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Monday, Nov 30th

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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.


Indians at Wimbledon: Sania reaches Women's Doubles Semis, Mahesh makes it to Mixed Doubles Quarters

The Indian fans had triple delight on offer on Wednesday at the 125th edition of the Wimbledon Championships as all the three Indians still contesting for honours moved on in their respective events. The high-priestess of Indian tennis Sania Mirza alongside her partner Elena Vesnina made it to the semi-finals of the ladies doubles event.

A few more cheers awaited the Asian superstar as she also progressed to the third round of the mixed doubles with compatriot Rohan Bopanna as they knocked out the British-Australian combo of Jamie Murray and Jarmila Gajdosova. Late in the evening veteran Mahesh Bhupathi ended the day on a high as he and Vesnina followed in the footsteps of Sania-Bopanna to swiftly advance to the last 8 of the same event.


Nadal - Murray to clash in Wimbledon Semi-final

rafa_nadal2World no.1 Rafael Nadal and Britain's no.1 Andy Murray will collide in the semi-finals of Wimbledon for the second straight year as the two highest seeds in the top half of the draw kept their pre-anointed date with each other. Murray, playing on Centre Court in front of his adoring fans made quick work of unseeded Spaniard Feliciano Lopez to cruise into the last four. Nadal, relegated to court 1 was made to work a little harder than he would have liked as American Mardy Fish fought back from a break down to sneak the third set. Nadal though raised the level of his play when required to win in four sets and extend his winning runs at Wimbledon to 19 consecutive matches.

After some tepid early games where the two adversaries were feeling each other out, Murray took full advantage of a poorly executed drop volley to break Lopez for·a 4-2 lead. The local favorite made it 5-2 in the following game as he showed deft touch in hitting a lovely little drop shot to hold and soon had the opening set in the bag, 6-3.


Indians at Wimbledon: Sania moves into Women's Doubles Quarters, Rain washes out mixed-doubles matches

The fourth seeded pair of India's Sania Mirza and Elena Vesnina of Russia sailed into the quarterfinals of Wimbledon on Tuesday after their clinical straight sets victory over Slovakian Daniela Hantuchova and Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland in the ladies' doubles event. The Indo-Russian duo produced a master-class performance dispatching the 13th seeds 6-4, 6-3.

The Roland Garros finalists though have a slugfest on the cards as they take on the giant killing Spanish combo of N Llagostera Vives and A Parra Santonja of Spain for a place in the semifinals. Vives and Santonja had beaten the Italian Fed Cup winning pairing of Sarra Errani and Roberta Vinci 7-5, 6-4 earlier in the day.


Sharapova - Lisicki, Kvitova - Azarenka to clash in Wimbledon Semi-finals

maria_sharapovaAnd then there were 4. Order was restored from the chaos that prevailed on Manic Monday as three of the four higher ranked seeds worked their way into the semi-finals of Wimbledon. The Russian princess Maria Sharapova, hoping that Saturday will mark her coronation as the new Queen of SW19, showed no compassion for Dominika Cibulkova destroying the tiny Slovakian 6-1, 6-1 in a match which barely lasted an hour. She was joined in the semis by three 21-year olds, all of whom are two wins away from having their name etched on the Venus Rosewater Dish for the very first time.

Maria's opponent in the last four will be Germany's Sabine Lisicki, who spent more time on her second set than Sharapova did all match. Lisicki caused a flutter by stunning 2007 runner-up Marion Bartoli in an awesome early mood setter on Centre Court. The other semi-final will see the no.8 seed Petra Kvitova return to the stage where she was shown the door last year by the eventual champion Serena Williams. Kvitova, has been on the verge of a breakthrough at the Grand Slams for last 12 months and will hope she can repeat her win over Victoria Azarenka in last year's Championships to book a place in Saturday's final. The left-hander overcame a late second set hiccup to down 32nd seed Tsvetana Pironkova in three sets. In the last of the four quarter-finals, Azarenka eased her way past unseeded up and comer Tamira Paszek of Austria.


Federer, Nadal battle into Wimbledon Quarters

roger_federer5While the ladies singles draw was left ravaged by the fast expulsion of seeds on Monday afternoon at Wimbledon, it was business as usual for the leading men. Title favourites Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal stayed on course for another dream final, recording hard fought wins in their fourth round matches today. While Nadal was always expected to be pushed hard by the 'Tower of Tandil' Juan Martin del Potro, Federer's challenge came from the considerably more obscure Russian Mikhail Youzhny. Joining them in the last eight late in the day was the lovable Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Six time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer squeezed into the quarterfinals of the Championships on Monday after he battled past 2010 US Open semi-finalist Mikhail Youzhny  6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 in a tight four setter to set up an intriguing clash with Tsonga for a place in the last 4 of the prestigious tournament.


Murray, Djokovic advance to Wimbledon Quarter-finals, Berdych beaten

andy_murray2The concept of the 'Big 4' of men's tennis is a misnomer at Wimbledon, what with only two of those four having ever made it to the final of the world's leading Grand Slam. The two young men hoping to change that record this year are world no.2 Novak Djokovic and Britain's only real son this fortnight, Andy Murray. Both superstars stayed on track in their pursuit of the holy grail, registering routine wins to advance to the quarter-finals. Blocking their path into the final four will be unseeded opposition in the form of Aussie qualifier Bernard Tomic and Spanish Davis Cup veteran Feliciano Lopez. Also an early winner on Monday was the big serving American Mardy Fish,

British no.1 Andy Murray cruised into the last 8 of the Championships, blowing away talented Frenchman Richard Gasquet 7-6 (3), 6-3, 6-2 in just over two hours. There was a lot of pre-match hype about this contest especially with Murray coming from two sets to love down to beat Gasquet the last time the pair collided on the hallowed greens of Wimbledon. However, Murray proved that he was an even better front runner than a battler.


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