie-breaks by focussing on the forehand side of his French opponent. Anderson, as he had in the second set, clawed his way back from a break down to reach 5-5, but could not make his way to a third consecutive tie-break as Monfils raised his level to snatch the third set.

Memories of 2015, when Anderson led eventual champion Novak Djokovic by two sets to love in the Round of 16, may have begun to creep in, as the No. 8 seed missed seven opportunities to break serve in the fourth set. But Anderson eventually got his breakthrough in the fourth-set tiebreak, playing with consistent aggression and moving up the court on every available opportunity.

Monfils was bidding to become just the second Frenchman to reach the quarter-finals at all four Grand Slam events, alongside Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who has made at least three quarter-final appearances at each of the four major championships. The Frenchman finally advanced to the Round of 16 at Wimbledon after six previous losses in the third round.

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Did You Know?
While representing South Africa, only Johan Kriek (6) and Wayne Ferreira (5) have reached more Grand Slam quarter-finals than Kevin Anderson (3). Anderson is is now also tied third on the list for most appearances at the SW19 before reaching the last-eight stage (10),

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Wimbledon 2018: Milos Raonic reaches quarter-finals for third year in a row

  • Posted: Jul 09, 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.

Canadian 13th seed Milos Raonic beat Mackenzie McDonald in four sets to reach the quarter-finals at Wimbledon for the third year in a row.

Raonic opened a comfortable two-set lead then rallied after losing the third on a tie-break to win 6-3 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 6-2 against the world number 103.

The 27-year-old, who lost to Britain’s Andy Murray in the 2016 final, has never won a grass-court title.

Kei Nishikori – the 24th seed – and ninth seed John Isner also progressed.

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Isner will face Raonic in the quarter-finals after beating Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-4) on court three.

Former US Open finalist Nishikori fought back to defeat world number 138 Ernests Gulbis 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (12-10) 6-1.

Nishikori was struggling with an arm injury when he lost the opening set but edged the second in a tie-break after a medical timeout.

Gulbis had to have a knee heavily strapped after slipping in the third-set tie-break and was swept away in the fourth.

It is the first time Nishikori has progressed beyond the fourth round at Wimbledon, and he will face either Karen Khachanov or Novak Djokovic.

Elsewhere, defending champion Roger Federer outclassed France’s Adrian Mannarino to reach the last eight without dropping a set.

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Soares/Murray Continue Flawless Wimbledon Run

  • Posted: Jul 09, 2018

Soares/Murray Continue Flawless Wimbledon Run

Fifth seeds into quarter-finals without dropping a set

Fifth seeds Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares are through to the quarter-finals at The Championships, Wimbledon, after dismissing British brothers Ken Skupski and Neal Skupski 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 on Monday.

Great Britain’s Murray and Soares of Brazil are chasing their second major title together after victory at the Australian Open in 2016. They came into Wimbledon on the strength of a runner-up showing at The Queen’s Club (l. to Peers/Kontinen) and have cruised into the last eight at the All England Club without dropping a set.

Ben McLachlan and Jan-Lennard Struff also advanced to the quarter-finals with a 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(3) victory over recent Stuttgart champions Philipp Petzschner and Tim Puetz.

The Japanese/German duo of McLachlan and Struff made an instant impact when they joined forces with a semi-final showing at the Australian Open in January. Semi-finals in Miami and Budapest have since propelled them to 12th in the ATP Doubles Race To London.

McLachlan and Struff will next face Frederik Nielsen and Joe Salisbury, who upset sixth seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah 5-7, 7-6(3), 6-3, 7-6(1). World No. 139 Nielsen received a wild card into the doubles draw, alongside Great Britain’s Salisbury, having won the doubles title in 2012 with another Brit, Jonathan Marray (d. Lindstedt/Tecau).

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Seventh seed Pliskova is last of women's top 10 to go out

  • Posted: Jul 09, 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.

Czech seventh seed Karolina Pliskova became the last of the women’s top 10 to be knocked out of Wimbledon, beaten in straight sets by Kiki Bertens.

The 26-year-old lost her fourth-round match 6-3 7-6 (7-1) to the Dutch player after a largely uninspiring display.

Bertens, who is seeded 20th and beat Venus Williams in the last round, was ruthless with break-point chances.

Pliskova gave glimpses of her ability in the second set but Bertens held her nerve to secure a quarter-final spot.

More to follow.

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Brands Celebrates First Title In Six Years

  • Posted: Jul 09, 2018

Brands Celebrates First Title In Six Years

Revisit the week that was on the ATP Challenger Tour as we applaud the achievements of those on the rise and look ahead to who’s in action in the week to come

Guzzini Challenger (Recanati, Italy): Daniel Brands is back! Five years after ascending to a career-high World No. 51 in the ATP Rankings, the big-hitting German is plotting his return to the Top 100. 

Brands claimed the title at the hard-court event in Recanati, Italy on Sunday, defeating Adrian Menendez-Maceiras 7-5, 6-3 in one hour and 23 minutes. It was his first ATP Challenger Tour crown since 2012. Competing with a protected ranking after undergoing knee surgery last year, Brands did not drop a set all week in the Italian city. 

“With this victory, I hope to get closer to a more appropriate [ATP Ranking], since I had stopped playing for some time,” said Brands. “It was a great tournament with a very challenging draw, but I believed in myself to the end. I congratulate Adrian, who put me in serious trouble especially in the first set.”

Brands is playing some of the best tennis of his career, having also turned in a strong performance at the Nature Valley International in Eastbourne last week. His defeat of Jack Sock in qualifying marked his first Top 20 win in five years, and the 30-year-old would nearly upset Cameron Norrie in the first round.

After kicking off his comeback outside the Top 400, he is projected to return to the Top 250 when the new ATP Rankings are released in a week.

Marburg Open (Marburg, Germany): Less than three months ago, Hugo Dellien got the better of Juan Ignacio Londero in the Sarasota semi-finals, en route to his maiden Challenger title. On Saturday, revenge never tasted so sweet for Londero.

The 24-year-old Argentine stormed back from a set down to dismiss Dellien 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 on the clay of Marburg. He secured his second crown of 2018 (also Mexico City), also scoring impressive wins over home hope Dustin Brown, top seed Jurgen Zopp, countryman Carlos Berlocq and #NextGenATP star Felix Auger-Aliassime along the way.

Londero, who started the year outside the Top 350, is projected to break into the Top 150 for the first time in one week.

The action heats up this week with five impressive tournaments. The 2017 Tournament of the Year in Braunschweig, Germany, features another strong draw, headlined by defending champion Nicola Kuhn, top seed Pablo Cuevas and home hope Florian Mayer. Mayer lifted the trophy in 2013.

Meanwhile, the U.S. summer kicks off in the Chicago suburb of Winnetka, where Tim Smyczek – finalist in 2009 & ’10 – is the top seed. Tommy Paul makes his first Challenger appearance since February, in his return from injury, while Reilly Opelka, Ernesto Escobedo and Bjorn Fratangelo also feature in the draw.

The three-week Canadian swing kicks off in Winnipeg, where 2017 runner-up Peter Polansky leads the field. He is joined by second seed Marcel Granollers and #NextGenATP star Michael Mmoh.

In beautiful Bastad, Sweden, Elias Ymer and Mikael Ymer lead the home charge and are joined by top seed Guido Andreozzi and teens Corentin Moutet and Felix Auger-Aliassime. Finally, in Perugia, Italy, Gerald Melzer leads the pack, along with second seed Pablo Andujar and wild card Nicolas Almagro.

ATP Challenger Tour 

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