Wimbledon 2016 Round-up: Serena Williams notches up her 300th Slam win
It was the first time since 2004 that matches were played on the Middle Sunday at the Wimbledon Championships.
World No. 1 and defending women’s singles champion Serena Williams was made to play on a Middle Sunday at the 2016 Wimbledon Championships that was originally supposed to be a holiday for all the players. But Serena showed that she was fully prepared to work on the off-day as she blasted her way past Germany’s Annika Beck 6-3, 6-0 to enter the fourth round.
It was her best performance this year at the All England Club, without a doubt, and was miles better than her sloppy show in the second round where she had conceded a set against her compatriot Christina McHale.
The top seed, however, did not get an ideal start and was down by an early break. But she recovered magnificently and Beck could not do much as the American gained in confidence.
This was Serena’s 300th win at a Major that puts her in the second spot behind Martina Navratilova (306) in the list of highest Slam wins from the women’s side.
Serena vs Kuznetsova next
Up next for the 34-year-old is a tough and very familiar opponent – the 13th seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova.
The two-time Grand Slam champion, whose resume boasts of a win over Serena this year itself, overcame a gritty challenge from the 18th seeded Sloane Stephens. The Russian made a mighty comeback from 2-5 down in the decider to edge past Stephens, 6-7(1), 6-2, 8-6.
The match saw 11 breaks of serve being exchanged.
The Russians are coming!
Kuznetsova was not the only Russian winner as Middle Sunday saw four from the same country entering the last-16 which makes it the maximum number of Russians at this stage of Wimbledon since 2009.
Doubles partners and 2015 doubles runners-up Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina both won their respective singles outings to set up a mouthwatering all-Russian clash with each other.
Both are unseeded in singles yet they put up commanding performances to emerge triumphant in straight sets. Makarova came into this match on the back of her impressive 7-5, 7-6(5) victory over former two-time winner Petra Kvitova and that surely energised and motivated her further.
The 28-year-old needed 86 minutes to dismiss the 24th seed Barbora Strycova 6-4, 6-2.
Vesnina faced the 225th ranked Julia Boserup whom she beat 7-5, 7-5.
Apart from them, the 21st seeded Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova too progressed after knocking out the 11th seeded Timea Bacsinszky, 6-3, 6-2.
There was another ladies winner and for a change, she was not Russian. The in-form Coco Vandeweghe, who always plays her best tennis on grass, proved her worth once again on the hallowed turf at SW19 where she reached her maiden Major quarter-final a year ago.
The American thundered her way past the sixth seed Roberta Vinci, 6-3 6-4, riding on 21 winners and 86% of points won on her first serves.
Del Potro’s run ends
On the men’s side, Juan Martin del Potro’s comeback from wrist surgeries was cut short by Frenchman Lucas Pouille, who dispatched the Argentine, 6-7(4), 7-6(6), 7-5, 6-1.
The match was suspended on Saturday with Pouille leading 2 sets to one. Del Potro, who had upset the fourth seed Stan Wawrinka in the previous round, appeared not to have much energy left for the remainder of this encounter. This was the first Wimbledon appearance since 2013 for the former US Open titlist.
Tsonga sees off marathon man Isner
It seemed as if John Isner was set to reprise his 2010 marathon match against Nicolas Mahut when he met another Frenchman – the 12th seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the third round on Sunday. The match went on and on, match point came and was gone but it still continued until Tsonga broke the lanky American and served out the 6(3)-7, 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-2, 19-17 win in 4 hours 24 minutes.
The other winners included seventh seed Richard Gasquet, 15th seed Nick Kyrgios and the unseeded Jiri Vesely.
2010 runner-up and 10th seeded Tomas Berdych won a potentially dangerous encounter against the talented 24th seed Alexander Zverev without much fuss. The young German later on admitted to being tired in this match that saw him making the exit following a 3-6, 4-6, 6-4, 1-6 loss to the experienced Czech.