Sunday, June 29, 2014

Wimbledon Day 6 highlights: Cornet stuns Serena

SERENA WILLIAMS
2012 photo by Paul Bauman
   Match of the day -- Serena Williams' Grand Slam slump continued on Saturday as 25th-seeded Alize Cornet of France shocked the top seed and five-time champion 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the third round. Cornet also beat Williams in the semifinals at Dubai in February. Williams, 32, has won 17 major singles crowns (one behind Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova for fourth place all-time). But she has lost before the quarterfinals in all three Slams this year and in four of the last five. This was her earliest loss at Wimbledon since 2005, when she also fell in the third round.
   Biggest upset -- Cornet's conquest of Williams.
   Biggest rout -- Fifth-seeded Maria Sharapova, who won Wimbledon 10 years ago at 17 for her first Grand Slam title, drubbed unseeded Alison Riske of Atlanta 6-3, 6-0 in 69 minutes. After trailing 3-1, Sharapova won the last 11 games.
   Notable -- Australian Nick Kyrgios (pronounced KEER-ee-ose), 19, backed up his upset over No. 13 Richard Gasquet with a four-set victory over 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) Jiri Vesely, 20, of the Czech Republic. It was the first time two wild cards had met as deep as the third round at Wimbledon. The 6-foot-4 (1.93-meter) Kyrgios, who saved nine match points against Gasquet, will face No. 2 seed and two-time champion Rafael Nadal on Tuesday in the round of 16. ... Two semifinalists from last year, No. 15 Jerzy Janowicz of Poland and No. 24 Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium, exited in the third round. The 6-foot-8 (2.03-meter) Janowicz lost to No. 23 Tommy Robredo of Spain in five sets, and Flipkens fell to No. 9 Angelique Kerber of Germany in three sets. ... After a brief start, rain delayed play until about 5:30 p.m. London time, forcing some matches to be suspended and others to be postponed until Monday. Wimbledon is observing its traditional middle Sunday off. The weather forecast for the second week is good.
   U.S. report -- Only one American man, No. 9 John Isner, and one U.S. woman, unseeded Madison Keys, are left in singles. And Keys is in serious trouble. She trailed Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan 7-6 (7), 6-6 when the match was stopped because of darkness, and Keys had taken a medical timeout for a right leg injury before serving at 6-5 in the second set. She was in tears as she was helped off the court when play was halted. Isner's third-round match against Spanish left-hander Feliciano Lopez, seeded 19th, was postponed.
   Northern California connection -- Playing second-round matches on Monday will be former Stanford stars Bob and Mike Bryan in men's doubles and mixed doubles, Sacramento-area resident Dmitry Tursunov in men's doubles, and San Jose resident and former Cal standout Raquel Kops-Jones in women's doubles and mixed doubles. CiCi Bellis, a 15-year-old Atherton resident seeded second in girls singles, will begin play on Tuesday.
   Fast facts -- This is the first time in eight years that neither of the Williams sisters will play singles in the second week at Wimbledon. Venus, also a five-time champion, lost to No. 6 seed and 2011 winner Petra Kvitova in the third round. However, the eighth-seeded Williams sisters will play in the second round of women's doubles on Monday. They have won the title five times, most recently in 2012. ... Nadal has lost the first set in all three of his matches before winning in four sets.
   Quote -- Cornet on Serena Williams: "It might be a bit premature to talk about her decline, but when she plays someone who finds the right tactics, she looks a bit lost on the court. In my opinion, there are more and more players understanding how to play her."

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