Saturday, December 9, 2023

Kvitova, Tsitsipas, Kyrgios reach Wimbledon third round


LONDON, June 30: Twice former champion Petra Kvitova overcame a second-set wobble to reach the Wimbledon third round with a 6-1 7-6(5) defeat of Romanian Ana Bogdan on Thursday.
The big-hitting Czech, seeded 25th, was cruising at 6-1 5-1 but Bogdan staged a remarkable comeback.
Kvitova had a match point when serving at 5-4 but was broken for the second time in a row as Bogdan levelled.
Bogdan then had two set points as Kvitova served at 5-6, one saved with an ace, the other with a forehand winner.
A relieved Kvitova finally got the job done in the tiebreak when Bogdan’s backhand found the net under pressure.
Kvitova, champion at Wimbledon in 2011 and 2014, will now play Spain’s fourth seed Paula Badosa who enjoyed a comfortable 6-3 6-2 win over Irina Bara, also of Romania.
Since winning her second title, Kvitova has only managed to reach the Wimbledon fourth round on one occasion but is in good form after winning the Eastbourne grasscourt title last week.
Fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas romped into the third round at Wimbledon on Thursday with an accomplished 6-2, 6-3, 7-5 victory over Jordan Thompson under the roof on Court One.
The win sets up a crowd-pleasing clash with another Australian, temperamental showman Nick Kyrgios.
“We’ve had some great matches at many levels of competition,” Tsitsipas said of Kyrgios. “I have great respect for the way he fights when he really wants to.”
Kyrgios beat Tsitsipas the last time they met – on grass in the second round at Halle earlier this month.
On Thursday, the 23-year-old Tsitsipas displayed none of the jitters that lost him a set against qualifier Alexander Ritschard in the first round on Tuesday.
He kept on top of some punishing baseline rallies, breaking the Australian’s serve twice in each of the first two sets and taking the third when Thompson put a forehand long on his own serve at match point.
Thompson, 28, and ranked 76 in the world, has never beaten a top-10 player at a Grand Slam tournament and was upset when the umpire overruled a line call, earning his opponent a break point in the seventh game of the second set.
He thumped a ball in frustration when Tsitsipas took the set while the Greek kept his cool and his tennis quality high on the other side of the net.
“I’m very happy I got the crowd involved and that pushed me,” Tsitsipas said.
The closed roof amplified the cheers of the appreciative lunchtime fans.
The world number five said he was happy to commit to working hard on grass.
“I feel it suits my game perfectly,” he added.
Australian Nick Kyrgios delivered a devastating serving masterclass at Wimbledon as he blasted past Serbia’s Filip Krajinovic 6-2 6-3 6-1 in 85 minutes on Thursday to charge into the third round almost without breaking sweat.
There were none of the chuntering umpire complaints or run-ins with fans that were a feature of his first-round match – Kyrgios barely had time – as he pounded down 24 aces, with only one double fault overall. He took the first set without dropping a point before many fans had even taken their seats.
Krajinovic, ranked 31st but seen as a dangerous floater on grass after reaching the Queen’s Club final earlier this month, could do nothing in the face of the barrage as Kyrgios did not let up from start to finish.
In all he dropped just nine points on serve and smoothly mixed up power and finesse to hit 50 winners – a stark contrast to his five-set struggle to overcome British wild card Paul Jubb in the first round.
“I think just getting over the line in that first round was massive,” Kyrgios said. “I’ve been playing some really good tennis in the last month so I was really surprised the way I played the other day. But I was in my zone today, great body language.
“It’s nice to remind everyone that I’m pretty good,” he added, raising a laugh from the fans on Number Two Court.
“I’ve been preparing for this tournament, it’s been circled on my calendar pretty much all year and I’m so excited to be here again. It’s genuinely a tournament I think is my best chance to win a Grand Slam, but I’ll take it match-by-match.
“Obviously I’ve got an incredibly tough draw but today I couldn’t play better and now I can just recover and get ready.”
Kyrgios, who has reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals only once, on his debut in 2014, is likely to face fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in the next round, with a potential semi-final against Rafael Nadal on the distant horizon.
Sania Mirza and partner crash out in 1st round of Wimbledon
Indian ace Sania Mirza’s final Wimbledon appearance ended in disappointment as she and her Czech partner Lucie Hradecka were eliminated in the opening round with the Polish-Brazilian combination of Magdalena Frech and Beatroz Haddad Maia beating them 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 in a hard-fought three-setter.
Sania would have ideally preferred to last a bit longer in her swansong at the SW-19 but she will undoubtedly remember hallowed lawns where she won her maiden doubles title alongside Martina Hingis, back in 2015.
The 35-year-old Indian veteran failed to get past the third round of the mixed doubles at Wimbledon last year and will still have a shot at glory, partnering Mate Pavic of Croatia in the mixed doubles event. The duo will meet Natela Dzalamidze and David Vega Hernandez in the opening round of mixed doubles. (Agencies)