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Saturday, Jul 02nd

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Bhupathi - Vesnina reach Wimbledon Mixed Doubles Final

elena_vesninaMultiple Grand Slam champion Mahesh Bhupathi along with his partner Elena Vesnina of Russia advanced to the Wimbledon Mixed Doubles Final on Saturday. The Indo-Russian pair battled past the Aussie-Taiwanese combo of Paul Hanley and Su-Wei Hsieh 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 in a tough three set slugfest which lasted just under 2 hours. They will meet the 9th seeds, Jurgen Melzer and Iveta Benesova, in Sunday's Final. Melzer and Benesova edged past the 8th seeds Daniel Nestor and Yung-Jan Chan in straight sets 6-4, 6-4. The Mixed Doubles Final will be played on Centre Court on the conclusion of the Gentlemen's Singles Final. The match should be an exciting affair and it will be interesting to see how Bhupathi and Vesnina cope with playing two left-handers, a very rare combination in a Doubles contest.

Bhupathi will be chasing his 12th Grand Slam title, his 8th Mixed Doubles crown and 4th Wimbledon title, while Vesnina has thrice been a Grand Slam Doubles runner-up and will be anxious to get her hands on the winner's trophy for the very first time. Melzer meanwhile has 1 Grand Slam title to his credit, having won the Doubles crown here last year. Benesova is the least experienced of the quartet and is venturing into unchartered waters.


Petra Kvitova upsets Sharapova to win maiden Wimbledon title

petra_kvitova2As Petra Kvitova sank to her knees after hitting a beautifully timed ace right down the middle, the Wimbledon crowd rose as one to congratulate a new champion. In a stunning display of power tennis, Petra Kvitova out hit and out served former champion Maria Sharapova in straight sets 6-3, 6-4. In a final that was far more intriguing than the scoreline suggests, Kvitova checked all the boxes in a fantastic display of physical game and mental resolve. The Czech quelled all challenges that Maria Sharapova brought to her in a scintillating, nerveless display. She kept the former champion at bay all match never allowing Sharapova to sink her teeth into the contest. The win meant Petra Kvitova became the first left-hander since her idol Martina Navratilova to win Wimbledon. In what was undoubtedly a nice touch for the 21 year old was the presence of Martina to cheer for her in victory.

In a match where both players found it tough to make that decisive break and run away with the match, two moments probably were key to this match more than any other. The first came in the opening set when Sharapova's service blips came to the fore as she served two double faults at 30-30 to give Kvitova the break that eventually was all she needed for the first set. The second came in the proverbial 7th game of the second set when Kvitova put all the mishits she had hit in the previous game behind her to break Sharapova by outlasting the Russian. Kvitova excelled in not allowing nerves to get the better of her and the quality of her game and pace of her shots put Sharapova off hers just enough to never really be threatened in her title romp.


Indians at Wimbledon: Sania, Bopanna & Leander ousted; Bhupathi still flying the Indian Flag

When the Championships began at the All England Club there were five Indians in the fray competing in various events. On Friday that number was reduced to only one as Mahesh Bhupathi was left to be the lone warrior holding the Indian flag aloft at the cathedral of tennis. While Sania had to taste double heartbreak as she was ousted from both the Women's Doubles and the Mixed Doubles competitions, the legendary Leander Paes was ousted from the latter.

The Indo-Russian pair of Sania Mirza and Elena Vesnina were dumped out of Wimbledon 2011 as they were given a 6-3, 6-1 hammering by the 2nd seeded duo of Kveta Peschke and Srebotnik on the 11th day of the Championships. The 4th seeds looked out of sorts in the entire encounter as the Czech-Slovenian team took barely an hour to notch up a straight forward victory to move into the final of the Women's Doubles.


Luke Saville reaches final of Junior Wimbledon

An Australian will appear in the final of Junior Wimbledon for the second year in a row with No.16 seed Luke Saville (Barmera, SA) producing his best tennis of the tournament to defeat Kaichi Uchida (JPN) in the boys' semifinals overnight. Currently ranked No.17 in the ITF Junior rankings, Saville avenged his narrow first round loss to Uchida at this year's French Open Junior Championships with an impressive straight sets victory on his favoured grass surface, 6-4 6-1.

The rising star will now make his second junior final appearance at a Grand Slam® tournament this year after finishing runner-up at the Australian Open Junior Championships in January, and will follow in the footsteps of Benjamin Mitchell (Worongary, Qld) who reached the final of Junior Wimbledon in 2010.


Djokovic - Nadal to clash in Wimbledon Final

rafa_nadal2Wimbledon couldn't have asked for a more appropriate final as the world no.1 Rafael Nadal and the man guaranteed to replace him from the top spot on Monday morning, Novak Djokovic will collide in the Gentlemen's Singles Final on Sunday. Nadal, arguably the best player in world tennis and the defending champion, battled back from a set down to beat local favourite Andy Murray in four sets in Thursday's second semi-final. Earlier in the afternoon Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic improved his record this year to a phenomenal 47-1 with a clinical four set dissection of popular Frenchman and Federer conqueror Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6, 6-2, 6-7, 6-3.

Men's semi-final day started at SW19 with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga racing out of the blocks like he had never left the court from his incredible come from behind win against Roger Federer. The French maverick broke a nervy Djokovic in his opening service game and despite the Serb's best efforts held firm to serve for the opening set at 5-4. Djokovic went up 0-40 on the Tsonga serve in the 10th game only for the 26-year old to battle his way back to deuce, however, a rare double fault followed by a forehand error gave the Djoker a second life in the opening set. The set made its way into a tiebreak with Djokovic making the turn at 4-2 with a mini-break courtesy of a monumental rally. He held onto that advantage to quite literally steal the opening set 7-4.


Indians at Wimbledon: Sania-Rohan cruise into mixed doubles quarters, Leander gets walkover

Indian tennis superstar Sania Mirza along with her compatriot Rohan Bopanna cruised into the last 8 of the mixed doubles event of Wimbledon on Thursday. The 6th seeds were in imperious form in their 6-3, 6-0 annihilation of the dangerous Czech combo of Renata Voracova and Martin Damm. The Indian pair enjoyed a walk in their park as they looked unstoppable from the very start of the challenge.

The Indian pair showed title winning form to take the opening set 6-3. The ensuing set turned out be a non-starter for the Czechs as Sania and Rohan romped through it 6-0 to wrap up the match in straight sets.


Sharapova - Kvitova to clash in Wimbledon Final

maria_sharapovaThree time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova and 21-year old Czech left-hander Petra Kvitova will compete on Saturday for the right to lift the Venus Rosewater Dish. Sharapova, a Wimbledon champion in 2004, pulverized another 21-year old, German wildcard Sabine Lisicki 6-4, 6-3 in Thursday's second semi-final to earn a return visit to the Ladies Singles Final after a 7 year absence. Her oponent in Saturday's showpiece is the no.8 seed, Kvitova, who battled with her own inconsistency to power past 4th seed Viktoria Azarenka in three exciting sets 6-1, 3-6, 6-2.

Sharapova started her semi-final like a bundle of nerves, losing the first three games in the blink of an eye. The Russian superstar's first service game was not one she'd like to remember, dropping it to love, starting it with a double fault and ending it the same way. Lisicki held a break point in the fourth game which would have given her a 4-0 lead, but Sharapova saved it and got on the board a minute later holding for 1-3. From that stage on it was all Sharapova right through the set. Maria broke Lisicki in the following game to bring the set back on serve and soon levelled up the set at 3-3. Lisicki won just one more game in the set after that initial burst as Sharapova broke serve in the 9th game before serving out the set in fitting style with an ace, a far cry from her double fault to start it.


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