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Mirza and Mattek-Sands progress to Round 3 at Wimbledon, Williams sisters loom in the horizon

It is turning out to be a dream Grand Slam for the Indian tennis contingent as they continue to enjoy the pristine green grass at The All England Club in London. Sania Mirza and her American partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands kept up that run as they defeated the French duo of Stephanie Foretz Gacon and Kristina Mladenovic 6-3, 6-2.

The 13th seeded Indo-US team is working exceptionally well as a team, with the players complementing the other's games perfectly. Their serves, usually a bug bear in the women's game, has been in exceptional working order and Mirza and Mattek-Sands capped another great display by giving away only one break point opportunity all match.


Wimbledon Day 5 Wrap: Djokovic battles past Stepanek in 4 sets, Monaco & Raonic ousted

novak_djokovic2World no.1 Novak Djokovic moved one step closer towards defending his Wimbledon crown, working past his opponent, the 28th seeded Czech Radek Stepanek in a relatively routine four-set affair. Though, the 33 year old Czech showed at times that the green lawns at Wimbledon were still conducive to the almost obsolete brand of serve and volley tennis, the trademark style of many of the past champions, Djokovic was still the dominant player throughout the majority of the match stamping his authority with his powerful returns and wide array of ground strokes.

The match started off on an even note, as both players held serve till the final game of the first set. All of a sudden, the veteran started upping the ante to break the Serbian and in the process grab the first set. Eyebrows started getting raised among the crowds, probably sensing that Djokovic too may follow Rafael Nadal, who was ousted on the previous day, out of the Championships. However, the champion put all such unwarranted apprehensions to a complete rest, taking his return game to another level to cruise through the remainder of the match to book a spot in the fourth round. The final score was 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 in the Serbian's favor.


Wimbledon Day 4 Men's Wrap: Nadal falls in Second Round, Murray downs Karlovic

rafa_nadal3As a tennis fan if you had never heard of Lukas Rosol before today, you can relax with the knowledge that you're not the only one. Chances are though if you watched him beat 2-time former champion Rafael Nadal last night, you'll never forget him. Coming from a height of 6 feet 5 inches, Rosol's serve packs a mean punch. However, what was arguably just as impressive was the pace behind his shots, his raw agression and ability to compete with Rafa from the back of the court.

So who is this international man of mystery? Rosol is no spring chicken, at 26 years of age, he is physically in the prime of his career. However, his ranking has slipped from a career high 65 last year to an even 100 coming into Wimbledon. So, he has not quite been in the best of form. He is playing in the Wimbledon main draw for the very first time - slightly unusual for an 8 year pro, having been beaten in the qualifiers each of the last 5 years during which Nadal has been winning and making the finals with monotonous regularity.


Paes - Stepanek ease into 2nd round at Wimbledon

It was another good day for the Indians at The All England Club on Thursday as veteran Olympic hero Leander Paes started his Wimbledon campaign with a bang. Leander looked a lot more comfortable on court playing with his regular partner Radek Stepanek. The Indo-Czech 4th seeded pair defeated the Australian duo of Colin Ebelthite and John Peers 6-2, 6-4, 6-2 to book a 2nd round berth. Leander had a disappointing French Open men's doubles campaign, where he bowed out in 2nd round playing with a new partner, Alexander Peya of Austria.

The first set was picture perfect for the Indo-Czech pair as they won all the points on their first serve. They gave away only 3 points off their serve and won as much as 50% of the return points. The picked up two breaks of serve to comfortably take the set 6-2.


Sharapova, Serena advance to Round 3 of Wimbledon

maria_sharapovaThursday afternoon proved to be a good one to be a seed with tournament favourites Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams leading the way for the ladies into the third round of Wimbledon. Sharapova completed her match carried forward from last night to blank the Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova in the final set after the gutsy grass court specialist had levelled proceedings by sneaking the second in a tiebreak. Serena Williams, who shared in her press conference that she'd love to get some flowers from someone from the opposite sex, had no trouble in her on court appearance, cruising past Hungarian qualifier Melinda Czink, 6-1, 6-4.

There were also straight set wins for Eastbourne runner-up Angelique Kerber, French Open runner-up Sara Errani, former French Open champions Ana Ivanovic and Francesca Schiavone among others. Not quite so fortunate though was the only seed to make an early exit today - former Wimbledon runner-up Marion Bartoli.


Wimbledon Day 3: Novak Djokovic eases past Harrison to advance to the Third Round

novak_djokovic2Defending Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic was given another quality work out by 20-year old American prodigy Ryan Harrison, and would have been relieved to have eased his way into the third round in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4. With the weather playing havoc with the schedule for the second straight day, Djokovic's match was played entirely under the roof, and thanks to the aritficial lighting could go on late into the evening.

The match was a largely entertaining affair with Harrison showing enough quality to indicate that he would be a certainty to make the second week at Wimbledon rather regularly for years to come. The opening set had plenty of exciting rallies and the fans got behind the underdog, without losing an ounce of love or respect for their champion.


Wimbledon Day 3 Women's Wrap: Clijsters prevails, Stosur and Wozniacki ousted, Sharapova dodges a bullet

kim_clijsters.jpgOn an exceptionally exciting day 3 at Wimbledon there were rain delays, match points saved, upsets galores and fashion faux pas in abundance as the top stars of the WTA Tour provided some royal entertainment fit for the grandest stage of them all. With rain playing havoc with Tuesday's schedule as well, there were a host of first round matches which were left midway, while the second round also got underway. World no.1 Maria Sharapova, the overwhelming favourite for the title this year, was given a rude shock by Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova, who tends to reserve her best tennis for Wimbledon, and was a semi-finalist here two years ago. Pironkova raced to a 5-2 lead in the opening set and had countless set points including a 0-40 opportunity on the Sharapova serve, but failed to get the job done. Sharapova took the first set in a tiebreak and was up 3-1 in the second was play was discontinued on court 1.

Amongst those who were able to get their matches underway, sentimental favourite Kim Clijsters cruised into the third round, while there were three huge upsets with US Open champion Sam Stosur, former French Open champion Li Na and former world no.1 Caroline Wozniacki all making early exits.


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