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Tuesday, Jul 07th

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Wimbledon

Wimbledon Saturday Afternoon Women's Wrap: Sharapova storms into last 16

maria_sharapovaThree-time Grand Slam champion and former world number one Maria Sharapova did not have to break much of a sweat as she swept past against 29-year old Czech Klara Zakopalova, winning their third-round match 6-2, 6-3. Sharapova, on the back of a convincing win over Brit Laura Robson in the previous round, looked in control at most times, and even though she hit 5 unforced errors more than Zakopalova, the Russian used her superior forehand and serve to round up the match in an hour and 17 minutes.

Sharapova, seeded fifth at Wimbledon this year, started well, holding her first service game to 30, and then breaking the Czech world number 35 in the second game of the match to gain an early upper hand in the opening set. Zakopalova broke back immediately, but was visibly struggling with her serve, as Sharapova benefitted from a double fault on the third deuce in Zakopalova's next service game before hitting a big backhand up the line to claim another break to distance herself from her opponent. Sharapova, with her powerful hitting, looked in control of the match, making her unseeded opponent do all the running, and eventually picked up the first set 6-2.

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Indians at Wimbledon: Leander - Mahesh, Sania, Somdev all advance in doubles competition

In contrast to Thursday which turned out to be a mixed day for the Indians in the 125th edition of the Championships at SW19, Friday brought only cheers for the Indian contingent at Wimbledon. The Indian charge was led by the 3rd seeded pair of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi as they displayed grit and determination of the highest quality against the Croatian combo of Lovro Zovko and Ivan Dodig.

The 1999 doubles champions edged their unseeded opponents 6-7(7), 6-4, 6-4 in a tough three setter to accomplish a come from behind victory to set up a meeting with Arnaud Clement of France and Lukas Dlouhy of Czech Republic in the next round. Paes and Bhupati's compatriots Sania Mirza and Somdev Devvarman also progressed in their respective events to ensure a perfect day for the Indians.

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Wimbledon Day 5 Men's Wrap: Murray squeezes through, Roddick beaten

andy_murray2There was limited action in the Men's draw at Wimbledon on Friday as afternoon rain brought an early end to proceedings on the outside courts. There was though time for joy for one Andy and despair for the other. Fortunately as far as the whole of Britain is concerned, the right one went through to the fourth round, but not without making rather heavy weather of his contest. Andy Murray, continued his incredible record under the roof at Center Court, beating Croatian veteran Ivan Ljubicic in four sets 6-4, 4-6, 6-1, 7-6(4). Not as fortunate was American Andy Roddick. The three time finalist lost to Spaniard Feliciano Lopez 7-6(2), 7-6(2), 6-4. Only one other third round match was able to finish today with Richard Gasquet earning a long awaited Wimbledon rematch with Murray, beating Italian Simone Bolelli in three easy sets.

Andy Murray appeared to be carrying the weight of an entire nation desperate for success as he stumbled through his third round match with Ivan Ljubicic. After some routine early games, the players brought out the heavy artillery midway through the first set as Ljubicic was forced to dig deep to save four break points in a thrilling 6th game. Ljubicic responded by breaking serve in the following game, only to be broken right back as Murray refused to give in. Instead, the young Brit responded by putting Ljubicic under even more pressure in the 10th game and breaking him for a second straight time to wrap up an entertaining opening set 6-4.

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Wimbledon Day 5 Women's Wrap: Venus hits top form, Zvonareva beaten

venus_williams_2After a relatively mild morning session which saw Caroline Wozniacki whisk into the third round and Maria Sharapova battle through too, Friday afternoon provided considerable excitement in the ladies' singles event with some far from expected results. While the most shocking of all was undoubtedly seeing no.2 seed Vera Zvonareva crash out to 32nd ranked Tsvetana Pironkova in straight sets, the dominant nature of Venus Williams' complete annihilation of talented Spaniard Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez was just as astonishing. Petra Kvitova and Victoria Azarenka restored some semblance of order with contrasting wins, but there was another early exit for a seed with the dancing German Andrea Petkovic beaten in straight sets by the unheralded Ksenia Pervak.

Tsvetana Pironkova, a beaten semi-finalist at last year's Wimbledon at the hands of Vera Zvonareva came into their third round clash with revenge on her mind, and did she ever deliver, thumping the Russian 6-2, 6-3 in just 77 minutes. While the scoreline indicates a washout, the first set ultimately came down to who took her chances with the young Bulgarian going 2/2 on break point conversions while her Russian adversary was 0/6. Pironkova tightened things up considerably in the second and remarkably quite literally produced an error free performance as she hammered 10 winners and no unforced errors to book her place in the fourth round.

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Wimbledon Day 5 Women's Mid-day Wrap: Sharapova, Wozniacki advance; Kuznetsova beaten

maria_sharapovaOverwhelming title favourite Maria Sharapova advanced to the third round of the Wimbledon Championships on Friday afternoon battling past British wild-card Laura Robson, 7-6(4), 6-3 win in just under 2 hours. She was joined in the round of 32 by top seed Caroline Wozniacki, a 6-1, 6-3 winner over Virginie Razzano, 9th seed Marion Bartoli and 20th seed Shuai Peng as the organizers raced to complete second round matches that had been carried forward from the previous night.·

The 2004 Wimbledon champion, Sharapova, began the match tentatively as her 17-year old opponent smacked some splendid winners, hit a few delicate drive-volleys and fired numerous booming serves down the T to race to a 3-0 lead in the opening set. The Russian finally got on board in the 4th game of the match with a series of ferocious cross-court backhands.

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Indians at Wimbledon: Somdev, Bopanna ousted, Sania advances

Thursday turned out to be a mixed day for the Indians at the 125th edition of the Championships in London as India's campaign came to an end in the singles event with Somdev Devvarman bowing out of Wimbledon. Asian fans were left disappointed when the Indo-Pak pair of Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi were sent packing out of the tourney by unheralded Colombians Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah.

However, some of the smiles were back as Sania Mirza alongside her doubles partner Elena Vesnina cruised into the second round of the ladies' doubles with a straight sets triumph over Anna Chakvetadze of Russia and Melanie Oudin of the United States.

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Federer cruises into Wimbledon 3rd Round, Soderling battles past Hewitt

roger_federer3Six time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer was in ruthless form in his 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 annihilation of Frenchman Adrian Mannarino in an hour and 28 minutes. The King of Grass was utterly dominant throughout the contest and will now have face off against his old nemesis David Nalbandian for a place in the pre-quarterfinals.

The world no.3 had his 53rd ranked opponent scrambling from the very first point of the match. The Swiss maestro fired an ace in his opening game to hold serve and then quickly pocketed an early break to take·a 3-0 lead. The 16 time Grand Slam winner was particularly impressive on his serve as he did not drop even a single point on it and also smacked a few awe-inspiring forehands to cruise through the opening set 6-2 in just 25 minutes.

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