Kerber crashes; Federer cruises, Nadal stretched - GulfToday

Kerber crashes; Federer cruises, Nadal stretched


Lauren Davis celebrates after winning her second round match against Angelique Kerber at Wimbledon on Thursday. Reuters

Eight-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer reached the last-32 of a Grand Slam for the 70th time as he disposed of British wild card Jay Clarke 6-1, 7-6 (7/3), 6-2 in the second round at Wimbledon on Thursday.

Later, third seed Rafael Nadal defeated Nick Kyrgios 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/3) in a stormy and bad-tempered Wimbledon second round encounter on Centre Court on Thursday.

It was Nadal’s 50th win at the tournament as he continues his push for a third Wimbledon title and 19th major.

Kyrgios twice served underarm on game point, was handed a code violation for unsportsmanlike behaviour and waged a bitter war of words with umpire Damien Dumusois.

Nadal will face France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga for a place in the last 16.

Swiss maestro Federer, who is chasing a 21st major crown, unleashed 46 winners past the battling world number 169. He will next face Lucas Pouille, the 27th seed, for a place in the last 16.

The 27th seeded Frenchman raced past qualifier Gregoire Barrere in three straight sets 6-1, 7-6, 6-4 in a match that lasted 1 hour and 38 minutes.  

“I struggled to take care of business a bit from the baseline,” said 37-year-old Federer after equalling Jimmy Connors’ record of making the Wimbledon third round on 17 occasions.

“Thankfully I played a pretty good breaker, I had some help from him as he gave me a couple of unforced errors.

“The tank is full. I came here with a lot of confidence, the first few matches haven’t been very taxing physically.

“This first week has been going well and I know the opponents in terms of ranking will now get better.”

Meanwhile, Angelique Kerber’s defence of her Wimbledon title came to an early end after being knocked out in the second round by lucky loser Lauren Davis 2-6, 6-2, 6-1 on Thursday.

The 31-year-old German, who came into the tournament in form having reached the final at Eastbourne, made her earliest exit since losing in the same round in 2013.

Davis has now equalled her best previous performance at Wimbledon in reaching the third round where she will play Spanish 30th seed Carla Suarez Navarro for a place in the last 16.

“This means everything as it is what I work for,” said Davis. “I was a bit nervous and I slid and hurt my foot in the first set.

“I am so happy to win, it is almost surreal.”

Davis, who had strapping on her leg and shoulder, had been ranked outside the top 250 earlier this year but has risen back into the top 100.

In a later match, seven-time champion Serena Williams survived a scare to come through and reach the third round, beating Slovenian qualifier Kaja Juvan 2-6, 6-2, 6-4.

The 37-year-old American -- bidding to join Margaret Court with a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title -- struggled to impose herself on an opponent ranked 133 in the world.

Meanwhile, China’s Wang Qiang has said confidence was everything as she looks to cause an upset at Wimbledon. Wang is playing at the top of her game, finding an ever-increasing sense of self-belief. The 27-year-old is on her career-high ranking of 15th in the world after runs to the quarter-finals in Prague and Miami. The secret to her run of form? “Confidence,” she said.

“Last year I had really good confidence, but I think I need more, so I build my confidence for the second half of this year. More confidence on court,” she said.

Wang’s year-ending ranking has gone from 114 to 70, 45 and 20 over the past four years.

She is the 15th seed at Wimbledon and beat Slovakia’s Tamara Zidansek 6-1, 6-2 in 54 minutes on Court 17 on Thursday to cruise through to the third round.

Agence France-Presse

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