Tuesday, November 21 2017

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Murray, Williams through as bugs hit Wimbledon

Update: July, 06/2017 - 11:00
Andy Murray of Britain celebrates winning against Dustin Brown of Germany in their second round match during the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, in London, Britain, on Wednesday. — EPA Photo
Viet Nam News

LONDON —  Andy Murray comfortably overcame everything the unorthodox Dustin Brown served up on Wednesday as the defending champion breezed into the third round at Wimbledon, where players battled sizzling temperatures and flying ants.

Venus Williams, Kei Nishikori and Johanna Konta ground out victories to make the last 32, while new mum Victoria Azarenka continued her comeback bid for Grand Slam glory.

Brown, the dreadlocked German with Jamaican roots, knocked out Rafael Nadal in the second round two years ago at the All England Club.

However, world number one Murray was not caught out by his extrovert drop shots, racing to a ruthless 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 victory on Centre Court.

"Once I got the break in the first set, I felt the momentum was with me. I started to see the shots he was going to play a little but quicker and that allowed me to get to some of the drop volleys," the British star said. 

Next up for Murray is a clash with colourful Italian 28th seed Fabio Fognini in Friday’s third round.

US five-time champion Williams survived a scare against Chinese rising star Wang Qiang, eventually winning 4-6, 6-4, 6-1.

Williams is trying to concentrate on tennis against the backdrop of impending legal action back home over a fatal car crash.

The 37-year-old veteran, devastated by the incident, broke down in tears on Monday when talking about the crash.

Williams faces Japan’s Naomi Osaka, who ousted Czech 22nd seed Barbora Strycova, in Friday’s third round.

Former world number one Azarenka, playing her first Grand Slam tournament since giving birth to first child Leo in December, knocked out Russian 15th seed Elena Vesnina 6-3, 6-3.

The 2012 and 2013 Australian Open champion, 27, could become the first mother to win the Wimbledon singles since Evonne Goolagong Cawley in 1980.

"Travelling is a little stressful for me, travelling with a baby. I want to make sure that everything is okay. But overall, it’s just great. It’s really fun that I’m able to go home and spend time with my son," the Belarusian said.

Azarenka next faces British wildcard Heather Watson who downed Latvian 18th seed Anastasija Sevastova.

Big day for Brits 

British sixth seed Konta reached the Wimbledon third round for the first time with a marathon 7-6 (8/6), 4-6, 10-8 win over Donna Vekic which left her opponent in tears.

Konta and Watson’s victories made it the first time that two British women have reached the last 32 at their home Grand Slam since Jo Durie and Anne Hobbs in 1986.

With Murray and Aljaz Bedene’s wins, four British players have reached the Wimbledon third round for the first time since 1997.

Two-time Wimbledon champion Nadal, fresh from winning a historic 10th French Open, was facing fellow left-hander Donald Young of the United States.

Nishikori dug deep to keep his Wimbledon hopes alive as the Japanese ninth seed ground out a 6-4, 6-7 (7/9), 6-1, 7-6 (8/6) win over Ukrainian qualifier Sergiy Stakhovsky.

He next faces Spanish 18th seed Roberto Bautista Agut.

France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the 12th seed, made short work of Italian qualifier Simone Bolelli in the sizzling heat.

Fans shielded their faces from the sun with towels, programmes and napkins as temperatures reached 29oC. Tsonga was one of several players bothered by an invasion of flying ants.

"That was strange... it was in my nose and in my ear," he said.

Sam Querrey said: "I almost wanted to stop because they were hitting you in the face when you were trying to hit balls."

Querrey and fellow seeds Marin Cilic, Gilles Muller, Steve Johnson and Karen Khachanov made it through, however Lucas Pouille was knocked out by Jerzy Janowicz, a 2013 semi-finalist.

Russia’s temperamental Daniil Medvedev, who had knocked out world number three Stan Wawrinka, crashed out to Belgian qualifier Ruben Bemelmans.

Medvedev threw coins at the umpire’s chair before apologising for the bizarre gesture which he insisted was not meant to imply the official was corrupt.

Two-time champion Petra Kvitova, the bookmakers’ title favourite, continues her comeback from six months out recovering from a horrific knife attack with a match against Madison Brengle of the United States.

French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko and second seed Simona Halep were in action in the later matches.

Eighth seed Dominika Cibulkova and 27th seed Ana Konjuh of Croatia will 

face each other in the last 32 after coming through their second round encounters. — AFP

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