Day 3 Wimbledon 2015: Djokovic, Wawrinka, Cilic moved on as Nishikori withdrew - UBITENNIS
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Day 3 Wimbledon 2015: Djokovic, Wawrinka, Cilic moved on as Nishikori withdrew

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 TENNIS – Novak Djokovic (1) beat Jarkko Nieminen 6-4 6-2 6-3 in the 2nd round of Wimbledon on an unusual very hot day with temperatures rising to 34°C. The defending champion will take on Bernard Tomic (27) in the third round. Stan Wawrinka (4) beat Victor Estrella-Burgos in 2 sets with 6-3 6-4 7-5. Grigor Dimitrov (11) also won in three sets with 7-6(8) 6-2 7-6(2) against Steve Johnson Diego Sampaolo

 

Nieminen, who is playing his last Wimbledon, started the 1st set with a break thanks to 3 winners. Djokovic initially had trouble reading the Nieminen serve but finally managed to break serve in the 6th game. Djokovic closed out the set 6-4 when Nieminen made a couple of double faults. Djokovic broke twice the 2nd set for 6-2 before cruising to 6-3 in the 3rd set.

“I am glad with the way I am playing and I am getting into form. As the tournament progresses, hopefully I will be able to elevate the level of my performances,” said Djokovic

Wawrinka defeated Estrella-Burgos 6-3 6-4 7-5 in an hour and 31 minutes. Wawrinka broke serve at 4-3 in the first set, at 4-4 in the second set and at 5-5 in the third. Wawrinka faced two break point chances at 4-5 0-30 in the third set but Estrella Burgos did not convert them. Shortly afterwards Wawrinka converted his first match point. Wawrinka made 28 unforced errors of which 6 were double faults.

Stan the Man set up a 3rd round match against Fernando Verdasco who battled past Dominic Thiem (32) with 5-7 6-4 5-7 6-3 6-4, the second 5-setter of the tournament for the Spaniard. The 1st set went on serve until 5-5 when Verdasco committed 2 double faults and dropped his serve. Thiem closed out the set. The 2nd set was similar to the 1st as it went on serve until the 10th game when Verdasco broke serve to take the set. Verdasco made too many mistakes in the 3rd set to be broken in the 11th game. Thiem again served it out to take a 2-1 sets lead. Thiem did not convert a break point chance at the start of the 4th set and Verdasco broke in the 6th game to win the 4th set with 6-3. Thiem bounced back in the 5th set to take a 3-1 lead but was broken back in the next game. Verdasco clinched the decisive break in the eighth game before closing out on his next service game with a backhand passing shot.

Grigor Dimitrov (11) overcame Steve Johnson 7-6(8) 6-2 7-6(2). The tie-break of the opening set was a close fight. Both players held serve until Dimitrov got a mini-break as he was leading 9-8. The Bulgarian star broke serve twice to clinch the second set with 6-2. In the third set Johnson earned a set point on Dimitrov’s serve but the Bulgarian saved it with his first serve winner. Dimitrov dominated the tie-break 7-2 points.

“I loved out there. I enjoyed it. It was a great day to play tennis. I knew what to expect from Johnson. We have played each other a couple of times and also practised together,” said Dimitrov. Dimitrov will take on Richard Gasquet (21) who beat fellow Frenchman Kenny De Schepper 6-3 6-0 6-3.

Another semifinalist from last year Milos Raonic (7) battled past Tommy Haas 6-0 6-2 6-7(5) 7-6(4). The Canadian hit a 145 mph, the third fastest serve at Wimbledon, and fended off all three break points he faced. Raonic will face last year’s quarterfinalist Nick Kyrgios (26) who beat Juan Monaco 7-6(5) 6-3 6-4 on a match where he did not face any break point chances.

“Playing on Court 1 in Wimbledon at my age, my career was very special. I am not going to forget it, that’s for sure,” said Raonic

Marcos Baghdatis, Australian Open finalist in 2006, fought back from two sets down to battle past World Number 120 John Millman from Australia 6-7(5) 2-6 6-3 6-2 6-4. Both players traded breaks five times between the 5th and the 10th games. The 1st set came down to the tie-break. Baghdatis got a mini-break at the start of the tie-break but Millman broke twice before closing out on the third set point. Millman broke serve twice in the fifth and the seventh games to take the second set with 6-2. Millman broke serve in the first game of the third set and opened up a 2-0 lead but Baghdatis broke serve twice in the fourth and in the eighth games to clinch the third set with 6-3.

Baghdatis broke at the start of the start of the fourth set and got a double break in the eighth game before closing out on the third set point. In the fifth-set battle Baghdatis broke serve in the third game. Millman failed to convert a break point in the sixth game. Baghdatis wasted two match points on Millman’s serve before closing out the match with 6-4

Marin Cilic (9), last year’s quarterfinalist, battled past Rikardas Berankis 6-3 4-6 7-6 (8-6) 4-6 7-5. Cilic started well winning the first set with 6-3 but Berankis broke serve in the 10th game to win the second set with 6-4. Cilic won the third set at the tie-break with 8-6 but committed too many mistakes allowing Berankis to win the fourth set and force the match to the fifth set. Berankis earned two break points at 5-5 but Cilic saved them. Cilic clinched a hard-fought fifth set with 7-5 setting up a third round match against John Isner.

Kei Nishikori (5) withdrew from the tournament before his match against Santiago Giraldo due to a left calf injury which forced him to retire from the semifinal against Andreas Seppi in Halle.

“It got better last week before the first match. I thought it was going to be okay but in the last match against Simone Bolelli in the fifth set I was hurting too much. I tried to warm up today when I was running and walking. I decided not to play today”, said Nishikori

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Cincinnati Daily Preview: Brits Andy Murray and Cam Norrie Meet in the Second Round

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A look at Center Court at the Lindner Family Tennis Center (twitter.com/cincytennis)

On Monday, Andy Murray overcame another three-time Major singles champion, Stan Wawrinka, in a three-hour thriller.  In the second round, he meets the new British No.1 Cam Norrie, who reached his first Slam semifinal last month at Wimbledon.

 

WTA action is headlined by three matches between Slam singles champs, which includes world No.1 Iga Swiatek.  Also on Wednesday, Rafael Nadal will play his first match since withdrawing from the Wimbledon semifinals.

Each day, this preview will analyze the two most intriguing matchups, while highlighting other notable matches on the schedule.  Wednesday’s play gets underway at 11:00am local time.


Andy Murray vs. Cameron Norrie – 11:00am on Center Court

Murray will be happy he had a day of rest after his emotionally and physically taxing match against Wawrinka.  He has compiled a solid record of 23-14 this season, with 2022 being his most active year since 2017, when his hip issues began.  But Norrie has taken his place as the top British male, and has really come into his own over the past 18 months.  Cam is now 38-18 this season, and has reached 10 finals since the start of last year.  Their only prior meeting occurred three years ago in Beijing, with Murray prevailing in a long, tight three-setter that lasted nearly three hours.  But three years later, Norrie is a much-improved competitor.  While playing your fellow countryman is often tricky, especially when they’ve been knighted, Cam should be favored to even their head-to-head.


Iga Swiatek (1) vs. Sloane Stephens (WC) – Not Before 3:00pm on Grand Stand

Swiatek is vying for her 50th win of the season on Wednesday, with 37 of those victories coming consecutively between February and July.  But since those 37 wins in a row, Iga is only 3-3, and suffered a frustrating loss last week in Toronto to Beatriz Haddad Maia 7-5 in the third after three hours of play.  Stephens continues to be a streaky player, as the 2017 US Open champion has gone on multiple winning and losing streaks of four matches or more throughout the year.  On Monday night, she crushed Alize Cornet 6-1, 6-0.  Sloane often plays her best tennis in American hard courts, and advanced to the third round or better of this tournament in seven straight appearances between 2012 and 2019.  These two Major champs have never played before.  Stephens could be primed for another win streak, and it would be understandable if Swiatek experienced a dip in her level after all the tennis she’s played this year.  Yet after dominating the tour for most of the year, Iga should still be favored.


Other Notable Matches on Wednesday:

Victoria Azarenka vs. Emma Raducanu (10) – It’s a two-time Australian Open champ against the reigning US Open champ.  Azarenka defeated Kaia Kanepi in three sets on Tuesday, while Raducanu easily prevailed over Serena Williams 6-4, 6-0.

Elena Rybakina vs. Garbine Muguruza (8) – It’s another two-time Major champ against the reigning Wimbledon champ.  Rybakina is 2-2 since her surprising run at The All-England Club, while Muguruza is a subpar 9-13 on the year.  They split two meetings last year, with Elena victorious in the more notable encounter, in the quarterfinals of the Tokyo Olympics.

Taylor Fritz (11) vs. Nick Kyrgios – Fritz started the summer by winning the title in Eastbourne, while Kyrgios was the champion in Washington.  This will be their first career meeting.

Rafael Nadal (2) vs. Borna Coric (PR) – Despite his injury issues, Nadal is a staggering 35-3 in 2022, and 20-1 on hard courts.  Coric missed a full year of action due to shoulder surgery, and is just 12-12 at all levels since returning.  Borna has won two of their four previous meetings, including six years ago at this event.


Wednesday’s full Order of Play is here.

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Cincinnati Daily Preview: Serena Williams Plays Emma Raducanu, Venus Faces Karolina Pliskova

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Serena Williams practicing on Monday in Cincinnati (twitter.com/cincytennis)

In what is expected to be the next-to-last event of her storied career, Serena Williams will play her opening round match on Tuesday.  And in a blockbuster matchup, she faces reigning US Open champion Emma Raducanu.  Can the 19-year-old defeat the GOAT, or can Serena pull off one more high-profile victory before her career comes to an end?

 

Tuesday’s schedule in Cincinnati features many other top names as well.  Center Court alone also includes Naomi Osaka, Daniil Medvedev, Nick Kyrgios, and Venus Williams, who takes on Karolina Pliskova in a battle between two of the WTA’s all-time best servers.

Each day, this preview will analyze the two most intriguing matchups, while highlighting other notable matches on the schedule.  Tuesday’s play gets underway at 11:00am local time.


Karolina Pliskova (14) vs. Venus Williams (WC) – Second on Center Court

This will only be Venus’ third singles match of the season, as multiple injuries have hampered the 42-year-old in recent years.  Williams has only earned one singles win in the last 18 months.  Pliskova has struggled this season since a hand injury caused her to miss the first two months of 2022.  But Karolina had her best run of the season last week in Toronto, where she reached the semifinals, which included a three-set win over fourth-seeded Maria Sakkari.  Venus and Karolina played three times between 2015 and 2017, with Pliskova taking two of those three encounters.  Their most notable match was in the fourth round of the 2016 US Open, which Karolina won in a third-set tiebreak.  In 2022, Pliskova is a considerable favorite to prevail.


Serena Williams (DA) vs. Emma Raducanu (10) – Not Before 7:00pm on Center Court

This will only be Serena’s fourth singles match of the season, and she’s 1-2 since returning at Wimbledon.  Last week in Toronto, she made a tearful exit from the court after her straight-set loss to Belinda Bencic, as the Canadian crowd gave the 23-time Major singles champion a standing ovation.  With this mini-retirement tour being new territory for Serena, how will she react to what will be a boisterous American crowd on Tuesday?  She’ll surely feel nervous, but Raducanu will as well, as she likely assumed she would never get to play Serena.  Emma has understandably struggled since her shocking, life-changing run a year ago at the US Open, as she’s just 11-14 on the year.  But she’s still played a lot more tennis of late than Serena.  This match was originally scheduled for Monday evening, and reports indicated it was postponed until Tuesday due to an injury concern regarding Serena.  That’s advantage, Emma.  But as we’ve learned over the course of the last several decades, Serena is fully capable of willing her way to victory even when she’s far from her best.


Other Notable Matches on Tuesday:

Naomi Osaka vs. Shuai Zhang – Osaka is just 1-2 this summer, and was forced to retire last week in Toronto due to a back issue.  She is 3-2 against Shuai, though they haven’t played in nearly four years.

Nick Kyrgios vs. Alejandro Davidovich Fokina – Kyrgios has won 14 of his last 16 singles matches, and is on an eight-match win streak in doubles.  Davidovich Fokina is only 4-9 this season on hard courts.

Coco Gauff (11) vs. Marie Bouzkova (Q) – Gauff is now the new world No.1 in doubles, and is on the brink of making her top 10 debut in singles.  Bouzkova has claimed 18 of her last 22 matches at all levels. 

Mackenzie McDonald (WC) vs. Carlos Alcaraz (3) – McDonald was a finalist last year in Washington, but arrived in Cincinnati on a three-match losing streak.  Alcaraz was upset last week in an extended affair with another American, Tommy Paul.  Earlier this year at Indian Wells, Carlitos beat Mackie 6-3, 6-3.

Daniil Medvedev (1) vs. Botic van de Zandschulp – Medvedev needs to win at least two matches this week to ensure he maintains his No.1 ranking.  He’s 2-0 against van de Zandschulp, taking seven of their eight sets contested, all on hard courts.


Tuesday’s full Order of Play is here.

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Cincinnati Daily Preview: Major Champions Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka Square Off

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Andy Murray practicing this past week in Cincinnati (twitter.com/cincytennis)

For the second consecutive week, a combined ATP Masters/WTA 1000 event is being staged in North America.  This week, it’s the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, Ohio.  The singles draws in American’s heartland are loaded: the ATP draw features 14 of the world’s top 16, while the WTA draw features all 16 top-ranked players.

 

Most notably, Serena Williams will play what is assumedly the next-to-last event of her career, and will face reigning US Open champion Emma Raducanu in the first round.  And Rafael Nadal will play his first match since withdrawing from the Wimbledon semifinals due to his ongoing left foot issues.

Monday’s action is headlined by Major champions Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka, who will play each other for the 22nd time. 

Each day, this preview will analyze the two most intriguing matchups, while highlighting other notable matches on the schedule.  Monday’s play gets underway at 11:00am local time.


Stan Wawrinka (PR) vs. Andy Murray – Third on Center Court

Their rivalry dates all the way back to 2005, when Wawrinka defeated Murray in Davis Cup.  Their most prominent encounter took place in the 2017 Roland Garros semifinals, when Stan outlasted Andy in a five-setter that lasted over four-and-a-half hours.  And neither man has been the same since that grueling battle.  Just weeks later, Murray’s hip problems derailed his career, while Wawrinka would undergo knee surgery.  Both men have now battled multiple serious injuries over the last five years.  Overall Andy is 12-9 against Stan, and 8-4 on hard courts.  Murray has gritted his way to 22 victories this year, while Stan is only 3-7 since returning from foot surgery this spring.  Based on current form, as well as Murray’s history at this event, where he is a two-time champion, the Brit is the favorite on Monday.


Matteo Berrettini (12) vs. Frances Tiafoe – Not Before 7:00pm on Center Court

Berrettini returned from surgery on his right hand in June, and promptly went on a 12-match win streak.  However, he unfortunately missed Wimbledon due to testing positive for COVID-19.  And last week in Montreal, Matteo lost in the opening round, though that one-sided loss to Pablo Carreno Busta doesn’t look quite as bad after Pablo’s fantastic run to his first Masters 1000 title concluded on Sunday.  Meanwhile, it’s been a disappointing year for Tiafoe, who is only 20-17 and has suffered some painful losses.  At Wimbledon, he lost a four-and-a-half hour fourth round match to David Goffin despite having a two-sets-to-one lead.  And just last week in Montreal, Frances was up 4-0 in the third over Taylor Fritz before losing the last six games of the match.  Their only previous meeting occurred four years ago on clay in Rome, where Matteo was victorious in his home country in straight sets.  Can Tiafoe avenge that loss in his own home country?  Frances often excels during night matches in the United States, with his five-set win over Andrey Rublev at last year’s US Open serving as a prime example.  But Matteo has been the much stronger performer for a few years now, and his potent serve/forehand combo makes him the favorite.


Other Notable Matches on Monday:

Amanda Anisimova vs. Daria Kasatkina (9) – Anisimova has reached the second week of every Major this season, while Kasatkina has won 18 of her last 24 matches, which includes a title run this month in San Jose.  Amanda leads their head-to-head 2-0, and dominated Daria 6-2, 6-0 at the beginning of this year.

Jil Teichmann vs. Petra Kvitova – Teichmann was a surprise finalist here a year ago.  Kvitova is only 17-15 this season, though she did win a title on grass in June.  They’ve played three times since last year, with Jil claiming two of those three matches.

Denis Shapovalov vs. Grigor Dimitrov (16) – Shapovalov has now lost nine of his last 10 matches dating back to May.  Meanwhile it’s been over four months since Dimitrov has won more than two matches in a row.  Grigor is 2-1 against Denis, and 2-0 on hard courts.

Sloane Stephens (WC) vs. Alize Cornet – It’s been a streaky season for Stephens, with nine of her 11 victories coming at just two events.  Cornet has achieved two noteworthy results this season: reaching her first Major quarterfinal in Melbourne, and ending Iga Swiatek’s 37-match winning streak at Wimbledon.  This is their first career meeting.


Monday’s full Order of Play is here.

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