2014, Wimbledon

 Wimbledon, London
 June 23 – July 6, 2014; 128 draw (32 seeds); Surface – Grass

* Compilation of various ATP articles (except the semifinals:
written by Kevin Mitchell of “The Guardian”) with my blue notes.

Final:     (1)Novak Djokovic d. (4)Roger Federer   6-7(7), 6-4, 7-6(4), 5-7, 6-4    [3:56 h]

24 years after playing third straight Wimbledon final against each other, Boris Becker & Stefan Edberg met on Centre Court again – this time as coaches. Becker’s pupil, top seed and 2011 champion Djokovic defeated seven-time former titlist Federer on Sunday afternoon in the final of The Championships at the All England Club. By winning the Wimbledon title for a second time, Djokovic recaptured No. 1 in the ATP Rankings for the first time since Rafael Nadal usurped him on 7 October 2013. Federer is assured of being World No. 3 on Monday. Federer had been seeking his 18th Grand Slam championship crown, while Djokovic nets his seventh major (45 titles overall).  becker_edberg_wb14 In the 1st set, holding their own on the baseline, both Djokovic and Federer struck their groundstrokes at the top of the bounce. The majority of the rallies were played out backhand-to-backhand. At 4:5, 15/30, Federer came under terrific pressure in a lengthy rally (21 strokes), but a backhand slice was struck deep with pace that caught Djokovic off-guard. On the next point, Federer once again executed terrific defence en route to a big hold. In the tie-break, Federer moved into a 3:0* lead. Yet, Djokovic maintained his composure to win five of the next six points. At 5-all Federer mis-timed a forehand response, with the court open to him. Incredibly, Federer saved the set point (on return) with a gutsy forehand down the line that hit the line. Federer withstood a second set point at 6:7, when he hit an ace and went on to strike another unreturned serve. Djokovic hit a backhand into the net at 7:8, to end a 52-minute set. Federer’s aggression was highlighted in winning 12 of 17 points at the net. He also committed seven unforced errors. djokefedDjokovic played with great composure, yet a fall onto his left side in the 2nd game of the 2nd set temporarily fazed him. Federer recovered from 0/30 to 40/30 at 1-all, yet Djokovic bounced back to strike a clean backhand pass for the first break of the match. At the change of ends, the Serbian received treatment for a left ankle injury. Federer continued to battle and won three straight points from 0/40 in a seven-minute fourth game, which Djokovic clinched on his sixth game point for a 3:1 lead – in that game the Serb showed his first emotions. Although Federer tested his resistance when serving for the set at 5:4, Djokovic saved one break point at 30/40 and wrapped up the 43-minute set with a smash winner. Djokovic subsequently left the court. Each player was aggressive in the 3rd set. Federer struck 4 aces in a row to lead 5:4. In the following game, with Djokovic serving, Federer pressed his claims to win the set. But Djokovic moved sublimely to stay in front under pressure (held to 15). In the next game, it was Djokovic’s turn. Federer saved two break points with two big serves and at 5:6, Djokovic was fleet of foot to take the passage of play into a tie-break. Djokovic created a mini break at 2-all, when Federer hesitated when serve and volleying, with a backhand pass down the line. Federer became anxious on his forehand, not striking the ball cleanly. At 6:4, Djokovic gave Federer very little to attack and worked the point to the Swiss star’s backhand, which resulted in the error. The standard of play reached a high midway through the 4th set. Djokovic looked to stamp his authority on the match when he had Federer at 0/40 in the fourth game. Federer recovered to ‘deuce’, but the cumulative effect of running down Djokovic’s groundstrokes cost him when he struck a forehand long. Djokovic hit eight of eight returns into play. The Centre Court crowd willed Federer on to an immediate riposte and in an inspiring period of play, the 32-year-old recovered a break with a running forehand crosscourt winner to get back to 2:3. However, Djokovic retaliated to seal the third service break in a row. Prior to Djokovic serving for the championship at 5:3, Federer went to his bag to change his racquet. Djokovic got edgy and lost the first two points (the first one with djokefed1terrible forehand mistake), but he recovered to 30/30 with a clever change of pace in attacking the net and a well-timed serve. Federer took a chance and earned a break point chance which saw Djokovic diving for a forehand. Federer stroked the shot back into an open court and pumped his fist in celebration of the service break. At 4:5, Federer hit a double fault – his fifth of the match – at 30/15, then struck a backhand into the net to gift Djokovic hit first championship point. Federer hit an ace down the middle – confirmed by a Hawk Eye challenge (Federer’s second and last challenge of the final). Minutes later, with tensions high, Federer clinched the game. Inflicted with self-doubt, Djokovic dropped to 0/40 in the next game. Djokovic recovered two points, with unreturned serves, but it was third time lucky for Federer, who moved swiftly to strike three successive forehands that resulted in a Djokovic error. Federer’s confidence surged with a hold to 15 – his fifth game in a row. For the first time since 2009, when Federer beat Andy Roddick 16-14 in the fifth set in the final, the title match was going the full distance. Djokovic took medical time-out leading 2:1 in the 5th set. At 3-all, Federer came close to breaking Djokovic at 30/40. But Djokovic moved forward and attacked Federer’s backhand, only for the Swiss to slice a backhand into the net. In the next game, Djokovic pressed on Federer’s serve. Federer found himself at 15/40 (saved with with service & forehand winners) and on Djokovic’s third break point opportunity at advantage played a clutch half volley, highlighting his soft hands, to get out of trouble. After a seven-minute service game, Federer got out of jail. But the end, when it came, was sudden. At 4:5, Federer fell to 0/30, but Djokovic went on to narrowly miss a forehand. The encounter ended when Federer struck a backhand in the net to conclude the 3-hour and 56-minute battle. American Robert djokefed2Falkenburg remains the last man to win Wimbledon having saved a championship point in the final. Falkenburg beat John Bromwich of Australia 7-5 0-6 6-2 3-6 7-5 in 1948 after being three championships points down in the 5th set at 3:5. “I want to congratulate Roger on a great tournament and great fight today,” said Djokovic in his on-court speech. “It was a great match to be part of. He’s a magnificent champion, a great example of a great athlete and a role model for many kids. I respect his career and everything he’s done. Thank you for letting me win today. I was hoping Roger was going to miss the first serve [on match point]. It didn’t happen. That’s why he has 17 Grand Slams and is the most successful player ever. In the important moments, he comes up with his best tennis. I had to regroup and find the energy to win the fifth set.” The Belgrade native joins John McEnroe and Mats Wilander in joint-eighth place on the list for most Grand Slam singles titles in the Open Era. It was his first major victory since the 2013 Australian Open. Since then, he had finished runner-up at Wimbledon and the US Open last year and last month at Roland Garros. “It was a great final,” said Federer in his on-court speech. “I can’t believe I made it to five. It wasn’t looking good there for a while. You know going into a match with Novak it’s always going to be tough; we play athletic points. I can only say congratulations today for an amazing match, amazing tournament and well deserved.” It was third five-setter between them – all won by the Serb. Stats of the final

2nd semifnal: (4)Roger Federer d. (8)Milos Raonic    6-4, 6-4, 6-4    [1:41 h]

Federer, and the faithful who have been waiting for his second coming, can dream again. Two years after winning the last of his 17 Grand Slam titles, the 32-year-old Swiss father of four will contest a record ninth Wimbledon final. If tennis is a game measured in a thousand small moments and numbers, Federer has put together a more glorious collection of them than anyone in the history of the sport and the latest against Raonic. It was, on the face of it, a pedestrian match. “I was expecting much better of myself,” Raonic said, and the 23-year-old Canadian, one of the new wave who have been harassing the Big Four for a little while now, was on the money there. With pleasing symmetry, each set taking just a little over half an hour. It was almost as if it had been ordered up as a script for a movie, with a strict limitation on the amount of tape to be used. Speaking immediately afterwards, Federer, as ever, was barely out of breath. “I needed big concentration,” he said. “I really had to focus on every point.” He added: “I didn’t play so well last federer_wb14_year. In the second week I’ve been able to play better, against Wawrinka and now Raonic. I’m unbelievably proud every time I walk on these grounds. The first [title] was special, 2003. I was able to be so successful for so many years. To get another chance to go through these sort of emotions is great.” He has looked just about back to his premium best carving through six matches with hardly a nod to his age – or to those who were after his scalp: Lorenzi, who lasted half an hour; Muller (1 hour 34 minutes), Giraldo (1:21), Robredo (1:34) and his compatriot Wawrinka, the only player to take a set off him but who succumbed after 2:33. And so to Raonic, the power server who some thought would blow Federer off the court. He came to the showdown with 147 aces from five matches. His best chance of beating Federer clearly was with ball in hand but, striving to make the most of that advantage, he hit 4 double faults among 17 aces, giving Federer sufficient daylight to exploit every opportunity under the most intense pressure when receiving. Raonic challenged on the first point of the match (successfully) but could do nothing about Federer’s classic crosscourt forehand into the backhand corner for break. In the 1st set, Raonic could not claw back the deficit and, in the 9th game of the 2nd set, he paid for a double fault and a rash smash when Federer broke him with the second of two glorious backhands down the line. Serving for a two-set lead, Federer forced Raonic to err on his forehand and the job seemed to be more straightforward by the point. In the 3rd set – just like in the previous one – Federer held all his service games easily and broke the 9-year younger opponent in the 9th game. Stats of the match

1st semifnal: (1)Novak Djokovic d. (11)Grigor Dimitrov    6-4, 3-6, 7-6(2), 7-6(7)    [3:01 h]

Djokovic, who had to work harder than the other three semi-finalists to reach the closing weekend of Wimbledon, went into the trenches again on Friday. The Serb will need to find more consistency to replicate his championship form of 2011, after taking just over three hours to beat the 23-year-old Bulgarian. For the first couple of hours, their semi-final was not one of the great encounters; once it got to the business end, however, it morphed into a tense, close and occasionally rousing contest. “I was playing against a future star,” Djokovic said. “He’s already a top player, winning against Murray in the quarters, he deserves respect. It was a tough match. Like last match against Cilic I allowed my opponent to come back into it. He has quality shots, great touch. His transition game has improved immensely the past eight months. But, overall, I’m happy to be in the final. I have lost the last couple of Grand Slam finals, and could have won. It’s a big challenge, the biggest event in our sport.” Dimitrov, so impressive in beating Murray in three sets on Wednesday, looked less certain this time and was not helped by his inability to stay upright on a surface that looked dusty and slippery towards the end of the championship fortnight. When the first crack in the Dimitrov defence appeared – at 0/40 in the 5th game – he tried to hit his way out of trouble and, instead belted a forehand long. He would have to decide quickly djoke_wb14between caution and daring. Djokovic hit five aces through the eddying breeze in the first 15 minutes, while Dimitrov in that time was trying to neutralise the wind with eight visits to the net, his sharp volleying, backhand and forehand, causing the Serb to wonder about his placement. Dimitrov, very much a touch player who relies on instinct rather than drilled technique, was not quite on song, framing his single-handed backhand, hitting long, wide and some times short – and surrendered his serve in the 3rd game of the 2nd set with a string of uncertain ground strokes. At 1:3, 30/40 he saved the break point with an ace (down the T) and managed to win five straight games. After an hour and 25 minutes, they were a set all, 2-all going with serve in the 3rd, with 66 points each. It could not have been more even. The question was: could the elegant Bulgarian survive an examination of his resolve in the biggest match of his career if he stirred the five-set beast in Djokovic? He had a look in the 7th game but did not grab it. He run his backhand around on break point, hit firmly forehand, but Djokovic responded with a backhand winner down the line, actually trying just to keep the ball in play. The tie-break arrived after just under two hours of stuttering tennis and heads started to loll in the crowd on a soporific afternoon, although they were roused when Dimitrov struck his fourth double fault, then the net with his backhand, and Djokovic served out to put himself a set away from the final. Three double faults on the spin by Dimitrov in the 3rd game of the 4th set were unexpected gifts for Djokovic. Now we would see what the young prodigy was made of: he outfoxed Djokovic at the net to get back on level terms, and held with two aces when it looked as if his serve, once such a liability, might crumble again. Yet again, however, Dimitrov found something special with which to fight one of the game’s toughest competitors. In a quite wonderful 10th game, Dimitrov pulled off a couple of extraordinary winners on the stretch for a set point, but Djokovic saved it with a service winner & screamed. The Bulgarian shot-maker led 6:3* in the second tie-break, yet Djokovic scrambled to save all these set points, then came in behind his second serve on match point (with his coach, Boris Becker, no doubt goggle-eyed) and was passed. But he held his nerve to finish it with a cool, crisp forehand passing-shot to an empty court. Stats of the match

4th quarterfinal: (8)Milos Raonic d. (WC)Nick Kyrgios 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-4, 7-6(4)    [2:24 h]

“It hasn’t really sunk in,” said Raonic to BBC television. “It’s great to have that kind of a win, especially at a tournament I’ve always wanted to play so well at and haven’t been able to in recent years. It’s another step forward. My goal is to be the best player in the world. This is a step to keep getting better and get the successes that I dreamed of. To do it on such a big stage is really special.” The 23-year-old Raonic is one match win shy of 150 career victories and has a 24-9 match record in 2014. The Canadian will now look to improve a 0-4 deficit against Federer, a 17-time major titlist, raonic_wb14with his first win in their H2H series. Looking ahead to the clash with Federer, Raonic said, “I’ve got to do what I’ve been doing: serve well and take care of my serve. It will be a great challenge and one I’m going to relish. I wanted to put myself in this position. I’ve got to go out there and compete hard, give it my all and who knows what can happen.” Raonic is the first Canadian to reach the semi-finals at a Grand Slam since William Johnston at the 1923 US Championships. Throughout Raonic and Kyrgios’ second encounter (four weeks ago met in the French Open 1R), each was wary of one another’s weapons: a powerful serve and biting forehand, meaning that they engaged in clever interplay using their backhand slices and waited for an opening to use their strengths. Kyrgios came under pressure early on, but saved two break points at 2:3 in a game that had five deuce points. At 4-all in the tie-break, Raonic mis-timed a forehand approach to gift Kyrgios the point. Kyrgios then hit two unreturned serves to wrap up the 48-minute opener. Raonic had won 85 % of his first service points, yet he could not convert any of his four break point opportunities. Raonic stepped into the court in the 2nd set, swinging freely on forehand returns. His groundstroke placement began to tell as Kyrgios was stretched. At 2-all, 30/40, Kyrgios could not deny Raonic the first break of serve, tamely lobbing a backhand long. From that moment, Kyrgios began to fade physically (in the opening set he served 11 aces, but added only 4 in the next three!). Raonic broke for a second time at 4:2 and completed a ‘love’ hold to win the set in 23 minutes. In winning 100 % of his first serves, Raonic hit 15 winners – including 10 aces. Kyrgios looked to regain the momentum at the start of the 3rd set, he led *2:0, but lost four games in a row and Raonic took advantage of the lapse to take the 31-minute set. Kyrgios and Raonic did not create a break point en route to the 4th set tie-break. Raonic kept his nerve, opening up a 6:1 lead and despite a tense finish, struck hit 39th ace to finish the match. “[Raonic] served unbelievably,” said Kyrgios. “I thought I came out strong on his first return game. I made him earn that. All the other service games it looked like he was in such a rhythm that I just couldn’t do anything out there.Kyrgios lost his first match having won 12 in a row (before Wimbledon, he had triumphed in Nottingham as a qualifier – his 4th Challenger title). The 19-year-old Australian, who has only played six main-level tournaments (five at Slams), thanks to his remarkable run jumps from No. 144 to No. 66, and leaves London as potentially best player in the world in the future…

3rd quarterfinal: (4)Roger Federer d. (5)Stan Wawrinka 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-4, 6-4    [2:33 h]

It was the first all-Swiss quarter-final at Wimbledon. The 32-year-old Federer is bidding to win an unprecedented eighth Wimbledon crown and goes on to face Raonic for a place in his ninth final at the All England Club. “I’m just really pleased that I’m back strong this year at Wimbledon,” said federer_wb14Federer, who suffered a shock second-round exit at the hands of Stakhovsky in 2013. “Last year was such a disappointment. I was very deflated leaving Wimbledon on that note. It’s good to be back in the semis. The prospect is very exciting. Here clearly on the grass with a serve like that it’s never going to be an easy match [against Raonic],” said Federer. Wawrinka came out firing against Federer, striking 10 winners as he claimed the opener in 30 minutes (Federer’s first dropped set this year at Wimbledon). Both players hit top form in the 2nd set, yielding no break point chances, but Federer came out on top in the subsequent tie-break to level the match. A tiring Wawrinka appeared to be fading fast in the 3rd set, surrendering his serve in the 7th game as Federer took the lead. But the Lausanne native found a second wind in the 4th set, after going down an early break. As Federer served for the match, Wawrinka frustrated his countryman, saving four match points and squandering one break back point before Federer closed out victory. The former best player in the world leads 14-2 in H2H against his friend & countryman.

2nd quarterfinal: (1)Novak Djokovic d. (26)Marin Cilic 6-1, 3-6, 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-2    [3:18 h]

Top seed recovered from a two-sets-to-one deficit by winning 12 of the last 16 games to record a victory on No. 1 Court at the All England Club. “I played a very bad game, with a couple of bad errors in the second set and the momentum changed for him to get back into the match,” Djokovic told BBC television. “He found his rhythm on serve, but I allowed him to step in. It was frustrating for me.” The 27-year-old Serbian got off to a strong start by winning the first djokovic_wb14_three games in the 27-minute 1st set, but Cilic regrouped to seal the second set and broke Djokovic for a 6:5 lead in a keenly contested 3rd set, but two mis-timed forehands (and an overhead – hit the netcord when the ball flew into the stands) saw him lose his serve to 15. In a see-saw tie-break, Cilic managed to take a 6:4 lead with a big forehand winner. He won the 67-minute set when Djokovic stretched to hit a lob long. Djokovic took a 4:0 lead to sweep through the 4th set in 33 minutes and came close to taking a 4:1 lead in the decider, but Cilic temporarily held on to stay in the pair’s 10th meeting. Djokovic hit 32 winners and broke serve seven titles. “What was sad was the beginning of the fourth [set],” said Cilic. “I gave him the opportunity to come back in the match. He went to [a] 4:0 lead in that fourth set. From that moment, I felt [that] I needed to come back in the game. But I didn’t have any chances to do that unfortunately.”

1st quarterfinal: (11)Grigor Dimitrov d. (3)Andy Murray 6-1, 7-6(4), 6-2    [2:01 h]

The 23-year-old Bulgarian reached his first Grand Slam semi-final on Wednesday as he ended defending champion’s Wimbledon reign. Dimitrov will now become the first Bulgarian man to break into the Top 10 of the ATP Rankings. “I’m excited and happy I went through in straight sets,” Dimitrov told BBC television. “It’s never easy to play Andy, especially in front of his home crowd. I was pretty fortunate today. As soon as we started warming up, I sensed his game wasn’t murray_dimitrov_wb14at his highest level and I was pretty confident and playing good tennis. The first set helped me get into a good rhythm. The second set tie-break was a key moment for me. Coming into the third set, I knew I had a lot of things under control. I was pretty steady during the whole match and came out the winner. I have two more matches to play hopefully. I’m trying to stay on course and prepare for the next one.” Playing in his first Wimbledon quarter-final, Dimitrov made a fast start as he raced into a *5:1 lead before sealing the first set in 25 minutes. The right-hander could not maintain a 4:3 break advantage in the 2nd set as Murray fought straight back. The Brit leading 5:4* was two points away from clinching the set, he anticipated Dimitrov’s drive-volley but missed his backhand and yelled at himself. The Bulgarian was denied two break points in the 11th game as Murray forced a tie-break. Dimitrov maintained his focus though and took the breaker for a two-set lead, winning the last two points with the help of backhand volleys. Two breaks in the 3rd set confirmed victory for the underdog, who won the last four games & calmly celebrated his biggest Grand Slam achievement (thus far).

Fourth round: ATP

Top seed Novak Djokovic continued to find the right formula against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, beating the Frenchman for the 11th match in a row on Monday to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals. The Serb needed just 1 hour and 51 minutes minutes to advance 6-3 6-4 7-6(5). Djokovic has not lost to Tsonga since the 2010 Australian Open quarter-finals and improved to a 13-5 H2H record against the Frenchman. The 27-year-old served at 71 %djokovic_wb14  including 14 aces – and broke his opponent twice during their encounter under the closed roof of Centre Court. What looked to be a straight-sets win turned dicey for Djokovic as his French opponent elevated his level in the 3rd set, even forcing two break-point opportunities in the 8th game. Djokovic saved the first with an ace, and the second disappeared when a Tsonga lob sailed long. Both players continued to hold until the tie-break, which Djokovic clinched to reach his 21st consecutive Grand Slam quarter-final. “[Tsonga’s] a top player,” said Djokovic, “and he loves the big stage. So to be able to win against him in straight sets on the surface that I feel suits him the most is a great result. I was very happy with [my] consistency today, mental consistency, and variety in my game. I played very well from back of the court.” Marin Cilic stormed into the quarter-finals as he defeated Jeremy Chardy 7-6(8) 6-4 6-4. “Having [Ivanisevic] obviously over here beside me is definitely another plus, a big plus to have him in my box,” said Cilic. “He’s been many times in the second week of Wimbledon, so of course I’m leaving up to him all the small details to give me some advices. It’s working very well.” The 26th-seeded Cilic fired 33 aces (his previous record: 28 in five sets) and saved all four break points he faced as he dismissed Chardy in 2 hours and 9 minutes. In the opening set, Cilic fired his 16th ace (on second serve) to save set point at 5:6 and players were forced to leave the court due to rain. The Croatian has lost just two sets in reaching the last eight, having found his form at the All England Club after suffering defeat at the hands of Matosevic in his first grass-court match of the season at The Queen’s Club two weeks before Wimbledon. Finishing under a closed Centre Court roof, defending champion Andy Murray advanced to the Wimbledon quarter-finals for the seventh year in a row on as he defeated Kevin Anderson 6-4 6-3 7-6(6). The third-seeded Murray is yet to drop a set in four murray_wb_14matches at The Championships. Against Anderson, who was playing on Centre Court for the first time, Murray raced to a double break lead in the 2nd set before the rain came, forcing the players back to the locker room for 27 minutes while the roof was closed. At the resumption, Anderson came out more aggressive and made life difficult for Murray, who was forced to save a set point in the tie-break before sealing victory in 2 hours and 32 minutes. “When it was outdoors I played very well and was in a good position, but when we came indoors he was striking the ball better and serving better and I was dropping shorter,” said Murray. Grigor  Dimitrov reached his second Grand Slam quarter-final as he held off Leonardo Mayer 6-4 7-6(6) 6-2. Play had been interrupted when Dimitrov led 6:5* in the 2nd set. The 23-year-old converted three of his five break points and hit 34 winners, including 10 aces, to triumph in 2 hours and 8 minutes, moments before the rain started to fall again. “Luckily we were away only for 45 minutes, which wasn’t enough time to cool down. I got some food and I was able to focus on what I needed to do better. I chatted to my coach,” Dimitrov told BBC television. “The work that I have put in is showing now. I am looking forward to the quarter-final.” A sublime serving performance from Roger Federer took the Swiss to a 12th Wimbledon quarter-final on Tuesday at the All England Club. The seven-time Wimbledon champion lost just three service points in the first two sets as he claimed a 6-1 6-4 6-4 win over Tommy Robredo. “Tommy was playing better as the match went on and I’m clearly happy to win in straight sets,” said Federer, who fought off Robredo’s only wawrinka_wb14break point in the final game as he served out the match in just 93 minutes. The right-hander hit 41 winners, including 11 aces, and converted 4 of his 13 break point chances. The 29-year-old Stan Wawrinka ended Feliciano Lopez’s winning run with a 7-6(5) 7-6(7) 6-3 victory in just under 2 hours. The Swiss struck 31 aces (his previous record: 27 in five sets) and made only eight unforced errors, not facing a single break point in the contest. “Playing against him on grass is really tough,” said Wawrinka. “Winning the first tie-break was really important. I’m really happy today. I was serving really well.” In the 2nd tie-break, Lopez led 6:3* & 7:6. Lopez had won 12 of his past 13 matches coming into the fourth round, including winning the Eastbourne title and squandering one match point in finishing runner-up at The Queen’s Club. The Spaniard played this year on grass 37 sets, 21 of them went to tie-breaks (13-8)! World No. 144 Nick Kyrgios pulled off the upset of The Championships so far on Tuesday as he stunned World No. 1 Rafael Nadal 7-6(5) 5-7 7-6(5) 6-3 with a fearless display to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals. “I think I was in a bit of a zone out there,” Kyrgios told BBC television. “It hasn’t sunk in what just played out out there. I played extraordinary tennis. I was struggling a bit on return, but I worked my way into it. I served at a really good level and I’m really happy. You’ve got to believe you can win the match from the start and I did. I’m playing unbelievable tennis on the grass. He hit extraordinary shots, but he’s always going to bring that.” Striking 70 winners, including 37 aces, Kyrgios did not blink as he closed out victory over Nadal in 2 minutes shy of 3 hours on Centre Court. The Australian missed a set point chance in the 12th game of the opener, but kept his focus in the tie-break and sealed the set with an ace out wide (the Australian already led 4:0). Nadal looked to have swung the momentum in his favour as continued chipping away at Kyrgios’ service games in the 2nd set paid dividends in the 12th game. The Spaniard converted his second set point as Kyrgios netted a forehand, levelling the match with the first service break. The second-seeded Nadal had kyrgios_wb14the chance to take a two-sets-to-one lead in the 12th game of the 3rd set, but he was denied on a set point with an unreturned serve by Kyrgios and in the subsequent tie-break, Kyrgios converted his first set point at 6:5 with a rifling forehand that Nadal returned wide (Kyrgios won quite long rally with a backhand down the line to lead 4:3). Instead of sensing the occasion and tightening up in the 4th set, Kyrgios pounced on Nadal’s serve in the 4th game, breaking the Spaniard for the first time in the match. He went on to serve out the match to love. “The thing is this surface, when you have an opponent that decides to serve and to hit every ball very strong, you are in trouble,” said Nadal. “I think that I didn’t play really bad, but that’s the game in this surface.” It was a happy Canada Day for Milos Raonic as he won a battle of the young guns to reach his second consecutive Grand Slam quarter-final. The Canadian rallied from a set down to beat Kei Nishikori 4-6 6-1 7-6(4) 6-3. Raonic had not been broken in his first three matches, only facing one break point, but saw that run immediately ended by Nishkori who broke in the 1st game en route to taking the opener. However, Raonic fought back to claim victory in 2 hours and 27 minutes, firing 35 aces and only facing one more break point in the contest, which he saved in the final game. “It was only in the first game I felt I could hit returns,” said Nishikori. “After that he was hitting good serves and too many aces. Maybe in the last game I had some chances. But he served really well the whole entire game.

Third round: ATP

Novak Djokovic took a tumble midway through the 3rd set on Friday, but continued to reach the fourth round. The Centre Court crowd gasped when Djokovic slipped and landed on his left shoulder at 30/30, when Gilles Simon was serving at 2:3 in the 3rd set. Although the top seed and 2011 champion required four minutes of treatment, he managed to regain his composure to beat Simon 6-4 6-2 6-4 in 2 hours and 12 minutes. “It was a sharp pain when I fell, an awkward fall,” Djokovic told BBC television. “I was just hoping there is nothing going on with the joint, luckily there is no damage and I could play.” Djokovic’s next opponent, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga blasted past No. 147-ranked Jimmy Wang 6-2 6-2 7-5, striking 53 winners – dimitrov_wb14including 15 aces. The 29-year-old Frenchman is through to the fourth round for the fifth time. When asked about his form over the past five days, Tsonga admitted, “I’m very happy. I played three good matches. I’m looking forward to this match against Novak.” Grigor Dimitrov fought from behind edging Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-7(3) 6-4 2-6 6-4 6-1 in 2 hours and 55 minutes on Court 1 (Dolgopolov led 4:3* in the 4th set). Between them, Dimitrov and Dolgopolov hit 92 winners. The Bulgarian romped through the decider after fighting back to level the match, winning the 5th set in 18 minutes, making just one unforced error and not dropping a single point on serve. World No. 64 Leonardo Mayer reached the fourth round of a Grand Slam championship for the first time as he defeated Andrey Kuznetsov 6-4 7-6(1) 6-3. The Argentine saved all nine break points he faced and hit 34 winners as he claimed the milestone win in just over 2 hours on Court 18. The 27-year-old Mayer came into Wimbledon with no grass-court match practice and had only won two matches in four main draw appearances previously at the All England Club. After dropping just two games in his second-round victory, defending champion Andy Murray was nearly as ruthless in the third round on Friday evening at Wimbledon as he dismissed Roberto Bautista-Agut 6-2 6-3 6-2. Afterwards, Murray joked he was “obviously the No. 2 son” after it emerged most of his family, including mum Judy, had missed his match while watching his brother, Jamie Murray, who was in action at the same time. The 20th-seeded Kevin Anderson finished strongly to beat No. 16 Fabio Fognini 4-6 6-4 2-6 6-2 6-1 in 2 hours and 45 minutes. It is the third major in a row, where Anderson has reached the fourth round. The 28-year-old Anderson is the first South African man to reach the round of 16 at Wimbledon since Wayne Ferreira in 2000 and is bidding to reach his first Grand Slam quarter-final. “It was a very interesting match I would say,” said Anderson, who hit 45 winners to 28 unforced errors. “There was a lot of ups and downs. Facing those break points, down two sets to one, I definitely knew it was my time if I wanted to at least cilic_wb14stay even and give myself a chance to win.” Anderson saved a double break point at 1-all in the 4th set and took control of occurrences. Marin Cilic denied Tomas Berdych his 100th Grand Slam match win. The 26th-seeded Croatian knocked out the No. 6 seed and 2010 runner-up 7-6(5) 6-4 7-6(6) in fading light, concluding on Court No. 3 at 9:38 pm. “I was very fortunate to be able to win that one,” said Cilic. “It was very close, especially that third set. I have to say that Tomas stayed in the match unbelievably mentally. I was putting a lot of pressure on him on his serves, and many of his service games I had Love-30, 15/30, a lot of opportunities, small ones. But he was able to always play some great points and he pushed me until the limit.” Cilic struck 46 winners, including 20 aces, and capitalised on 3 of his 14 break point chances. He improved to a 2-0 mark against Berdych on grass, including his victory last year at Queen’s Club, and to a 3-5 mark in their overall H2H series. “Marin played really well,” said Berdych. “I had some tactics, some strategy what to bring to the game. I kind of know what to expect from him. He’s done it really well.” Jeremy Chardy [42] saved all five break points he faced against Sergiy Stakhovsky to reach the Wimbledon fourth round for the first time with a 6-3 6-7(4) 6-3 6-0 victory, winning the last nine games of the match. Roger Federer wasted no time in booking his fourth-round spot on Saturday, blasting past Santiago Giraldo 6-3 6-1 6-3 in 81 minutes under the Centre Court roof on a rain-hit day at The Championships. The Basel native is yet to drop a set in reaching the second week at SW19. For a place in the quarter-finals, Federer will face Tommy Robredo, who survived a five-set encounter with 2013 semi-finalist Jerzy Janowicz. Robredo overcame 10 aces and 69 winners from the big-serving Pole, surviving 6-2 6-4 6-7(5) 4-6 6-3. The Spaniard advances to his first Round of 16 at Wimbledon in his 13th trip to the All England Club. The match was concluded in near-darkness. If Robredo hadn’t won his serve in the 9th game, the match would have probably been suspended. Robredo’s record in 5-setters is really impressive: 15-4. Janowicz, who hasn’t robredo_wb14.won 3 consecutive matches in a tournament since last year’s Wimbledon drops from No. 25 to No. 52 in the newest ranking. For the first time in his career, Rafael Nadal won three straight matches in a tournament after dropping the first set, as he battled into the second week at Wimbledon. On a waterlogged Saturday at The Championships, the two-time champion and World No. 1 overcame a disappointing 1st set tie-break, impressively relinquishing just three games the rest of the way for a 6-7(4) 6-1 6-1 6-1 defeat of Mikhail Kukushkin. “I am playing well,” Nadal said. “I would be lying if I said another thing. I think I am playing well… I lost 7-6, and then I won in straight sets and with a positive score. The feeling was great. I played aggressive. I had great movement. In difficult positions I was able to come back in the point. Then when I had chances with the forehand, I was able to play aggressive. That’s what I did.” Nadal will next square off with Aussie young gun Nick Kyrgios in a blockbuster Round of 16 encounter. Kyrgios became the youngest member of the Top 100 after ousting fellow rising star Jiri Vesely 3-6 6-3 7-5 6-2 in a rain-delayed duel on Saturday. “The rain delay played a massive part in that match,” shared Kyrgios. “[Vesely] had a lot of momentum. The rain came. I was in the locker room reflecting on what I have to do and change, and I thought I played some really good tennis in the last three sets.” In moving into his first Grand Slam fourth round, the 19 year-old became the first ‘wild card’ to advance as far at Wimbledon since Juan Carlos Ferrero did so in 2009. “I never thought that I would be seeing Nadal in my fourth round Wimbledon in my 19th year,” said Kyrgios. “I thought it would take years and years of work to finally have an opportunity like that.” Another imperious serving display from Milos Raonic helped the Canadian to a fourth-round spot at Wimbledon on Saturday. The 23-year-old Raonic is yet be broken at The Championships and lost only nine points on serve as he defeated Lukasz Kubot 7-6(2) 7-6(4) 6-2. The players endured a delay of several hours as heavy rain started to fall in the early stages of the third-round contest. At the resumption, Raonic wrapped up victory in 1 hour and 46 minutes. The longest rally of this match was consisted of just 7 strokes! The Canadian served 30 aces, the Pole 15. Raonic has not dropped a set in reaching the second week at Wimbledon for the first time. “I don’t think [I’ve played] a match, especially in a Grand Slam, where I was able to be as dominant as I was on my serve,” said the eighth seed. It will be a battle of the young guns in the Wimbledon fourth round on Tuesday as Kei Nishikori faces Raonic. The Japanese No. 1 returned Monday at the All England Club to complete a 3-6 6-3 4-6 7-6(4) 6-4 victory over Simone Bolelli. The pair’s contest was severely delayed due to rain on Saturday and was ultimately suspended due to bad light with the score balanced at 3-all in the 5th set. At the resumption, Nishikori rallied from a 15/40 deficit in the first game before breaking ‘lucky loser’ Bolelli in the 10th game to claim victory in 3 hours and 37 minutes. “This one was a very tight match for me because he was playing really aggressive and flat, both sides, especially the forehand. nishikori_wb14He was hitting a lot of winners, and sometimes I didn’t know what to do. I was kind of like a yo-yo. I was running from side to side. I think on Saturday he was playing much better than me. But today there were some lucky shots. At 3-All I was down 15/40 on my serve. There was some luck, too. There was a lot of stress these two days, especially yesterday. I never had something like this, after playing a fifth set, taking one day off, playing again today. It wasn’t easy. But I’m very happy to win today. So hopefully I play another good one tomorrow.” Nishikori serving at 5:6 in the 4th set was 0/30, two points later, Bolelli fist-pumped thinking he got match point after a forehand winner – the ball was called ‘out’ by the chair-umpire though…  Stan Wawrinka won the first of what could be three matches in three days for the Swiss at Wimbledon as he dismissed Denis Istomin 6-3 6-3 6-4 on Monday. After rain forced the third-round match to be cancelled on Saturday, Wawrinka will now contest his fourth-round match on Tuesday against Feliciano Lopez, who also played his third-round contest Tuesday. Wawrinka dominated an ailing Istomin, who called the doctor onto court in the 2nd set, by hitting 12 aces and winning 83 % of his first serve points. “Firstly, it was important to win,” said Wawrinka. “But the way I played in three sets was perfect today for me, perfect start to do it quickly. I’m playing well.” Lopez, in an all-serve battle on Court 3, ousted John Isner 6-7(8) 7-6(6) 7-6(3) 7-5 being out-aced 34-52. Ten yeas ago at Wimbledon, also in the third round Lopez experienced the same type of match with Ivo Karlovic, the outcome was reversal then – the Spaniard lost 6-7(12) 6-7(3) 7-6(2) 5-7; in both matches there was just one break of serve. Isner striking 52 aces overcomes previous record of ‘most aces served in a 4-setter’, established nine years ago in Melbourne by Joachim Johansson.

Second round: ATP

Four years ago today, John Isner made history as he won a record-breaking first-round contest with Nicolas Mahut in the Wimbledon first round. Against Jarkko Nieminen on No. 3 Court in the second round Thursday, the American won a marathon 1st set and backed it up to claim a 7-6(17) 7-6(3) 7-5 victory (Isner saved set points at: 6:7, 8:9, 10:11, 12:13 & 14:15). The marathon tie-break spelled the second-longest men’s singles tie-break in Wimbledon history. In the 1973 first round, Bjorn Borg won a 20/18 tie-break against Premjit Lall. Isner is yet to be broken during The Championships, not facing a break point on Thursday and isner_wb14saving all seven in his first-round match. The American struck 32 aces past Nieminen, adding to the 26 he fired against Daniel Smethurst. “I wasn’t that excited when I was down set point however many times I was,” said Isner reflecting on the tie-break. “Excited when I won that set. That tie-breaker was something else. Fortunately I won. For whatever reason, when I’m in [tie-breaks], I always have a lot of adrenaline and I’m always serving my best, better than what I was getting to that tie-breaker.” Fifth seed Stan Wawrinka fired 56 winners past Yen-Hsun Lu to record a 7-6(6) 6-3 3-6 7-5 victory in 2 hours and 42 minutes. Wawrinka saved two set point opportunities in the 1st set tie-break, winning four points in a row from a 4:6 deficit. “Grass is tough,” he admitted. “It’s tough to change quickly from clay court to grass, especially for my game.” Grigor Dimitrov required just over 90 minutes to beat qualifier Luke Saville on Wednesday. The in-form No. 11 seed Dimitrov, who won his fourth ATP World Tour title at Queens Club on grass two weeks ago, advanced with a 6-3 6-2 6-4 win over a fellow junior Wimbledon titlist. Dimitrov will now play No. 21 seed Alexandr Dolgopolov, who hit a personal best 42 aces and converted three of his seven break point opportunities in a 6-7(4) 7-6(0) 6-3, 6-4 victory over Benjamin Becker. The German led 6:5* in the 2nd set when lost 13 points in a row! Dolgopolov’s previous high was 29 aces in the 2010 Wimbledon 2R, when he lost to Tsonga 8-10 in the final set. Sixth seed Tomas Berdych fought to overcome Bernard Tomic 4-6 7-6(5) 7-6(3) 6-1. The 2010 Wimbledon finalist saved two set points to force a 3rd-set tie-break, and raced through the final set in 21 minutes. Berdych finished the match with 68 winners, including 25 aces, to 18 unforced errors. They met on the same Court No. 1 also a year before and Berdych won in four sets too. Andy Murray improved to a 38-7 record at the All England Club after he steamrolled [92] Blaz Rola of Slovenia 6-1 6-1 6-0 in 83 minutes. Murray hit 7 aces and 27 winners against the Ohio State University graduate, who was making his Wimbledon debut this year. Sergiy Stakhovsky is at it again. Twelve months after beating seven-time champion  Federer in the second round, the Ukrainian took out 12th seed Ernests Gulbis at the same stage (his only two wins over the Top 10 opponents). The World No. 90 beat Gulbis 6-4 6-3 7-6(5). Stakhovsky lost 15 of his service points and committed just nine unforced errors for victory in 1 hour 55 minutes. Gulbis hit 14 aces and 9 double faults. Stakhovsky will next play Jeremy Chardy, who held on to beat Marinko Matosevic 6-7(5) 7-6(7) 7-6(9) 4-6 7-5 in 4 hours and 15 minutes. Chardy trailed *2:4 in 2nd set, 0/40 at *4:5 in the 3rd, 8:9 in the tie-break & 3:4* in the deciding set. “He served well in the match,” admitted Gulbis. “Nothing was working from my side. Two of my biggest weapons, my serve and return, weren’t there. I couldn’t get any free points from my serve. A lot of credit to Sergiy. That’s why he beat Roger last year on grass. The guy has a good game plan. He comes in, he chips the ball, he takes out the pace.” Earlier on day three, kuznetsov_wb14Kevin Anderson fired 63 winners – including 24 aces – past Edouard Roger-Vasselin in a 7-6(0) 1-6 6-3 6-4 win to reach the third round for the second straight year. Anderson & Roger-Vasselin have faced each other in 3 out of 4 Slams. Fabio Fognini, the No. 16 seed, beat qualifier Tim Puetz 2-6 6-4 7-6(6) 6-3 saving a double set point in the tie-break with two backhand stop-volleys. The 26-year-old Puetz debuted at the main level, in the qualifying round he survived an 18/16 tie-break vs Marton Fucsovics. Russia’s Andrey Kuznetsov [118] recorded the biggest win of his career on Wednesday  with a 6-7(5) 6-0 3-6 6-3 6-2 win over No. 7-ranked David Ferrer, one of the most consistent players in recent years. It was Ferrer’s earliest loss at a Grand Slam championship since the 2010 Australian Open when he fell to Baghdatis in 2R. Ferrer, who picked up a stomach bug at Roland Garros, had not played on grass prior to arriving at the All England Club. He admitted, “I lost because my opponent was better. I think I played a good game, but he surprised to me and… [hit] a lot of winners. In the important moments, he was more aggressive than me.” Novak Djokovic recorded his 10th straight win in 12 meetings against Radek Stepanek on Wednesday. The top seed and 2011 champion beat 35-year-old Stepanek 6-4 6-3 6-7(5) 7-6(5) on Centre Court for his 40th match win at Wimbledon. “[Stepanek] has great touch, great talent at the net. He covered my passing shots very well,” said Djokovic after the match. The World No. 2 led 5:2* in the 3rd set tie-break, but Stepanek battled back to clinch the 67-minute set. Stepanek rallied from 2:5* in the 4th set tie-break, but he hit a forehand volley into the net for 5-all to gift Djokovic his first match point. Djokovic struck his 11th forehand winner to end the 3-hour, 17-minute encounter. Thursday was a day for marathons – four five-set nail-biters were completed. Australian ‘wild card’ Nick Kyrgios [144] saved nine match points (!) as he came back from two sets down to stun No. 13 seed Richard Gasquet 3-6 6-7(4) 6-4 7-5 10-8 in seven minutes shy of 4 hours on No. 2 Court. The right-hander saved 14 of the 16 break points he faced and hit 86 winners to 44 unforced errors. In the decider, Gasquet led 40/0 at 5:4, another three match points had at 6:5, one at 7:6 & two at 8:7! Also led 5:4* (30/0) in the 4th set! “It was an unbelievable match out there,” said Kyrgios. “My first ever two-sets-love down, coming back and winning. It’s an amazing feeling… I kyrgios_gasq_wb14played some unbelievable tennis today. He was coming up with some really good shots as well. I saved nine match points. There’s plenty of opportunities he could have taken. I came out on top, I’m really happy.” The only other male players to save as many match points in Grand Slam singles victories were Christophe Roger-Vasselin and Vincent Spadea (both at Roland Garros). In a third-round battle of young guns, Kyrgios will play Jiri Vesely on Saturday. The 19-year-old Kyrgios came into Wimbledon having qualified into and won an ATP Challenger Tour title on grass in Nottingham, prompting Murray to write on Twitter: “Another challenger win for @nickkyrgios this time on grass.. also won challengers on hard and clay! Next big Aussie star. We will be seeing a lot of him very shortly on the main tour.” “It’s a massive steppingstone for me to finally reach the third round of a Grand Slam. I’m going to take a lot of confidence moving forward,” said Kyrgios. He added later, “My goal is to become the No. 1 player in the world.” Vesely defeated No. 24 seed Gael Monfils 7-6(3) 6-3 6-7(1) 6-7(3) 6-4 in 3 hours and 13 minutes. The Czech reached the third round of a major for the first time as he withstood 23 aces and saved four of the five break points he faced, including a double mini-MP at 3:4 in the 5th set & one as he served for the match. “He had a massive win today, winning in five sets,” said Kyrgios. “He’s also young. He’s on the rise. He’s got a really aggressive game, big serve. Big hitter as well. I think the grass is suiting him nicely.” Second seed and two-time former champion Rafael Nadal came back from the brink of a two sets deficit to beat his 2012 conqueror Lukas Rosol. Nadal saved one set point at *5:6 in the 2nd set tie-break (forehand winner), before coming back to win 4-6 7-6(6) 6-4 6-4 on Centre Court. Rosol hit a double fault at 6:7 to end a 57-minute hard-fought passage of play. “Maybe if I lost that set point in the second set, if that forehand down the line went out, maybe I would be [sitting] here with a loss,” said Nadal. “But that’s the sport. That forehand was a perfect forehand for that moment. Even if I was losing, I was fighting for every ball. I was fighting mentally, physically.” Court roof on Thursday evening, Roger Federer defeated Gilles Muller 6-3 7-5 6-3 to reach the third round at The Championships. Play was suspended temporarily at 4:3 in the 2nd set. At the resumption, Federer wrapped up victory in 1 hour and 34 minutes. The Swiss fired 25 aces and committed just five unforced errors. In a near-faultless serving display, he won 91 % of points on his first serve and did not face a break point. “Against a player like this you’re more dependent on the serve and return and first couple of shots, so it doesn’t change much against a player like him,” said Federer of the closed roof. Simone Bolelli [132] rather unexpectedly defeated Philipp Kohlschreiber 4-6 6-4 6-3 2-6 7-5 in just over 3 hours. World No. 132 Bolelli, a lucky loser, is through to the third round of a major for the first time in three years, since upsetting Wawrinka at tsonga_wb14Wimbledon in 2011, again as a lucky loser. The 28 year-old had only won two tour-level matches this season coming into Wimbledon. No. 14 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga saved one match point as he completed a 4-6 7-6(2) 6-7(4) 6-3 14-12 victory over Sam Querrey. Querrey held a match point at 6:5 on Tsonga’s serve (saved with the help of two volleys) on Wednesday evening before play was abandoned due to darkness at 9-all. At the resumption, Tsonga broke in the 25th game (despite 15/40) and served out victory in 3 hours and 48 minutes. “It’s always good to win like this,” said Tsonga. “It’s good for my confidence, and it’s good for my game to stay on the court, play points, live some difficult moments.” Milos Raonic, who has a top eight seeding at a Grand Slam championship for the first time, powered past Jack Sock in a 6-3 6-4 6-4. “For me the most important thing, especially on grass, is finding rhythm on second serve return,” said Raonic. “I found that qui”I had some tactics, some strategy what to bring to the game. I kind of know whatstrong Juan Carlos Ferrerostrongspan style=”color: #0000ff;” to expect from him. He’s done it really well.” Raonic will next challenge last year’s quarter-finalist Lukasz Kubot, who hit 66 winners – including 22 aces – in a 6-7(4) 7-6(4) 3-6 7-6(3) win over Dusan LajovicTwo matches were extended to Friday due to rain: Santiago Giraldo ousted Marcel Granollers 4-6 7-6(2) 1-6 6-1 7-5 (suspended at 2-all in the 5th set) and Jerzy Janowicz survived his second consecutive 5-setter eliminating Lleyton Hewitt 7-5 6-4 6-7(7) 4-6 6-3 in 3 hours 47 minutes (suspended at 4-all in the 2nd set). The Pole led 6:4 in the tie-break and committed a double fault searching an ace. He served 21 aces, 12 double faults. Hewitt’s record in 5-setters: 32-22. “It’s a really good win for me,” said Janowicz. “Doesn’t matter how old is he and doesn’t matter his ranking, he’s an extremely good player, especially on grass. I was a little bit unlucky in the third set tie-break. “

First round: ATP

Andy Murray recorded his 450th tour-level match win on Monday as he started his defence of the Wimbledon title at The Championships. Murray became the 10th active player to reach the milestone with a 6-1 6-4 7-5 victory over David Goffin [105] on Centre Court. Tim Henman is the leading British match wins leader with a 496-274 mark. “To come to the court and get that reception… was very nice,” said Murray. “I think the crowd was pretty much full from the start. It was great. [I] enjoyed it for the walk to the chair. Then, when I sat down, it was time to get on with business. I was probably a bit more nervous yesterday than I was today.” Ernests Gulbis, matosevic_wb14the No. 12 seed, set up a second-round clash against Sergiy Stakhovsky after he struck 22 aces in a 7-6(7) 7-5 7-6(10) win over Jurgen Zopp. Gulbis saved two set points in the first tie-break & three in the second one. Stakhovsky lost nine of his first service points in a 6-3 6-3 6-3 victory over Carlos Berlocq. Marinko Matosevic caused the first upset by beating No. 18 seed Fernando Verdasco 6-4 4-6 6-4 6-2. Last year’s quarter-finalist, Verdasco explained afterwards, “I was 4:3 in the third set [and] I had two break points and didn’t make them. Then he broke my serve and won the third set. That really hurt me. He started the fourth playing much looser and took advantage. I couldn’t come back. Of course, I didn’t play my best tennis.” Top seed Novak Djokovic made a strong start in his bid to reclaim the Wimbledon title, dismissing Kazakhstani Andrey Golubev 6-0 6-1 6-4 on Monday at the All England Club. Djokovic, playing his first match since the Roland Garros final, won the first 11 games before Golubev [56] managed to get on the scoreboard. The Serbian broke to go up 5:4 in the 3rd set and wrapped up the victory after 87 minutes. He struck 34 winners and did not face any break points on serve. Fabio Fognini opened his 2014 Wimbledon campaign by surviving a strong test at the All England Club on Monday. The Italian recovered from a two-set deficit to triumph 2-6 1-6 6-4 6-1 9-7 over American qualifer Alex Kuznetsov in 3 hours 12 minutes. At the beginning of the 3rd set Fognini looked distracted & injured, but he saved a break point at 1:2 and regain his composure. In the final set, the Italian trickster lost his serve in the 5th game but fognini_wb14broke back immediately and saved a mini-match point at 6-all with a service winner. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Jurgen Melzer had to to wait one more day to determine who advances to the Wimbledon second round. The 14th-seeded Tsonga was serving for the match at 6-1 3-6 3-6 6-2 *5:4 before play was suspended due to rain and, ultimately, darkness. After the resumption Tsonga won four points, lost none and advanced to the last 64. Two Americans were in a similar situation, with Sam Querrey leading Bradley Klahn 6-7(5) 6-4 6-1 *6:5 – here the last game, played on Tuesday, was composed of 8 points. Fifth seed Stan Wawrinka recorded his first match win at The Championships in three years on Tuesday when he defeated Joao Sousa 6-3 6-4 6-3. Wawrinka struck 18 aces and 34 winners. He converted 4 of his 12 break points opportunities against Sousa, who was making his Wimbledon debut. “I’m really happy,” said Wawrinka. “Today was a good match. It’s never easy, the first round in a Grand Slam. But I was quite focused, serving well, and confident with my game. I’ve been practising well for two weeks now, since before Queen’s. So it’s a perfect start.” Seven-time former champion Roger Federer produced a devastating display of power tennis on Tuesday, when he opened his campaign at The Championships by beating fellow 32-year-old Paolo Lorenzi 6-1 6-1 6-3 in 1 hour and 33 minutes. Federer, who is coached by two-time former Wimbledon titlist Stefan Edberg, won 30 of his 42 approaches to the net. He lost 10 of his first service points, hit 40 winners and committed 20 unforced errors. Lorenzi saved five match points at 2:5 in the 3rd set before Federer recorded his 68th match win at Wimbledon with a hold to 30. “It was a solid match overall,” said Federer. “I served well, returned well, also tried to come forward a bit. I could really do everything out there, so I’m very pleased with the first round.” Lorenzi has lost all his 13 Grand Slam matches. hewitt_wb14Lorenzi’s compatriot, Filippo Volandri has extended his losing streak at Slams to 19 matches! Federer is one of three men, aged 30 or over, to have lifted the Wimbledon trophy – Rod Laver (30 years 330 days) in 1969, Arthur Ashe (31 years 360 days) in 1975 and Federer (30 years 335 days) in 2012. Last year’s semi-finalist Jerzy Janowicz fired 61 winners & committed 19 double faults (none in the final set) past Somdev Devvarman, who hit 14 aces, in a 4-6 6-3 6-3 3-6 6-3 win. It was their second five-set encounter within two season and for the second time prevailed the Pole. Janowicz, the No. 15 seed, will now face 2002 champion Lleyton Hewitt, who battled past Michal Przysiezny 6-2 6-7(14) 6-1 6-4 squandering seven set points in the tie-break – 314th in Hewitt’s career and the longest one. Przysiezny [120] has lost 14 consecutive matches… “Lleyton is really, really good player,” said Janowicz. “He won Wimbledon, so he has a lot of experience. He’s extremely solid. He has a great backhand. He doesn’t miss much. He has a really nasty serve. Maybe not that powerful, but it’s really accurate. So I’ll have to play my best tennis.” In-form No. 19 seed Feliciano Lopez is one match away from his 350th tour-level win after beating qualifier Yuichi Sugita 7-6(6) 7-6(6) 7-6(7). Lopez came back from 1:5 & 3:6 deficits in the first tie-break, in the next two in turn, he was distinctively leading (6:3 & 5:1 respectively). He will play qualifier Ante lopez_wb14Pavic [163], who notched his first tour win in fourth attempt ousting in straight sets Alejandro Falla. Two-time former champion Rafael Nadal will come face-to-face with his 2012 conqueror, Lukas Rosol, in the second round of The Championships on Thursday. Nadal broke a three-match losing streak on grass-courts when the second seed defeated Martin Klizan 4-6 6-3 6-3 6-3 (their second four-setter with the same scoreline!) on Centre Court for his 700th tour-level victory (700-136 overall). He is the 11th player in the Open Era to reach the match-wins milestone. “I am excited to be back here, to win another match at Wimbledon, on the Centre Court,” said the Spaniard. Richard Gasquet, the No. 13 seed and 2007 semi-finalist, hit 22 aces to James Duckworth’s 12 aces in a 6-7(3) 6-3 3-6 6-0 6-1 win. He improved to an 8-12 record in fifth sets. Gasquet now faces a second Australian Nick Kyrgios, who is making his senior debut at the All England Club this week. In hot conditions, Kyrgios beat Stephane Robert 7-6(2) 7-6(1) 6-7(6) 6-2 (1st set completed in just 31 minutes!), hitting 29 aces and converting 5 of his 17 break point opportunities. The young Australian won the junior Wimbledon title over the past two years. In the 3rd set, Robert saved four mini-match points in two separate games. “I thought I stayed strong,” Kyrgios said. “After [losing] the third set it could have got a bit interesting, getting broken at the start of the fourth but I thought I stayed composed.” 35-year-old qualifier Jan Hernych [285], who had not won a main-tour match within the past twelve months, fought off 10 break points in the deciding set to stun Tobias Kamke 6-3 6-7(3) 6-3 5-7 6-4 on Court No. 10 in 199 minutes.