Wimbledon round-up: Murray in menacing form; Muguruza, Thiem stunned in second round
All the latest match reports and results from Day 4 of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships.
Andy Murray maintained his challenge for a second Wimbledon title as the world number two crushed Taiwan’s Lu Yen-Hsun 6-3, 6-2, 6-1 in the second round on Thursday.
Murray had dismissed fellow Brit Liam Broady in ruthless fashion in his opening match and the 2013 Wimbledon champion was in equally dominant mood against the out-classed Lu.
He hit 31 winners and served six aces in a Centre Court masterclass lasting just over 90 minutes and will face Australian world number 67 John Millman for a place in the last 16.
Thiem tumbles out
Unseeded Czech Jiri Vesely won a battle of the tiebreaks to sink Austrian eighth seed Dominic Thiem in three tough sets in the second round.
Thiem had come out on top in the two previous main tour matches between the 22-year-olds and had won seven of eight outings on grass this year, including an inaugural title on the surface in this month’s Wimbledon warm-up tournament in Stuttgart. But in a pulsating 2-3/4-hour encounter during which both players successfully varied their game, punctuating long baseline rallies with bouts of serve-and-volley and the occasional dropshot, the pressure of holding a misfiring serve eventually told on Thiem. He conceded all three of the decisive points in Vesely’s 7-6(4) 7-6(5) 7-6(3) win on forehand errors -- having earlier passed up three break points in the 11th game of the first set.
Nishikori survives scare
Japan’s Kei Nishikori survived an early scare before he dispatched buccaneering Frenchman Julien Benneteau 4-6 6-4 6-4 6-2 in the second round.
The Centre Court crowd scented an upset when Benneteau came out all guns blazing, catching the fifth seed cold with a succession of blistering groundstrokes and artful drop shots.
But after losing the first set, Nishikori — wearing strapping to protect a rib injury — gradually found his range and asserted his authority, pushing Benneteau back with relentlessly accurate drives on both wings. With the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke of Kent watching from the Royal Box, the 26-year-old produced a suitably aristocratic performance to book his place in the third round.
Benneteau, 34, might be encouraged by the fact he stretched one of the game’s elite players in the early stages. He has sought to revive his career after a hernia injury and surgery ruled him out for much of last season and his ranking plunged from 25 to 547.
Raonic rockets past Seppi
Milos Raonic equalled the fastest serve seen at Wimbledon this year as the Canadian sixth seed blasted past Italian Andreas Seppi 7-6(5) 6-4 6-2 to reach the third round.
Raonic, under the watchful gaze of three-time champion John McEnroe during the grass court season, tripped the speed gun at 142mph, equalling the delivery served down by Australian Sam Groth in the first round. The fastest serve ever recorded at the All England Club was hit at 148mph by American Taylor Dent six years ago. Raonic will take on American Jack Sock next.
Ferrer tumbles out to Mahut
David Ferrer became the highest-ranked casualty so far in the Wimbledon men’s singles when French serve and volleyer Nicolas Mahut overpowered him 6-1 6-4 6-3.
The 13th-seeded Spaniard has suffered a drop in form this year, and never looked capable of turning things around against his fellow 34-year-old.
Mahut, whose career includes three grass court titles, had never beaten a Spaniard at a grand slam before meeting Ferrer, but quickly took charge, reeling off six straight games after Ferrer had struggled to hold his opening serve. Ferrer, a quarter-finalist in 2012 and 2013, broke back after slipping behind in the second set but dropped serve at 4-4 allowing Mahut to hold serve for a two-set lead. There was no way back after that for the former French Open finalist who dropped out of the world’s top 10 for the first time in nearly six years in May.
Venus battles past Sakkari
A time violation warning, a few spots of rain and the thunderous groundstrokes of her rival could not throw Venus Williams off her long-limbed stride as she reached the Wimbledon third round with a 7-5 4-6 6-3 win over Greek qualifier Maria Sakkari.
Playing an opponent who was not even three years old when she won the first of her seven grand slam titles at Wimbledon in 2000, Williams proved that it would take more than mere determination to topple the American eighth seed. Barring a loss to an unranked Kim Clijsters at the 2009 US Open, Williams had not lost to a player ranked outside the world’s top 100 at a grand slam this century.
Bacsinszky leads rain-hit stragglers
Swiss 11th seed Timea Bacsinszky joined a clutch of stragglers who belatedly reached the second round of the women’s singles at Wimbledon as the organisers battled to get back on schedule after two days of rain delays. Fourteen first-round matches across both singles draws were still to be completed at the start of Day 4 as drier and brighter conditions arrived. Under normal circumstances, first round matches should have been completed by Tuesday. Bacsinszky, who reached the quarter-finals last year, had spent Tuesday and Wednesday twiddling her thumbs but finally took to Court 3 to beat Thailand’s Luksika Kumkhum 6-4 6-2.
Czech Barbora Strycova, seeded 24, beat Anett Kontaveit of Estonia 4-6 6-4 6-4 while American 18th seed Sloane Stephens also made it.
But there was disappointment for 31st seed Kristina Mladenovic of France who lost to Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus 6-3 6-3. Home hope Heather Watson returned to court at one set apiece against Annika Beck but lost a decider 12-10.
Keys powers on
Madison Keys, the woman tipped as the most likely American successor to the Williams sisters, powered to a 6-4 4-6 6-3 victory against Kirsten Flipkens in the second round of Wimbledon on Thursday.
The ninth seed, a quarter-finalist last year, suffered a second-set blip against the experienced Belgian, and wavered again late on having roared into a 5-0 lead in the decider.
But she managed to nip the Flipkens comeback in the bud and will face Italy’s 20th seed Sara Errani or Frenchwoman Alize Cornet in the next round.
Halep in a rush
A clinical Simona Halep wasted no time in reaching the third round at Wimbledon on Thursday, cruising past Italian veteran Francesca Schiavone 6-1 6-1 in just over an hour.
Showing glimpses of the form that took her to an All England Club semi-final in 2014 and to world number two last year, the fifth-seeded Romanian had too much power and court craft for her 111th-ranked opponent.
Garbine Muguruza, the second seed and French Open champion, was knocked out of Wimbledon in the second round, losing 6-3, 6-2 to Slovak qualifier Jana Cepelova.
Muguruza, 22, the runner-up to Serena Williams at the All England Club last year, sank to defeat against the world No 124 in just 59 minutes.
Cepelova, who knocked out Simona Halep when the Romanian was ranked No 3 at last year’s Wimbledon also on Court 1, faces Czech 28th seed Lucie Safarova for a place in the last 16.
Muguruza was bidding to become only the eighth woman to win the French Open and Wimbledon back to back.
Bouchard crushes Konta
Eugenie Bouchard reminded a Centre Court crowd why not long ago she was billed as tennis’s new golden girl and why she still might be when crushing the Wimbledon hopes of Britain’s 16th seed Johanna Konta on Thursday. Since reaching the final in 2014 against Petra Kvitova the Canadian’s career has faltered while Konta has risen from obscurity, reaching the semi-finals of this year’s Australian Open and rising into the world’s top 20. But the 22-year-old Bouchard made a mockery of her world ranking of 48 to win 6-3 1-6 6-1 and set up a third-round clash with Slovakia’s 19th seed Dominika Cibulkova.
RESULTS FROM WIMBLEDON DAY 4
Sam Querrey (USA x28) bt Thomaz Bellucci (BRA) 6-4, 6-3, 6-2
Pierre-Hugues Herbert (FRA) bt Damir Dzumhur (BIH) 3-6, 7-6 (7/1), 7-6 (7/0), 6-2
Nicolas Mahut (FRA) bt David Ferrer (ESP x13) 6-1, 6-4, 6-3
David Goffin (BEL x11) bt Edouard Roger-Vasselin (FRA) 6-4, 6-0, 6-3
Denis Istomin (UZB) bt Nicolas Almagro (ESP) 6-4, 7-6 (7/5), 6-2
Jack Sock (USA x27) bt Robin Haase (NED) 6-1, 6-3, 6-7 (3/7), 6-4
Milos Raonic (CAN) bt Andreas Seppi (ITA) 7-6 (7/5), 6-4, 6-2
Daniel Evans (GBR) bt Aleksandr Dolgopolov (UKR x30) 7-6 (8/6), 6-4, 6-1
Steve Johnson (USA) bt Jérémy Chardy (FRA) 6-1, 7-6 (8/6), 6-3
Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) bt Gilles Simon (FRA x16) 6-3, 7-6 (7/1), 4-6, 6-4
Marin Cilic (CRO x9) bt Sergiy Stakhovsky (UKR) 6-2, 6-7 (6/8), 6-4, 6-4
Lukás Lacko (SVK) bt Ivo Karlovic (CRO x23) 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-4
Andrey Kuznetsov (RUS) bt Gilles Muller (LUX) 6-3, 6-4, 6-4
Kei Nishikori (JPN x5) bt Julien Benneteau (FRA) 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2
Jiri Vesely (CZE) bt Dominic Thiem (AUT x8) 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/3)
João Sousa (POR x31) bt Dennis Novikov (USA) 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4
Roberto Bautista (ESP x14) bt Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) - walkover
Bernard Tomic (AUS x19) bt Radu Albot (MDA) 7-6 (7/3), 6-3, 6-7 (6/8), 6-3
Richard Gasquet (FRA x7) bt Marcel Granollers (ESP) 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-1
Albert Ramos (ESP) bt Viktor Troicki (SRB x25) 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, 2-6, 6-3
John Millman (AUS) bt Benoît Paire (FRA x26) 7-6 (7/5), 6-3, 4-6, 6-2
Andy Murray (GBR x2) bt Lu Yen-Hsun (TPE) 6-3, 6-2, 6-1
Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) bt Horacio Zeballos (ARG) 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1
Lucas Pouille (FRA x32) bt Marius Copil (ROM) 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1
Donald Young (USA) bt Leonardo Mayer (ARG) 6-4, 7-5, 3-6, 6-3
John Isner (USA x18) bt Marcos Baghdatis (CYP) 7-6 (7/2), 7-6 (7/5), 6-3
Matthew Barton (AUS) bt Albano Olivetti (FRA) 6-7 (7/9), 7-6 (7/5), 6-3, 6-7 (5/7), 14-12
Fabio Fognini (ITA) bt Federico Del Bonis (ARG) 6-4, 1-6, 6-7 (3/7), 6-2, 6-3
Coco Vandeweghe (USA x27) bt Tímea Babos (HUN) 6-2, 6-3
Roberta Vinci (ITA x6) bt Ying-Ying Duan (CHN) 6-3, 7-5
Agnieszka Radwanska (POL x3) bt Ana Konjuh (CRO) 6-2, 4-6, 9-7
Katerina Siniaková (CZE) bt Caroline Garcia (FRA x30) 4-6, 6-4, 6-1
Dominika Cibulkova (SVK x19) bt Daria Gavrilova (AUS) 6-3, 6-2
Eugénie Bouchard (CAN) bt Johanna Konta (GBR x16) 6-3, 1-6, 6-1
Elena Vesnina (RUS) bt Andrea Petkovic (GER x32) 7-5, 6-3
Julia Boserup (USA) bt Belinda Bencic (SUI x7) 6-4, 1-0 - retired
Simona Halep (ROM x5) bt Francesca Schiavone (ITA) 6-1, 6-1
Kiki Bertens (NED x26) bt Mona Barthel (GER) 6-4, 6-4
Alize Cornet (FRA) bt Sara Errani (ITA x20) 7-6 (7/4), 7-5
Madison Keys (USA x9) bt Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) 6-4, 4-6, 6-3
Misaki Doi (JPN) bt Karolína Plísková (CZE x15) 7-6 (7/5), 6-3
Anna-Lena Friedsam (GER) bt Ekaterina Alexandrova (RUS) 6-4, 7-6 (7/1)
Carina Witthoeft (GER) bt Kurumi Nara (JPN) 6-3, 6-0
Angelique Kerber (GER x4) bt Varvara Lepchenko (USA) 6-1, 6-4
Venus Williams (USA x8) bt Maria Sakkari (GRE) 7-5, 4-6, 6-3
Darya Kasatkina (RUS x29) bt Lara Arruabarrena (ESP) 7-6 (11/9), 6-3
Marina Erakovic (NZL) bt Jelena Jankovic (SRB x22) 4-6, 7-6 (7/1), 8-6
Carla Suárez (ESP x12) bt Denisa Allertová (CZE) 3-6, 6-2, 6-1
Sabine Lisicki (GER) bt Samantha Stosur (AUS x14) 6-4, 6-2
Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ) bt Elina Svitolina (UKR x17) 6-2, 3-6, 6-4
Lucie Safarova (CZE x28) bt Samantha Crawford (USA) 6-3, 6-4
Jana Cepelová (SVK) bt Garbiñe Muguruza (ESP x2) 6-3, 6-2
Annika Beck (GER) bt Heather Watson (GBR) 3-6, 6-0, 12-10
Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) bt Kristina Mladenovic (FRA x31) 6-3, 6-3
Sloane Stephens (USA x18) bt Peng Shuai (CHN) 7-6 (7/5), 6-2
Mandy Minella (LUX) bt Anna Tatishvili (USA) 7-5, 3-0 - retired
Timea Bacsinszky (SUI x11) bt Luksika Kumkhum (THA) 6-4, 6-2
Monica Niculescu (ROM) bt Aleksandra Krunic (SRB) 6-1, 6-4
Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) bt Johanna Larsson (SWE) 6-1, 4-6, 6-1
Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (CZE x24) bt Anett Kontaveit (EST) 4-6, 6-4, 6-4
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Updated: June 30, 2016 04:00 AM