Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Wimbledon Day 7: Roddick Stunned by Lu, Federer, Nadal and Serena Win in Straights

If you looked at the schedule for day 7 of the 2010 Wimbledon Championships, you probably would have thought, just as I did, that some of the match ups looked more fit for final-round encounters. Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova took to Centre Court in a rematch of the final in 2004, as both women have had their fair share of ups and downs since they began their rivalry 6 years ago. Serena, though, avenged her loss to the then 17-year old Sharapova, serving beautifully to reach the quarters with a tight 7-6 (9), 6-4 win. Both women saw very few looks on each others serve, but Serena proved the opportunistic of the two, converting the two break points she had.

9th seeded Li Na will be Williams' opponent in the final 8, as the Chinese dominated a defensive Agnieszka Radwanska, seeded 7th, 6-3, 6-2. Li reached the quarterfinals at SW19 in 2006, and she'll be looking to turn the tables on Serena after the American beat her in the Aussie Open semis 6 months ago. Caroline Wozniacki was playing the best grass court tennis of her career ehading into her 4th round match with Petra Kvitova, but she looked helpless against her 62nd ranked opponent. 3rd seeded Wozzi lost 2 and 0 and just 45 minutes in yet another GS dissapointment. Kvitova will take on qualified Kaia Kanepi, who beat Klara Zakopalova, next.
In the bottom half of the men's draw lies British hope Andy Murray, who has quietly (at least here in the States) advanced to the quarters, his latest victory being a comfortable 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 over Sam Querrey on Monday. Murray is the only remaining player in the draw who has yet to have his serve broken, and that streak will be tested against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the next round. The Frenchman earned a 4-set win over countryman Julien Benneteau.

After two nail-biting 5-set victories, Rafael Nadal returned to his usual, dominating self with a 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 win against Paul-Henri Mathieu. Robin Soderling, a very familiar foe to the Spaniard, will be Rafa's opponent in the quarters. The 6th seeded Sod prevailed against David Ferrer in a thrilling 5-setter, 6-2, 5-7, 6-2, 3-6, 7-5. Soderling and Nadal have played numerous times in the last year, most recently 3 weeks ago in the French Open final, where Rafa won easily.

The rivalry between Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin, one that dates back to their childhood in Belgium, was reignited on Monday, as the two contested their first matchin Major play since their 2006 Wimbledon semifinal. Henin got off to a quick start, overwhelming Clijsters with her crafty play to take the first 6-2. Kim, though, reversed the storyline in the next two sets to win the match in 3 and advance to the quarters, where she'll take on Vera Zvonareva. Jelena Jankovic retired against the Russian down 6-1, 3-0.

Venus Williams overcame a tough test from Jarmila Groth to win 6-4, 7-6 (5), while Tsvetana Pironkova, who took our Venus in the 2006 Australian open first round, beat Marion Bartoli, a 2007 Wimbledon finalist, 6-4, 6-4.

Roger Federer made quick work of Jurgen Melzer in their first ever head-to-head meeting, crushing the 16th seed 6-3, 6-2, 6-2. Federer will face Tomas Berdych who dropped the first set against Daniel Brands but won the final 3. Novak Djokovic was tested by Lleyton hewitt, a popular dark-horse pick, but won in 4 sets to reach his 3rd Wimbledon quarterfinal.

The upset of the day was Yen-Hsun Lu's stunning 5 set victory over Andy Roddick. After the American won the opening set, the 26 year-old Lu won the next two in breakers. Roddick fought back to push the match to a fifth set, where he lost 9-7 to see yet another Wimbledon title get out of hand. Roddick's frustration and devastation was evident in his press conference, as it was clear he regretted his defensive play against an agressive Lu.

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