2015, Wimbledon

Wimbledon, London
June 29 – July 12, 2015; 128 draw (32 seeds); Surface – Grass

* Compilation of various BBC (the first three rounds) & ATP articles with my blue notes.

Final: (1)Novak Djokovic d. (2)Roger Federer    7-6(1), 6-7(10), 6-4, 6-3    [2:56 h]

djok_fed_wb15Djokovic took sole ownership of eighth place in the all-time Grand Slam championship title winners list Sunday when he captured his ninth major crown. The top seed clinched his third trophy (ninth major) at The Championships when he defeated second seed and seven-time former champion Roger Federer in four sets on Centre Court. It was his 200th Grand Slam match win and also his third triumph at the All England Club, which equals the mark of his coach, Boris Becker, the 1985-86 and 1989 winner. Djokovic is the first man to retain the Wimbledon title since 2007. “It’s a great privilege to play against Roger, who is a great champion,” Djokovic told BBC television on-court. “He has done so much for our sport on and off the court. It’s a great honour to play him again. I was aware coming onto the court, that Roger would play his best when it matters the most. He pushes you to limits.” By winning the 54th title of his career, Djokovic earned £1,880,000 in prize money and 2,000 ATP Rankings points. He is now 48-3 on the season, which includes six trophies. Federer admitted, “Novak not only played great today, but also this year, last year and the year before that! Well done, Novak, you deserved it. At the end he was rock solid. I didn’t play bad myself, so I can be very happy. That’s the way it goes. Once more, it has been a privilege to play here.” Djokovic trailed 2:4* in the opening set, then saved two set points at 5:6 (with a service winner & ace – both serves out-wide), then won 14 of 15 points – including a commanding performance in the tie-break. At the end of a pulsating final, he moved to 176-7 lifetime at majors after winning the first set (13-1 versus Federer). But Federer continued to press, although he could not convert two break points at 2-all in the 2nd set. Djokovic stepped up and when Federer struck a double fault at 4:5, 30/30, it gifted Djokovic a set point chance that he did not win – striking a forehand long. Federer responded immediately in Djokovic’s next serving game, which lasted eight minutes. Federer rattled the tape with a searing forehand on break point, 30/40, but Djokovic held on for a 6:5 advantage. In a dramatic tie-break, which was full of tension, Federer fought off six set points at 3:6, 6:7, 8:9 and 9:10 (he saved a set point at 4:6 after the longest rally of the match). He saw one chance at 8:7 pass, before sealing the 65-minute set on his second set point chance to get back into their 40th meeting. Djokovic saved a break point in the 2nd game of the 3rd set, and broke opponent serve at 1:1 after Federer’s forehand error from a djokovic_wb15championcomfortable position. By 4:21 p.m., a rain shower saw the players scurry back to the locker room (Djokovic led 3:2). At 4:41 p.m., the battle resumed and although Federer was more aggressive, Djokovic proved to be impenetrable – winning 94 per cent of his first serve. He closed out the 32-minute set with a hold to love. The pressure continued to build on Federer in the 4th set, as Djokovic’s returns continued to pepper the lines and he earned the break for a 3:2 lead. Federer held off two break points at 2:4, but could not deny Djokovic, who struck two phenomenal returns and a forehand winner into space on first match point to break for the second time in that set & wrap up a memorable almost 3-hour victory. Stats of the final

2nd semifinal: (2)Roger Federer d. (3)Andy Murray    7-5, 7-5, 6-4    [2:07 h]

Both players started strong, hitting through the ball with conviction in the early stages. Federer was tested early, denying a break point at 30/40 in the opening game and they remained on serve until the 12th game, when the second seed pounced on a 15/40 advantage after rifling a backhand winner. Murray saved one set point with a forehand pass, but Federer capitalised on his second to wrap up the opener in 37 minutes. The Swiss, who came forward often to apply pressure on the Scot (8/15 net points won), struck 11 aces and 23 winners, making 29 of 34 first serves (85 per cent) in the 1st set. The high-quality affair spilled into the 2nd set as both players ratcheted up the intensity. Federer’s tactics were clear from the onset, giving Murray little pace to feed off with a barrage of timely slice backhands and inside-out forehands to open up the court. Perhaps the game murrfed_15of the year came with Federer leading at 5:4, as both players turned in a sublime shot-making exhibition. Murray’s serve would come under siege. A sparkling cross-court running forehand winner that clipped the side tramline and a netted Murray backhand would give the Swiss three set points at 0/40. The Dunblane native did well to send the game to ‘deuce’ and save two more chances, eventually thumping an ace to hold after a hard-fought 14 minutes (7 deuces). Federer would need just one minute to hold for 6:5 and kept the pressure on Murray’s serve in the 12th game. The seven-time champion would put away a volley on his sixth set point, claiming a two-set lead. He struck 18 winners and won a staggering 19/19 first serve points in the second set, while claiming 10/13 at the net. In the 3rd set, they would remain on serve until the 10th game when Federer once again attacked Murray’s serve. He took advantage of his first match point to close out the match after two hours and seven minutes. In total, he fired 56 winners and 20 aces, winning a whopping 84 per cent of first serve points. Murray was vying to advance to his third Wimbledon title match and ninth in majors. He was contesting his 17th Grand Slam semi-final, extending his record for the most SF appearances by a British man ahead of Fred Perry (13). “He served fantastic, apart from the first game where I had the chance there,” said Murray. “I didn’t really have any opportunities. That puts pressure on you. The pressure builds throughout the set that way. Obviously I got broken right at the end all of the sets. But I didn’t actually play a bad match. Played pretty well.”  In reaching an unprecedented 10th Wimbledon final, Federer became the oldest men’s finalist since Ken Rosewall in 1974. Stats of the match

1st semifinal: (1)Novak Djokovic d. (21)Richard Gasquet    7-6(2), 6-4, 6-4    [2:21 h]

Djokovic, who is now 12-1 lifetime against Gasquet in their H2H series, has a 47-3 match record on the year. “The first set was really close,” said Djokovic. “I thought Richard played some really good tennis, especially from the backhand side. It was really difficult for me at times to play any kind of ball to his backhand side because he was really going for it, especially down the line. He made a lot of winners. He used the chipped backhand, slice variety as well… Winning the first set tie-break was psychologically very helpful for the rest of the match.” Early nerves for Gasquet in the opening exchanges, which resulted in Djokovic taking a 2:0 lead, were soon extinguished. Gasquet broke back immediately and kept his nerve in baseline rallies, targetting the backhand of the top seed. At 4-all, Gasquet came close to winning the first two points djokovic_wb15_on Djokovic’s serve but missed a smash with the court open. Despite the heat, Gasquet hung in the long rallies and it appeared that Djokovic looked the more uncomfortable as the set headed towards a tie-break. At 2:2, Gasquet struck a backhand down the line long and lost his focus. Gasquet was inconsistent in the 2nd-set opener, gifting Djokovic points with groundstroke errors. Although Djokovic continued to slip on the grass, more than three yards behind the baseline, he was able to convert his second break point opportunity with a crosscourt forehand winner in a front of a net-rushing Gasquet. Soon any short ball Gasquet struck, Djokovic dispatched it. Former kings of the lawn, Bjorn Borg, Rod Laver and Manuel Santana, nodded approvingly from the Royal Box. Djokovic received treatment a 5:4, during the changeover, for a left shoulder complaint but he soon took a commanding lead. In the 3rd set, Djokovic converted his second break point chance in the third game and maintained control. At 3:5, Gasquet saved one match point at 30/40, but Djokovic was not to be denied in his next service game. He will now look to equal his coach Boris Becker‘s mark of third Wimbledon titles on Sunday afternoon. “I tried to do my best,” said Gasquet. “I played a good first set. I hit some great backhands… It was tough to do better. It was 2:2 [in the tie-break], then it was 7/2. It wasn’t good. He never miss on some returns. He serves well. That’s why he’s World No. 1.”

4th quarterfinal: (21)Richard Gasquet d. (4)Stan Wawrinka    6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-4, 11-9    [3:28 h]

Gasquet had lost an 8-6 fifth set to Wawrinka in their most recent meeting two years ago at Roland Garros, but refused to suffer the same fate on Court No. 1 despite failing to serve out the match at 5:3 in the decisive set and being a break point down at 9-all. “Even if I lost this important game at 5:3, I kept fgasq_wb15ighting a lot,” he said. “It was important because I know it’s a great match, playing the winner of Roland Garros in a quarter-final of a Grand Slam, so I need to keep focus, to stay focused, and to fight. Of course, it’s a very nice victory for me to win against him 11-9 in the fifth. It’s great.” The 29-year-old Gasquet previously reached the Wimbledon semi-finals in 2007, and lost to eventual champion and then-World No. 1 Roger Federer in straight sets. “I’m proud because there are big players in the semis,” he said. “I’m the worst when you see Federer, Djokovic and Murray and me (smiling). There is something, I want to enjoy it.” He will look to snap a nine-match losing streak against Djokovic when the pair face off on grass for the first time Friday. Gasquet’s lone win in 12 H2H meetings against the Serbian came in round-robin action at the 2007 season-ending championships in Shanghai. Wawrinka, making his 11th Wimbledon appearance, was attempting to become the second Swiss man in tournament history to reach the semi-finals. He dropped his first set of the fortnight as he committed 14 unforced errors to Gasquet’s four in the 31-minute opener (the Swiss couldn’t deal with Gasquet’s serve making 10 return errors). The 21st-seeded Frenchman hit a high proportion of serves into court. Gasquet fell gasqybehind *0:3 to start the 2nd set, but recovered the break in the 5th game. After losing just one point on serve over his next two service games, he struggled to hold at 4:5, committing errors to give Wawrinka set point chances. He saved two, before losing the set with a double fault. Wawrinka broke Gasquet again early in the 3rd, and lost a total of five points on serve as he clinched the set in 29 minutes. Thirty minutes later, the match was level once again. As Gasquet had done two sets earlier, Wawrinka double-faulted on his opponent’s set point chance (Wawrinka’s only double fault!), sending the match to a 5th set. Gasquet saved a break point chance to start the decider, and then claimed a crucial break to go up 5:3 as he rushed to the net and put away a forehand winner on his second break opportunity. He was unable to serve out the win as Wawrinka immediately broke back. The Swiss earned the next break point chance at 9:9, 30/40, but could not deliver (Gasquet saved the mini-match point with a service winner). He made a trio of errors in the next game to bring up triple match point for Gasquet, and the Frenchman converted on his third opportunity. Gasquet fell to the floor in celebration as he booked his return to the semi-finals. He improved to a 10-13 mark in matches decided in a fifth set, while Wawrinka fell to 21-18. Stats of the match

3rd quarterfinal: (1)Novak Djokovic d. (9)Marin Cilic    6-4, 6-4, 6-4    [1:49 h]

In recording his 50th victory at Wimbledon, the World No. 1 reached his 27th Grand Slam semi-final and took sole ownership of fourth place in the list of most major semi-final appearances in the Open Era, behind Roger Federer (38), Jimmy Connors (31) and Ivan Lendl (28). A volley winner gave Djokovic the break for an early 2:1 lead. The Belgrade native would need four set points to take a one-set advantage after 35 minutes. In the 9th game of 2nd set, Djokovic managed to earn himself three break point chances. The Croat saved the first with an ace, but a slice backhand into djokovic_wb15the net gave the top seed the break for a 5:4 lead. The Serb served out the set at 30 after 39 minutes, capitalising on his first set point. A forehand error from Cilic gave Djokovic a pivotal break for a 4:3 lead in the 3rd set. The one break was again all it took in the third set as Djokovic went on to serve out the victory at 15. “I think I was playing pretty well during tournament and I showed in a few matches that my level of the game is really on a good way,” said Cilic. “I’m pretty satisfied with my form, with the tournament in general. Overall, [I’m] looking positively ahead. It’s a pity to lose in quarters; it’s pretty deep in a tournament. Considering I was also playing good tennis… I was looking forward today to having a better fight.” Djokovic improved his commanding lead over Cilic in their H2H series to 13-0. “I came out with the right intensity, moved well all over the court, tried to get as many returns back in play,” said Djokovic. “I didn’t allow Marin to come back to the match. It was a close game when I was serving for the set. I think that helped my confidence to feel better afterwards.”

2nd quarterfinal: (3)Andy Murray d. Vasek Pospisil    6-4, 7-5, 6-4    [2:12 h

Play was suspended due to rain after 13 minutes of play at 1:26 p.m. local time, by which time Murray had broken Pospisil for a 3:1 lead. The match resumed after a 37-minute delay at 2:03 p.m. Murray was about to serve at 3:4 in the 2nd set, when rain returned at 2:57 p.m. There had been 54 minutes of play since the last interruption. Upon the resumption under a closed roof at 3:31 p.m., the second set went with serve until the 12th game when Pospisil earned a time violation at 5-murray_wb15all, 30/30, when he exceeded the 20 seconds between points. Murray took advantage and converted a set point opportunity with a low backhand that Pospisil could not pick up. It appeared to sap the energy out of Pospisil, who had played 19 hours and 11 minutes of singles and doubles competition coming into their fourth meeting. The third-set battle was intense, with both players trying to gain control of the baseline. But, once again, Murray came up trumps when it counted. Although he could not convert two break point chances at 3-all, Murray put Pospisil under pressure in his next service game. Serving at 4:4, 30/40, Pospisil was forced to strike through his legs, which Murray capitalised on. Murray then saved a break point en route to improving to a 46-6 record on the 2015 season. Murray said, “I needed to [step up] because at times, [he] was serving really well, [which] made it very difficult for me. Then I just managed to, at a few key moments, come up with some good shots. [The] third set was tricky, as well, because I had a bunch of break points. When you don’t take them, obviously you start to think about that a little bit. Overall, it was a good match.”  The 25-year-old Pospisil had been attempting to follow in the footsteps of Robert Powell (1908) and Milos Raonic (2014) as the third Canadian to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals. Andy and Jamie Murray (w/John Peers) have become the first brothers to reach the semi-finals in the men’s singles and men’s doubles events at the same Wimbledon since Australians John and Neale Fraser in 1962. The Frasers both reached the last four of the men’s singles and men’s doubles (with different partners) at 1962 Wimbledon.

1st quarterfinal: (2)Roger Federer d. (12)Gilles Simon    6-3, 7-5, 6-2    [1:35 h]

Federer won his 17th and most recent Grand Slam championship at the All England Club three years ago, beating Murray in the final. The Swiss is looking to become the first man in history to win eight Wimbledon titles; he has a 78-9 tournament record. “I’m very happy to be in the semis again,” said Federer, “The road is long getting here. But still I feel like I’m fresh and I’ve got energy left in the tank for hopefully a great match with Andy and then we’ll see. But I’m looking forward to it.” At the age of 30, World No. 13 Simon was bidding to reach his first Grand Slam semi-final, but could not find a way past Federer, whom he has now lost to six times in a row (2-6 H2H record). On No. 1 Court for the first time at the 2015 Championships, Federer raced out to a 3:0 start, before the match was interrupted by a heavy rain shower. Play resumed 37 minutes later, but there was little Simon could do to halt Federer’s federer_wb15progress. With actor Bradley Cooper seated beside Federer’s wife, Mirka, the Basel native claimed the 1st set in just under 30 minutes, having hit 15 winners and lost only seven points on serve. Federer looked to have made a decisive move in the 2nd set with a service break in the seventh game. But, serving for the set at 5:4, Simon raised his level to engineer a break back to love. It ended a run of 116 successive service holds (third best streak in history!) for Federer, dating back to his first-round match with Philipp Kohlschreiber at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle. But Simon’s fightback was shortlived. Federer immediately recouped the advantage with a break in the 11th game and had won the first point of the 12th game when another heavy rain shower forced the players off court. Play restarted less than an hour later and Federer was ruthless, hitting three service winners to claim the set. Federer rode his momentum into the 3rd set, breaking Simon immediately to establish an early and ultimately decisive lead. The right-hander broke again in the seventh game and went on to seal victory with a nice attacking rally. “I think Roger played a great match, especially on the serve,” said Simon. “I had a lot of pressure because of that. From the first point in the match, he served perfect. He never gave me any occasion. The only break I did was really good. I just played a perfect game to break him.

Fourth round:

Novak Djokovic reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon by completing his comeback from two sets down to beat Kevin Anderson. Djokovic had levelled at two sets all when bad light stopped play on Monday. He struggled to find his rhythm when the match resumed on Tuesday after a delay because of rain. But the world number one and top seed finally got to grips djokovic_anderson_wb15with the big-serving South African to win 6-7(6) 6-7(6) 6-1 6-4 7-5 after 3 hours 47 minutes. “Kevin served exceptionally well,” said Djokovic on Anderson’s career-high 40 aces. “This was one of the most difficult matches I have played at Wimbledon in my career. It was high-quality tennis in the fifth set. At times I was helpless with my return – it was very difficult to read his serve and he was very aggressive. I was two sets down and coming back to win gives me great satisfaction and confidence for my next challenge.” In the sixth game of the deciding set, Djokovic appeared to aggressively shout ‘Towel’ at a startled ball girl after a a 20-shot rally concluded with him netting with a forehand. Djokovic said: “I’m sorry. There was nothing towards her. Maybe she was just afraid of my screaming there. I’m definitely going to try to apologise to her if I did something wrong.” It was not long until Djokovic had Anderson in trouble when the 6ft 8in right-hander saw his serve falter for the first time. Two double-faults at 5-all (the Serb held at ‘love’ serving to stay in the event at 4:5) gave Djokovic his first chance to break in the decider, and he did not miss his opportunity. Anderson lost a match despite a two-sets-to-love lead, but on the other hand he was very lucky to win the 2nd set, because he trailed 0:4 in the tie-break, then saved a set point. In a repeat of last years quarterfinal, Djokovic will meet Marin Cilic, who served in the 4th set against Denis Kudla to avoid third straigh five-setter. World No. 4 Stan Wawrinka defeated David Goffin 7-6(3) 7-6(7) 6-4 on Monday at the All England Club. The 30-year-old Wawrinka reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon for the first time last year, losing out to Roger Federer. The Lausanne native is the 24th man in the Open Era to reach multiple quarter-finals at every Grand Slam championship. Wawrinka is bidding to become the fifth man in the Open Era to record the Roland Garros-Wimbledon double, having won his second Grand Slam championship on the clay in Paris with victory over Djokovic. The right-hander improved to a 3-0 H2H record over Goffin as he beat the 16th-seeded Belgian in 2 hours and 23 minutes. Wawrinka hit 44 winners and rallied from a break down in the 3rd set to prevail (in the 2nd set tie-break he fought off a set point with a backhand down the line winner). “It was a tough one,” said Wawrinka. “I’m really happy with the victory, especially in three sets. I wasn’t moving great. I was a little bit soft in general. But I’m happy to get through. It’s an important victory for me.” Richard Gasquet reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals for the second time as he avenged last year’s five-set loss to Nick Kyrgios with a 7-5 6-1 6-7(7) 7-6(6) victory. Gasquet missed nine match points in a second-round defeat to Kyrgios last year, as the Australian youngster went on to reach his first Grand Slam gasquet_wb15quarter-final. But Gasquet put that firmly behind him in the fourth round as he claimed victory in 2 hours and 53 minutes. “I’m very happy to be back in the quarter-finals,” said Gasquet. “I lost many times in a Grand Slam in a fourth round. It’s very good for me to be here in the quarter-finals. Now we will see what will happens. I am feeling good.” Gasquet rallied from an early break deficit to steal the 1st set with a break in the 12th game. After tearing through the 2nd set, Gasquet found himself with two match points leading 6:4 in the third-set tie-break. But Kyrgios put the Frenchman’s celebrations on hold as he won five of the next six points to claw his way back into contention. Kyrgios looked poised to force a fifth set as he led 6:4 in the 4th-set tie-break, but this time it was Gasquet who turned the tables, reeling off the final four points and prevailing as Kyrgios double faulted on his own set point and on Gasquet’s third match point. Afterwards, the Frenchman admitted that memories from 2014 had crept in when he squandered two match points to lose the third set. “To be honest, a little bit, yes,” said Gasquet. “It’s true. I threw the racquet. I broke one. Because that one [match point] was on my serve. Last year I had nine on his serve. The first one was on my serve. He did great shots in this tie-break. I couldn’t finish.” Gasquet served 19 aces (more than in his three previous Wimbledon matches). Kyrgios came back on courts afterwards along with Madison Keys to lose a mixed doubles match squandering five match points (to Lukasz Kubot & Andrea Hlavackova). Seven-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer dismissed No. 20 seed Roberto Bautista Agut 6-2 6-2 6-3 on Monday for a spot in the quarter-finals. Federer has now reached the quarter-finals at the All England Club for the 13th time and his 45th Grand Slam quarter-final overall. The Swiss broke Bautista Agut to clinch victory after 86 minutes. “It was a good match,” said Federer. “I got off to a good start and kept rolling. Maybe Roberto wasn’t at his very best. Midway through the second [set], he hurt himself. Still, he was out there and he was actually still moving okay, so I had to put him away, which I was able to do.” The Swiss will take on No. 12 seed Gilles Simon, who earlier ousted sixth seed Tomas Berdych 6-3 6-3 6-2. Simon improved his H2H record against the Czech to 7-4 as he reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals for the first time to equal his best Grand Slam result. “I was not competitive enough for today, but that’s how it is and [I] just need to take it and keep moving forward,” said Berdych. The 30-year-old Frenchman fired 21 winners and karlovic_murray_wb15saved the only break point he faced in the 1 hour, 56-minute match. “I had a good feeling from the start,” said Simon. “I felt he was struggling also to put his game in place, and I was really good at keeping him in the gray area. I felt he didn’t know what to do anymore on the court, and for me, it was really clear. So I was just so happy that it lasted [through] all the match.” Andy Murray delighted British supporters Monday by reaching the quarter-finals of The Championships for an eighth straight year. Murray, the third seed and 2013 champion, battled his way past Ivo Karlovic – one of the biggest servers in tennis history – with a 7-6(7) 6-4 5-7 6-4 victory on Centre Court. The Scot withstood 75 winners, including 29 aces from Karlovic, to end the three-hour duel. “I just tried to use some variety throughout the match, to not allow him to be too comfortable,” said Murray. “It worked at a few important moments. I took a little bit off my first serve. I wasn’t serving as hard as usual, to try and not allow him the opportunity to sort of go for huge returns or try to come to net off the second serve return. So I went for a high percentage of first serves. When I was in the rallies, I felt comfortable. It’s a tactical match, but it’s tough. It’s quite stressful to play against him.” In a dramatic 1st set, Karlovic saved a total of six set points – at 4:5 (30/40); from 5:6 (0/40); then 5:6* & 6:7 in the tie-break. At 7-all in the tie-break, Murray stretched for a forehand return and hurried to the opposite corner to strike a backhand, which Karlovic volleyed into the net. On his seventh set point opportunity, Murray forced Karlovic to run around his backhand, but the Croat could not strike a clean response. Murray broke in the first game of the 2nd set, but struggled to pick holes in Karlovic’s game in the 3rd set. In cutting down on his unforced errors, Karlovic made a gritty comeback resulting in taking the set when Murray over-hit a slice return long. Karlovic had hit 26 winners to Murray’s 12. An out-swinging volley hit wide pospisilwb15cost Karlovic in the 7th game of the 4th set as Murray went on to clinch his 149th match win at a Grand Slam championship. Murray has a 3-0 H2H lead against Vasek Pospisil, who became the second Canadian in successive years to reach the quarter-finals at Wimbledon. The 25-year-old Pospisil fought back from a 0-2 sets & *3:4 in the 3rd set deficit to knock out No. 22 seed Viktor Troicki 4-6 6-7(4) 6-4 6-3 6-3 in 2 hours and 39 minutes. He follows in the footsteps of fellow Canadians Robert Powell (1908, 1910 and 1912) and Milos Raonic, who advanced to the 2014 Wimbledon semi-finals. Currently No. 56 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, Pospisil has a 13-12 record on the season. It is just the third time that he has won four straight tour-level matches (also 2013 Montreal and 2014 Washington).  A few hours after the victory over Troicki, Pospisil played a doubles match (along with Jack Sock) which he almost won again despite the 0-2 deficit (the Canadian-US duo of defending champions lost 6-8 in the 5th set). Pospisil has played 31 sets this year at Wimbledon (19 in singles & 12 in doubles)!

Third round:

kudla_wimbledon1522-year-old American born in Ukraine, Denis Kudla [105] became the most unexpected participant of the fourth round. “Wild card” Kudla defeated Santiago Giraldo 6-2 6-7(3) 2-6 6-1 6-3 on Friday in 2 hours 54 minutes. Kudla has been near-perfect on grass this year, compiling a 12-1 record through three tournaments, including a title at the Challenger-level event in the English town of Ilkley. “I’ve had almost the perfect grass-court season,” he said. “I mean, even the one match I lost I had a match point, so I’ve given myself a chance to win every single match” – Kudla lost a final of other Challenger (Surbiton). Defending champion Novak Djokovic powered into the fourth round at Wimbledon and is yet to drop a set in this year’s championship. The top seed beat Australian Bernard Tomic 6-3 6-3 6-3 to set up a meeting with South African Kevin Anderson, who ousted Leonardo Mayer in straight sets (Anderson saved a set poin in the 2nd set). French Open champion Stan Wawrinka also went through but last year’s semi-finalist Grigor Dimitrov is out. Canada’s seventh seed Milos Raonic lost in four sets to 20-year-old Australian Nick Kyrgios. In a rematch of the last year’s quarterfinal, Kyrgios beat Raonic, another 2014 semi-finalist, 5-7 7-5 7-6(3) 6-3 and will play Richard Gasquet for a place in the quarter-finals, after the Frenchman beat Bulgarian Dimitrov 6-3 6-4 6-4. “I’m really happy with the way I played, especially to win on Centre Court,” said Gasquet. “My first time I’m winning on that court, so it’s a great feeling for me. To win in three sets against Dimitrov, it’s a big match.” Djokovic has reached the second week of Wimbledon for the seventh year running by winning all nine sets he has contested. As he left the court, he was inundated with requests for autographs – including one more unusual one. “This gentleman gave me his artificial leg and I hope my signature will make him feel good,” he said. “It has been great so far. I was hoping I could play better and better as the tournament progresses and that is what is happening. As we are moving on, I feel more confident.” Gasquet, who took less than two hours to defeat last year’s semi-finalist Dimitrov, maintained his perfect record against the Bulgarian and faces Kyrgios in the fourth round. The Frenchman lost in round two to the Australian last year, relinquishing a two-set lead and going down 10-8 in the fifth. “It was an incredible match,” he said, looking back 12 months. “It was very tough because I had nine match points and I couldn’t do it, so it was a big match. Of course it was tough to lose. He played incredibly.” Wawrinka fiored 16 aces and never lost his serve against Fernando Verdasco to set up a meeting with David Goffin, who easily beat a former semifinalist Marcos Baghdatis. Britain’s Andy Murray overcame a shoulder problem to beat Italy’s Andreas Seppi in four sets and secure a place in the second week of Wimbledon. Murray, seeded third, won 6-2 6-2 1-6 6-1. There were worrying moments for the 2013 champion as he failed to win a game for 40 minutes and had treatment to his shoulder in the 4th set. But having lost six games in a row, Murray, 28, swept through the last six. Asked about the shoulder issue, Murray pospisil_wb15said: “It’s something I had the last two, three days. I only really feel it when I’m serving but it’s not something that’s of major concern to me. It’s stiffness and every time I finish a practice or anything, I have my back manipulated. The physio came on the court and said it was like a machine gun going off when he laid on top of me. Literally my back cracked a lot. That’s been the case for the last few days.” The British fans were close to enjoy two representatives in thew last 16 as James Ward was four points away from defeating Vasek Pospisil, leading 5:4 & 6:5 – on both occasions the Canadian held at love, and got the decisive break in the 13th game to win 6-4 3-6 2-6 6-3 8-6 in just over 3 hours. Ivo Karlovic insisted he had done nothing wrong after the big-hitting Croat appeared to get away with a ‘double hit’ against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to set up a last-16 showdown with Andy Murray. The 36-year-old was two-sets-to-one ahead but facing a set point in the fourth-set tiebreak when he clearly hit the ball twice in the course of volleying a winner. He was awarded the point – levelling the tiebreak at 7-all – before winning the set to become the oldest man to reach the fourth round since Niki Pilic in 1976. “I was going to the net and he hit a cross-court and I stretched my arm. Then the ball hit down on my racket, and then because it hit down, my racket went like this (tilted), and then it hit boom, boom. But it was one motion so that is legal” said Karlovic who won 7-6(3) 4-6 7-6(2) 7-6(9) not breaking his opponent even once. In similar style, Karlovic had defeated Tsonga in their third round meeting at Wimbledon six years ago: 7-6(5) 6-7(5) 7-5 7-6(5). When asked if he felt Karlovic should have owned up, Tsonga said: “Not really. Otherwise we don’t need umpires. It’s the job of the umpire to see it. If he can’t, I can’t do anything. Even if I saw it, I can’t say anything.” Roger Federer overcame the big-serving Sam Groth in four sets to reach the fourth round at Wimbledon. The Swiss second seed, 33, won 6-4 6-4 6-7(5) 6-2 and faces Spanish 20th seed Roberto Bautista Agut next. Despite firing the second-fastest serve in Wimbledon history with a 147 mph effort, Groth, 27, was outclassed by the seven-time champion. The Swiss said of Groth: “He’s got a big serve and is a good mover coming forward, but I need to focus on my serving games and I dealt with that very well. I’m very happy with the way I played and I’m very pleased with the first week.” Gilles Simon beat Gael Monfils in a five-set match that finished under the Centre Court roof monfils_simon_wb15at 10:28 p.m. The all-French third-round tie was moved from Court One so the singles draw could remain on schedule. Simon, the 12th seed, led 2-1 in sets, trailing 1:2* in the 4th set when it was halted because of bad light just after 9:00 p.m. When they resumed on Centre, Simon eventually prevailed 3-6 6-3 7-6(6) 2-6 6-2 (Monfils had a set point serving at 6:5 in the tie-break) as the roof was used for the first time in this year’s tournament. Monfils, the 18th seed, took the 4th set as he adjusted faster to the change in conditions. However, Simon found his range as he broke twice in the decider, securing victory when his opponent slipped on the first match point. The 30-year-old will play Czech sixth seed Tomas Berdych in the fourth round. Asked about the switch of courts to play under the roof, Simon told BBC Sport: “We were ready for that. Of course it’s difficult – we had played more than two hours and we were really tired. The crowd were having a lot of fun and I am very happy to get through this one.” John Isner double-faulted on Marin Cilic‘s fifth match point as the ninth seed Croat won 7-6(4) 6-7(6) 6-4 6-7(4) 12-10 in 4 hours and 31 minutes. It was a two-day marathon on Court No. 1. The match began on Friday, and until 10-all in the 5th set (when halted due to darkness) there was just three breaks of serve – the first one occurred at 4-all in the 3rd set, a moment after Cilic saved a mini-set point. In the 5th set Cilic led 3:0, then had his first match point at 5:4. After the resumption on Saturday, the last year’s US Open champion held from 15/30, and needed four match points in the following game to secure his place in the fourth round. He served 35 aces (Isner 37) and committed 5 double faults (Isner just 3, but 2 of them in the last game).  No. 22 seed Viktor Troicki – who has been in fine form on the grass, reaching the final in Stuttgart troicki_wb15and the last four at Queen’s – was too solid for the unorthodox world No. 102 Dustin Brown, the Serbian winning 6-4 7-6 (3) 4-6 6-3. Brown did leave his mark on the tournament, however, with two candidates for shot of the tournament in the 1st set – a backspin drop shot off a return which landed on his side of the court and a diving volley winner after he had slipped on the court. “It’s been great,” said Brown, when asked to reflect on his Wimbledon campaign which started in qualifying at Roehampton. “Obviously having the pleasure of being able to play on Centre Court and then to play a match like that [against Nadal], it doesn’t make a difference if I lost today or not, no one will ever be able to take that I way from me.” Troicki in his 34th major appearance advanced to the last 16 for the fourth time (second at Wimbledon).

Second round:

Defending champion Novak Djokovic made short work of Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen on a day when the temperature hit 41.2Celsius on Centre Court at Wimbledon. The top seed won 6-4 6-2 6-3 to set up a third-round match with Australian 27th seed Bernard Tomic. “I’m glad with the way I’m playing and I’m getting into form. As the tournament progresses, hopefully I’ll be able to verdasco_wb15elevate the level of my performances.” Djokovic said. The match was a farewell to Wimbledon for Nieminen, who is retiring at the end of the season at the age of 33. “I congratulated him for a terrific career,” said Djokovic. “He is a very nice guy, one of the nicest and a fighter on the court. It was a pleasure to be the last one to play him at Wimbledon.” Other veteran, 32-year-old Fernando Verdasco for the first time in his career won two straight five-set matches as he defeated Dominic Thiem 5-7, 6-4, 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 coming back from a 1:3* deficit in the final set. Wimbledon men’s fifth seed Kei Nishikori has withdrawn from the tournament because of a calf injury. The Japanese player was set to play Santiago Giraldo on Centre Court in the second round and the Colombian will now be awarded a walkover. Nishikori beat Bolelli over five sets in the first round. “I thought it would be okay but in the last match in the fifth set it was hurting too much and I decided not to play,” said 25-year-old Nishikori. Milos Raonic made quite a bang on his way to a 6-0 6-2 6-7(5) 7-6(4) win over Tommy Haas. The 24-year-old Canadian sent down a 145 mph serve against 37-year-old Haas on Court One, but it failed to eclipse Taylor Dent‘s 148 mph (238 kph) offering from 2010 and fellow American Andy Roddick‘s 146 mph from 2004. Raonic, a semi-finalist in 2014, had three match points at 6:5 in the 4th set on the Haas serve, but the German battled back, only to lose it on the tie-break. French Open champion Stan Wawrinka easily went past Victor Estrella Burgos 6-4 6-4 7-5. Wawrinka quietly went about making straightforward progress against Estrella, the world number 48 from the Dominican Republic. Swiss world number four Wawrinka, 30, who beat Djokovic in the final at Roland Garros, was barely knocked out of his stride against Burgos as he pursues a third Grand Slam title. “He’s a tough player. I didn’t know exactly what to expect but I’m happy to get through in three sets,” said Wawrinka, who will now face Verdasco. “Verdasco will be a tough player, a lefty with an amazing forehand and loves to play on the grass here.” Last year’s semi-finalist Grigor Dimitrov reached the third round with a 7-6(8) 6-2 7-6(2) victory over American Steve Johnson and the 11th seed has not lost a set in the tournament. Dimitrov saved two set points in the 1st set and another set point in the 3rd set. The 24-year-old Bulgarian beat British number one Murray in their 2014 quarter-final before losing to eventual champion Djokovic. He faces 21st seed Richard Gasquet, who beat fellow Frenchman Kenny de Schepper 6-0 6-3 6-3, in round three. Dimitrov said: “I loved it out there. It was a great day to play tennis. I knew what to expect from Johnson. We have played each other a couple of times cilic_wb15and also practised together, so nothing was new. I played Richard Gasquet in an exhibition match a few days ago. He is a great grass-court player. I know what to expect from him. It won’t be a walk in the park but I like my chances.” Ninth seed Marin Cilic was made to work hard by Lithuania’s world number 90 Ricardas Berankis, but progressed to face the USA’s John Isner. Cilic, 26, came through 6-3 4-6 7-6(6) 4-6 7-5 in the heat on Centre Court, but Berankis, who fought valiantly throughout, gave away the match with a double fault. “It was very thrilling. The match was high quality from both ends,” said Cilic, who escaped from 15/40 on serve twice: at 2-all & 5-all in the decisive set: “He was playing extremely well, hitting the ball well and causing me a lot of trouble. I had a little bit of a drama in the fifth set as I had to save some break points. It’s pretty hot and you have to energise and hydrate yourself a lot.” Prior to Wimbledon, Berankis had lost 9 main-level matches in a row. Cilic improves his great five-set record to 20-9 (6-1 when the score reached 5-all in the fifth set). David Goffin won his second match at this year’s Wimbledon with identical scoreline: 7-6 6-1 6-1. Britain’s Andy Murray reached the third round at Wimbledon with a one-sided win over Dutchman Robin Haase. The Scot won 6-1 6-1 6-4 on court one in far more comfortable conditions than Wednesday’s record-breaking temperatures. Haase, ranked 78th, could not find anything like the form that saw him beat Murray in 2008, or more recently French Open champion Stan Wawrinka in March. Murray, 28, was in confident mood on a rare appearance away from Centre Court, and did not suffer without a roof as early morning showers cleared in time for him to power through in 1 hour and 27 minutes. Two-time Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal made an early exit for the fourth year in a row as he was outplayed by qualifier Dustin Brown on Centre Court. Germany’s world number 102 won 7-5 3-6 6-4 6-4 to reach the third round of a Grand Slam for the third time. It is only the second time this year that the 30-year-old has won back-to-back matches at the top level. Nadal, 29, has now lost in the second, first, fourth and second rounds on his past four visits to Wimbledon (every time to players ranked outside the Top 100!). His brown_wb15offensive game proved too much for 10th seed Nadal, with 13 aces, 58 winners. Brown won 71 out of 99 serve-and-volley attacks. Twenty winners and two breaks of serve helped Brown to the 1st set (trailed *1:3), but Nadal appeared to be taking back control with two breaks in the 2nd. The German (Jamaican father) was not intimidated, pushing hard again in the 3rd set and grabbing the crucial break with another sortie to the net (Nadal committed two straight double faults in one game). Nadal’s once fearsome forehand was misfiring badly and after he found the tram lines to fall behind at the start of the 4th, it appeared only a failure of nerve could stop Brown. That almost came to pass when he missed a first match point by leaving a tantalising volley, only to see the ball drop inside the baseline, and Nadal then fired down an ace on the second. It was left to Brown to serve out for the win of his life and he finished with an ace. “I was ready to compete,” said Nadal. “I lost. Obviously this is a bad moment for me. I have to keep going and working more than ever to try to change that dynamic. I am a good loser. I always accept.” Brown, who stunned Nadal 6-4 6-1 last year in Halle, said: It was easy for me to play my game against him because I had nothing to lose. I am lucky to have played him twice on my favourite surface. I wouldn’t want to play him on hard court or clay. Here it was great to play serve-and-volley so well and to do it for that long. I knew what the plan was. I wanted to take him out of his comfort zone and I held it together for the whole match.” The flamboyant underdog began the match against the two-time champion in phenomenal style, striking five winners in the opening five points (dropshot, drive-volley, ace, stop-volley, backhand return)! Roger Federer accelerated into Wimbledon’s last 32 with a commanding 6-4 6-2 6-2 win over Sam Querrey. Federer, 33, is going for a record eighth title and the second seed took just 1 hour 25 minutes to sweep past the American world number 36. The highlight of Federer’s one-sided win was the audacious shot executed from behind his own baseline, slipping the racket between his legs to direct the ball over the head of the stranded Querrey. “It’s rare that those shots happen so when they do you have to pull them off. If you don’t win the point you do look a little bit silly,” Federer said. “It was the perfect shot, I even had a little bit of time which allowed me to get into position. It just felt like I had time.” The Swiss will next play Sam Groth who outplayed fellow Australian James Duckworth. The 13th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, sixth seed Tomas karlovic_dolgopolov_wimbledon15Berdych and 18th seed Gael Monfils are also through. Tsonga of France beat Albert Ramos 6-3 6-4 6-4, Berdych beat Frenchman Nicolas Mahut 6-1 6-4 6-4 and Monfils, also of France, was a 7-6(5) 6-3 7-5 winner over compatriot Adrian Mannarino. Ivo Karlovic beat the fading light and Alexandr Dolgopolov to advance after a marathon five-setter. The hard-serving Croat hit 53 aces in beating the Ukrainian 5-7 6-3 6-4 6-7(4) 13-11 to reach the third round at the All England Club. It was the last match to finish for the day, shortly before play would have had to be suspended because of bad light. Dr. Ivo should have won in four sets but wasted a 4:2* (30/0) lead in the 4th set. In his twelve service games in the decider, the Croat wasn’t taken to ‘deuce’ even once. Feliciano Lopez has been knocked out of Wimbledon at the second-round stage after suffering a five-set defeat to Nikoloz Basilashvili [153]. The 15th seed fired down 32 aces during the contest, but he was unable to put away the Georgian who eventually prevailed 7-5 3-6 6-3 2-6 6-4. After three quarter-final appearances at SW19, Lopez may have expected to dispatch the 23-year-old, who is making his first appearance at the tournament.

First round:

The Serbian top seed & defending champion Novak Djokovic defeated Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4 6-4 6-4 in the opening match on Centre Court. Djokovic, 28, was playing his first competitive match since losing to Wawrinka in the French Open final. He made 20 unforced errors but broke serve in the 10th game of each set. “He can be very tricky on all the surfaces, especially grass, and had nothing to lose but I managed to stay composed,” the world number one said. “I made the crucial breaks at 5:4 in all three sets, so hopefully it can stay that way for me.” As the world number 33, Kohlschreiber was the toughest possible opening opponent for Djokovic in terms of rankings. The German, a Wimbledon quarter-finalist in 2012, recovered breaks of serve in the 1st and 3rd sets but was unable to withstand the pressure when serving to stay in each set. Djokovic moves into round two as he looks to win a third title, after victories in 2011 and 2014. “It’s great to be back, this is the cradle of our sport. It doesn’t get any bigger than Wimbledon so it’s an honour to open this year’s play on Centre Court as defending champion,” Djokovic added. Kei Nishikori, the hewitt_nieminenfifth seed, had to work hard to secure his second round passage being taken to five sets in the Court One sunshine by Simone Bolelli before winning 6-3 6-7(4) 6-2 3-6 6-3. The match was a repeat of a third round tie last year, again won by Nishikori in five sets. “I am very happy, he is a tough player on grass,” said Nishikori. The Japanese has been troubled by a foot injury and could have done without being on court for 3 hours and 22 minutes. “The leg should be OK,” he said. “It is a little bit sore from last week but it is getting better. It was not easy to play three hours but it did not affect my movement and should be OK for the second round.” Former champion Lleyton Hewitt [118] lost in the first round on his final Wimbledon appearance as Jarkko Nieminen [92] edged a thrilling five-set encounter. Hewitt, who won the tournament in 2002, was beaten 3-6 6-3 4-6 6-0 11-9 by the best Finnish player in history. Hewitt, 34, will retire from tennis after the 2016 Australian Open. Nieminen, also playing in his final Wimbledon at 33, will meet world number one Djokovic in the second round. “That pretty much sums up my career,” Hewitt said. “I’m fortunate that I have a lot of self motivation to go out there and get the most out of myself, whether it’s in the gym or behind the scenes.The 4-hour match of two veterans, featured six breaks of serve in the first eight games of the final set. From 4-all they were holding (Hewitt kyrgios_wb15saved two match points in game No. 10) until the 20th game when Hewitt was a point from leveling at 10 games apiece, but lost three straight points. The Australian, once a five-set specialist, can’t compete at the highest level in over 3-hour matches. Now has a 32-24 record in five-setters, but it’s 2-10 since the Us Open 2010… French Open champion Stan Wawrinka made short work of Portugal’s Joao Sousa, racing to a 6-2 7-5 7-6(3) win on Centre Court. “It was a great start and I’m happy to win the first match here,” Wawrinka said, “Winning the French Open has given me a lot of confidence for sure, but everyone starts from zero in this tournament. “I’m playing some of the best tennis of my career, every piece of the puzzle is fitting together and hopefully there’s still more to come from me.” Another Grand Slam title holder, Croatia’s US Open champion Marin Cilic, beat Japan’s Hiroki Moriya 6-3 6-2 7-6(4), while Canadian Milos Raonic, who reached the Wimbledon semi-finals last year, defeated Daniel Gimeno-Traver of Spain in four sets. Australian Nick Kyrgios, who defeated Rafael Nadal last year, briefly threatened to stop playing during his straight-sets win over Argentine Diego Schwartzman. Kyrgios, the 26th seed, was irritated after a line call went against him. He even shouted “dirty scum” during the subsequent changeover, though Kyrgios, who won 6-0 6-2 7-6(6), said the comment was directed at himself rather than an official. Britain’s Andy Murray began his Wimbledon campaign with a testing win over Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan on a hot afternoon in south west London. Murray, seeded third, won 6-4 7-6(3) 6-4 in 2 hours and 13 minutes as the temperature hit 41 Celsius on Centre Court. “It was a tough match. I made it hard for myself in the second set,” Murray said. The Scot joined British players Liam Broady, Aljaz Bedene (his first Grand Slam win under the British citizenship – defeated Radek Stepanek 6-4 in bedene_wb15the 5th set, winning the final three games) and James Ward in round two. It is the first time since 2006 that four British men have made the second round, with Murray going on to face Dutchman Robin Haase, who beat Colombian Alejandro Falla in four sets. “For me, it’s nice,” Murray said of the British success. “I know all of them fairly well.” In the 2nd set Murray led 5:2, then found himself at 5:6* (0/30). Roger Federer took just 67 minutes to see off Wimbledon debutant Damir Dzumhur 6-1 6-3 6-4. Rafael Nadal, 29, needed longer against Thomaz Bellucci on Court One, but his 6-4 6-2 6-3 victory was still comprehensive. Temperatures peaked above 30C, but neither Nadal nor Federer were concerned about playing on one of hottest days of the year in Britain. “In Australia it can be worse,” said two-time Wimbledon champion Nadal. “It’s actually beautiful. When you have this weather in Wimbledon, it’s probably one of the best places in the world.” Nadal hit only one ace during his match and made five double faults, but the 29-year-old was happy with his performance. “It was a very positive victory,” said the Spaniard, “Straight sets, no bad feelings, good backhands. The forehand needs to be a bit more aggressive.” Elsewhere, 13th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was pushed to five sets by Gilles Muller, eventually beating him 7-6(8) 6-7(3) 6-4 3-6 6-2. Tsonga served 38 aces, Muller 27. Tomas Berdych wasted two set points in the 2nd set, but survived a tough test from Jeremy Chardy, winning their first-round match 6-2 6-7(8) 7-6(3) 7-6(5). Berdych was eliminated last year at Wimbledon in fading light at 9:38 p.m., this time he triumphed at 9:28 p.m. The 2010 runner-up won the first set in just 28 minutes, but took another 2 hours and 43 minutes to take victory. Berdych, the sixth seed, hit 55 winners, including 16 aces, and saved four of the five break points he faced to advance to the second round. The Czech will next play Nicolas Mahut, a 7-6(4) 6-4 3-6 7-5 winner over Filip Krajinovic. German veteran Tommy Haas became the oldest winner at Wimbledon since Jimmy Connors in 1991. The 37-year-old German defeated Dusan Lajovic in four sets. John Isner fired 38 aces in three shaas_wb15ets eliminating Go Soeda. Jerzy Janowicz, the Wimbledon semifinalist two years ago, still cannot find his best form. The 24-year-old Polish player was upset in four sets by Marsel Ilhan [82], who came to Wimbledon having lost 11 consecutive sets, counting main level & qualies. Tough five set matches survived Fernando Verdasco (13-11 in the decider vs. Martin Klizan) & youngster Borna Coric (9-7 in the decider vs. Sergiy Stakhovsky). Both Verdasco & Coric saved mini match points in the fifth sets, Coric managed to do that suffering cramps! Pablo Andujar has finally won a match saving a match point. He did it in the 4th set facing his compatriot Guillermo Garcia-Lopez. In a bizarre coincidence, GGL remained very long time not losing such a match – the previous time he experienced defeat being a point from victory in 2008 as he lost to Nicolas Kiefer in Miami.  Last year’s Wimbledon doubles champion Vasek Pospisil almost notched a humiliating loss to Vincent Millot. The Canadian trailed 2:4* in the 4th set & 1:3 in the ensuing tie-break, but advanced to the second round with a 7-6(2) 3-6 6-7(4) 7-6(4) 6-3 win, serving 25 aces. Pospisil’s doubles partner Jack Sock had some problems with his right knee and it cost him a four-set defeat to Sam GrothDavid Ferrer pulled out of the event with an elbow injury. The Spaniard didn’t miss any of the last 50 majors, going back to his Grand Slam debut at the Australian Open 2003. Ernests Gulbis [83] losing to Lukas Rosol in straight sets, slips to an abysmal 4-15 record this year. The Latvian advanced to the Top 10 after the last year’s French Open and has been poorly playing ever since.