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WIMBLEDON DAY 9: Five Sets Finishes Federer, Tsonga is ON A ROLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga celebrates after taking out Switzerland's Roger Federer in the 2011 Wimbledon Championships Men's Quarterfinals.

Roger Federer
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga became the first player ever to overturn a two-set deficit and beat Roger Federer in a Grand Slam match in the Wimbledon quarter-finals on Wednesday. The Frenchman demonstrated all his flair and power as he rallied to defeat the six-time champion 3-6, 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 on Centre Court.

"For me it's just amazing," said Tsonga. "The feeling is like maybe beating
[Rafael] Nadal in Roland Garros, so it's just amazing. And for me it will be, for sure, one of the best memories in my career anyway."

"I felt so good on the court. I was quick. I was just perfect today. Every time I was feeling like a dream. Even at two sets down, because I was in the quarter-finals again Roger Federer. The stadium was full. I was not ridiculous. I was in my match. I'm the kind of player who likes these big moments. So I hope I will have some more."

Federer had commanded a 178-0 record when winning the first two sets in a Grand Slam match, and had only previously lost a two-set lead in five-set matches twice before in his career. The first instance came against Lleyton Hewitt in the 2003 Davis Cup semi-finals, before David Nalbandia repeated the feat in the 2005 Tennis Masters Cup Shanghai final.

World No. 19 Tsonga is through to the semi-finals at Wimbledon for the first time, having fallen to Andy Murray in the 2010 quarter-finals at the All England Club. The Frenchman made his major breakthrough at the 2008 Australian Open, where he beat Rafael Nadal to reach his first final before finishing runner-up to Novak Djokovic. Two years later he reached the semi-finals in Melbourne for the second time, when he was beaten by Federer in straight sets.



For a place in the final, Tsonga will face World No. 2 Novak Djokovic, who ended Australian qualifier Bernard Tomic's dream run with a four-set win.

Tsonga takes a 5-2 career lead into his eighth clash with Djokovic. Their last meeting came in the 2010 Australian Open quarter-finals, when Tsonga prevailed in five sets.

The Le Mans native had advanced to the last eight for the loss of just one set, against Grigor Dimitrov in the second round, but suffered from nerves in the early stages against Federer and paid the price as too many unforced errors saw him surrender his serve in the second game. Federer did not relinquish the lead, saving one break point in the fifth game but was otherwise dominant on serve as he closed out the opener.

Both players settled into a high level in the 47-minute second set, in which neither player was able to break serve. In the subsequent tie-break, Federer seized the initiative, racing to a 5-0 advantage before closing out the seemingly commanding two-set lead with a forehand winner.

The coach-less Tsonga did not let his head go down, though. Instead, the Frenchman stepped in to attack Federer and broke the Swiss’ serve for the first time in the match in the third game after converting his third opportunity with a forehand winner on the run that caught the edge of the line. Federer looked to repair the damage in the latter stages of the set, twice holding a 0/30 advantage on the Tsonga serve in the eighth and 10th games. He was unable to build further, though, and Tsonga’s comeback began as he clinched his third set point with an unreturned serve.




The 12th-seeded Tsonga swiftly built on his momentum, going after a Federer second serve in the third game of the fourth set and breaking down the Swiss’ defences with a blistering forehand winner. Solid on serve, Tsonga coolly went on to level the match with a love service hold in the 10th game.

With Federer reeling, Tsonga took full advantage, bullying the 16-time Grand Slam champion with his booming forehand and drawing a crucial error in the first game of the fifth set to gain an early service break. Federer would earn no chances to regain the break, and Tsonga went on to close out victory in three hours and eight minutes.

"I served just unbelievable," assessed Tsonga. "I feel really confident on this shot. I hope it will continue. It is difficult to play against him because you don't know exactly what he's thinking, what's happening in his head. He has all the time the same behaviour, and it's difficult because he plays so fast. You don't know if he's scared or not, and it's really difficult. I didn't look at him. I was just focused on me, on my serve, and that's it."

Tsonga is the fifth Frenchman to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals in the Open Era, following Henri Leconte (1986), Cedric Pioline (1997), Sebastien Grosjean (2003-2004) and Richard Gasquet(2007). Pioline went on to become the only Frenchman in the Open Era to reach the final (l. to Sampras). The last Frenchman to win the title was Yvon Petra in 1946.

"It's always a tough match to lose today," said Federer, who also lost in the quarter-finals last year (l. to Berdych). "But I think Jo played great. Really from start to finish I don't remember seeing a break point after I broke him in the first game. But I was close. I had all my chances. He came up with some good stuff. So it was tough. I'm actually pretty pleased with my performance today. It's kind of hard going out of the tournament that way, but unfortunately it does happen sometimes."

The 29-year-old Swiss was looking to win his first major title since the 2010 Australian Open, and claim a record-tying seventh Wimbledon crown.

“It's the second year running that the talk has been about me equalling Pete's seven Wimbledons. I didn't feel that makes it particularly special. I love equalling any record Pete has made, but it's not the driving force behind my motivation really. I love Pete. It's always nice doing stuff that he did. But at the end of the day I'm trying to win a tournament.”

Photos by © AELTC/J.Buckle
Source: ATP World Tour

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WIMBLEDON DAY 7: Tsonga Shines As He Advances To Quarterfinals... His Reward?... Roger Federer

Monday, June 27, 2011

Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga continues his exuberant celebration, and as well he should after winning on Day 7 of the 2001 Wimbledon Championships.



Spaniard David Ferrer
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga let his tennis do the talking when he sailed into the Wimbledon quarter-finals for the second year running with a masterful destruction of seventh seeded David Ferrer. The Frenchman was relentless in his assault on the Spaniard, blasting him off the court 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(1) in two hours and three minutes.

Tsonga made headlines recently when he posed nude in a bid to raise awareness about cancer but on court all eyes were fixed on his sparkling play that left Ferrer seeking solutions but unable to find them.

While Ferrer had comfortably beaten Tsonga on their only previous meeting on the clay of Rome last year, it was the Frenchman who began the duel in top gear. Blistering backhands and ferocious forehands were the bread and butter of his game, along with scintillating serves that regularly clocked the 135mph mark. Then there were the lucrative forays to the net. This was Tsonga at his very best and the man, quite simply, could not put a foot wrong.


 Not that Ferrer wasn't trying. In the beginning, he was matching the 26-year-old shot for shot until the fifth game of the opening set when he missed a backhand to give Tsonga the break. Just when you thought it impossible for Tsonga to hit the ball any harder, he did, coming up trumps with another winner.

The Spaniard was soon serving to stay in the set but a number of errors, including a double fault on the opening point, handed the Frenchman three set points. He only needed the one and closed out the set on a winning volley.

Tsonga's dazzling form continued in the second set and Ferrer began to crumble. The Frenchman broke and when the Spaniard netted a ball on the second set point there was a sense this was the beginning of the end for Ferrer. But the 29-year-old refused to bow out easily and upped the ante in the third.

By the sixth game, the rallies were hitting the 15-shot mark, much to the delight of the No.3 Court spectators and the set was forced to a tie-break. It was the Frenchman who reigned supreme when he raced to a 6-1 lead and converted the first match point with a breathtaking cross-court winner.

Tsonga may have won five hard court titles in his career but in this tournament he is demonstrating he is a strong contender on the SW19 lawns. He just has the small matter of six-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer to negotiate in the quarter finals...

Source: Wimbledon.org
Photos by Getty Images

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(VIDEO) WIMBLEDON DAY 7: Venus Williams Post-match Interview


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(VIDEO) WIMBLEDON DAY 7: Serena's Post-Match Interview


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WIMBLEDON DAY 7: There's A First Time For Everything - Venus And Serena Williams Eliminated Same Day, Same Round - OUCH!!!!

(L-R) American super sisters Serena and Venus Williams walking off the courts of Wimbledon as they both lose their matches.



Wimbledon (AP) - "Definitely not our best day," Venus said. "I think we both envisioned seeing this day going a little bit different."

Also knocked out was top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki, who fell 1-6, 7-6 (5), 7-5 to No. 24 Dominika Cibulkova in the Dane's latest failed attempt to win her first Grand Slam title.

Venus and Serena have won nine of the last 11 titles at Wimbledon, and have faced each other in four finals.

In 2006, Venus lost in the third round and Serena missed the tournament. This is the first year that, when both sisters were in the draw, both lost before the quarterfinals.

The last time the sisters lost on the same day at a Grand Slam was in 2008, when they fell in the third round at the French Open.

"Obviously it's not something planned," Venus said. "We rarely lose on the same day."

With 2004 champion Maria Sharapova of Russia among those advancing Monday, it marks the first time since 1913 that all eight women's Wimbledon quarterfinalists are from Europe — all from different countries.

After winning last year's Wimbledon, Serena missed nearly a year after foot surgery and subsequent blood clots in her lungs. She returned two weeks ago at Eastbourne for the first time since then. Venus also returned at Eastbourne after a five-month layoff with a hip injury

Venus was clearly off the top of her game Monday, committing 16 unforced errors and converting only one of four break points. She was broken four times.

"I didn't seem to get the ball in," Venus said. "She took her opportunities. I just didn't put the ball in the court, simple as that. Unfortunately, I seem not to have my good days against her. But she played well."

The 33rd-seeded Pironkova, who lost in the semifinals here last year to eventual runner-up Vera Zvonareva, played steady tennis against Venus and never cracked.

"I beat her two times, two consecutive years — it feels amazing to play such a champion on this legendary court," the Bulgarian said after holding serve and stroking a backhand winner down the line on her second match point. "When I come here I just feel so relaxed. I really like the atmosphere here."

Serena saved four match points before the ninth-seeded Bartoli closed out the contest by hitting a service winner into the corner. It was Serena's earliest exit at Wimbledon since a third-round loss in 2005.

"I never came here thinking I would lose," she said. "That's my attitude. You win some and you lose some. Today just happened to be the one that slipped under me."

But Serena said she was satisfied getting as far as she did after such a long time away from the game.

"I think I did really well just being able to come back and play and win some matches, and just really play tough," she said. "Even today I lost, but I was able to kind of hang in there and play tough. And I can only get better. That can potentially be really scary, because I can only go up from here and I can just do so much more."

Bartoli made the Wimbledon final in 2007, losing to Venus.

Serena had 20 unforced errors Monday to go with 29 winners, and managed to convert only one of five break points. Bartoli served 10 aces, two more than Williams, and kept down her errors to 17.

It was the first time Bartoli has beaten the American after straight-set defeats in their previous two matches.

"Beating Serena is almost like a dream come true," Bartoli said. "Even though she didn't play for almost one year, she's probably one of the greatest champions in women's tennis.

"For me to be able come back after having three match points and losing this game at 6-5, and still be able to bounce back, it's really huge."


Photos by Getty Images

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WIMBLEDON MIDDLE SUNDAY: Tournament Day Of Rest

Sunday, June 26, 2011



Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam tennis tournament that schedules a day off on the middle Sunday -- and the only one that puts all 16 men's and women's fourth-round matches on the second Monday.

This gives the viewers/attendees/listeners a day off too - happy to have it. I'll be ready for action again on Monday.


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WIMBLEDON DAY 7: Schedule




Ladies' Singles 4th Round

Venus Williams, USA (23) vs. Svetana Pironkova, BUL (32)

Serena Williams, USA (7) vs. Marion Bartoli, FRA (9)



Gentlemen's Singles - 4th Round

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, FRA (12) vs. David Ferrer, ESP (7)



Ladies' Doubles - 2nd Round

Raquel Kops-Jones, USA and Abigail Spears, USA
vs.
Cara Black, ZIM (14) and Shahar Peer, ISR (14)


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WIMBLEDON DAY 6: Results




Ladies' Singles 3rd Round

Serena Williams, USA (7) defeated Maria Kirilenko, RUS (26)
6-3, 6-2


Gentlemen's Singles - 3rd Round

Gael Monfils, FRA defeated by Lukasz Kubot, POL
3-6, 6-3, 3-6, 3-6

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, FRA (12) defeated Fernando Gonzalez, CHI
6-3, 6-4, 6-3


Ladies' Doubles - 1st Round

Heather Watson, GBR and Jocelyn Rae, GBR
defeated by
Sophie Lefevre, FRA and Evgeniya Rodina, RUS
4-6, 4-6


Mixed Doubles - 1st Round

Heather Watson, GBR and Ross Hutchins, GBR
defeated
Rennae Stubbs, AUS and Marcelo Melo, BRA
65-77, 6-3, 8-6

Raquel Kops-Jones, USA and Wesley Moodie, RSA
defeated by
Alicja Rosolska, POL and Rogier Wassen, NED
2-1, Retired

Dustin Brown, GER and Vania King, USA
defeated by
Elena Baltacha, GBR and Kenneth Skupski, GBR
66-78,  6-4, 4-6




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WIMBLEDON DAY 6: Serena Continues To Improve As She Eases Into 4th Round

American Serena Williams reacts as she advances to the Round of 16 after win over Russian Maria Kirilenko



WIMBLEDON, England -- Serena Williams has been known to say she isn't satisfied with this or that aspect of her game, even after easily winning a match, say, 6-3, 6-2.

So it was somehow refreshing to hear Williams actually praise herself after a victory by that very score over 26th-seeded Maria Kirilenko at Wimbledon on Saturday.

Yes, only five matches since returning to the tour after nearly a full year off because of a series of health scares, Williams produced a performance worthy of the 13-time Grand Slam champion that she is. And then Williams talked the talk of someone finally ready to concede that British bookmakers might very well have been right to make her the pre-tournament favorite.

Asked whether she was surprised by the odds, the seventh-seeded American smiled widely and said: "I wouldn't bet against me."

After hitting 10 aces and compiling a 32-9 edge in winners against Kirilenko, Williams termed the showing her "best I've played since I came back."

"I was a little more consistent, and I played mygame more," said Williams, trying to become the first woman since Steffi Graf in 1991-93 to win three consecutive Wimbledon titles. "Wasn't as tight and nervous and uptight. I was able to relax more today."


She was part of a parade of past champions who breezed into the fourth round Saturday, joined by Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova, who all were straight-set winners, too. Top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki, seeking her first Grand Slam title, and two-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic, who is now 44-1 in 2011, also moved on.

Serena explained she'd been playing tentatively until Saturday.

"You're always thinking, 'I can get hurt again.' You just kind of have to let those thoughts go or anything could happen," Williams said. "And I wasn't thinking that at all today. It was just a big difference."

On Monday, she'll face 2007 runner-up Marion Bartoli. Other fourth-round women's matches include Williams' older sister Venus vs. No. 32 Tsvetana Pironkova, who upset the five-time Wimbledon champion a year ago; Wozniacki vs. No. 24 Dominika Cibulkova; and Sharapova vs. No. 20 Peng Shuai.

After beating Kirilenko -- her first straight-set victory in five matches since returning -- Williams revealed another, if less serious, mishap from her annus horribilis: She scraped her right shoulder and face when she fell off her pink bicycle during a ride near her home in Florida in October.


"I'm thinking, 'Oh, nooooooo,"' Williams recounted, as though replaying her words in slow motion. "All I thought was, 'Don't fall on my face. Don't fall on my face.' When I fell on my face, I was like, 'No!"'
Since then, she's been sticking to stationary bikes.

Photos by Getty Images

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WIMBLEDON DAY 6: Fun Overload! Heather Watson and Ross Hutchins Win Mixed Doubles 1st Round

Britain's Heather Watson and Ross Hutchins celebrate after their 6-7(5), 6-3, 8-6 round 1 Mixed Doubles win over Marcelo Melo, Brazil and Rennae Stubbs, Australia.

The partners both Tweeted about their win:


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WIMBLEDON DAY 6: Tsonga Convincingly Takes Out Gonzalez, Advances To Round Of 16

Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Day 6 of 2011 Wimbledon Championships.

Wimbledon is a happy place this fortnight, if your name is Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. The 26-year-old Frenchman has smiled his way through the first three rounds, apparently unperturbed by the small troubles life may put in his way.

He breezed his way to another contented win over the Chilean Fernando Gonzalez 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 and those who like their tennis quick will have relished this encounter as much as the No.12 seed himself. The entire joust was done in an economical 84 minutes.

In fact, parts of this match were so brisk, they verged on the bizarre. Neither of these two players is a chap to linger over personal pre-service rituals, with the result that the first set lasted 22 minutes, and it wasn't as if it was a whitewash. It was just that rallies on Tsonga's serve were a bit of a rarity and, besides, he had the necessary break in the bag at 3-1.

For those watching on No.2 Court, the constant risk was that they might sneeze at the wrong moment and find that they had missed some crucial passage of play. Glancing away for 10 seconds could leave spectators wondering how they missed half the set.

Tsonga, whose best Wimbledon was last year when he reached the quarter-finals, arrived at SW19 this fortnight with mixed form on grass. On the one hand, he brought the encouragement of being runner-up to Andy Murray at Queen's earlier this month; on the other, he followed it by losing to Radek Stepanek in the second round at Eastbourne.

As for 30-year-old Gonzalez, this was his first Grand Slam tournament since retiring in the first round of last autumn's US Open with a knee injury, itself caused by a previous hip injury dating back a further year. His ranking coming into Wimbledon was 478, and he made it into the main draw on a protected ranking because of this prolonged period out through injury. He did well to reach the third round, beating the No.22 seed Alexandr Dolgopolov in the first round.

At the start of the second set, Tsonga had the Chilean racing all over the court. He easily commanded three break points for 2-1 and converted the first as a matter of course. The next game was not atypical of the entire match. Tsonga served three aces, made one unforced error, and then made it a quartet of aces for good measure.

Umpire Fergus Murphy barely had time to announce the score in his trademark musical delivery before it was out of date and he was on to the next. At 5-3, Tsonga had two openings to break again and take the set, but in the event was obliged to cool his heels and serve it out.

Gonzalez had his chances, not least three opportunities to break early in the third set. But each time Tsonga dug his way out of the hole. Instead it was the Frenchman who broke in the next game, courtesy of a wild Gonzalez forehand at the net.

It was the same pattern as the set before, but this time when Tsonga had the chance to break again, it was to secure the win, and he took it. Even Gonzalez smiled back at Tsonga at the net.

Photos by Getty Images
Source: Wimbledon.org

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WIMBLEDON DAY 6: Didn't See This Coming, Monfils Ousted

Frenchman Gael Monfils gets knocked out on Day 6 of the 2011 Wimbledon Champions



Lukasz Kubot, Poland
Gael Monfils was dumped out of Wimbledon before the second week for the fifth time in five appearances, losing his third-round encounter against Lukasz Kubot of Poland, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3

The athletic Frenchman, who has achieved a Wimbledon-best three third rounds at The Championships since his first appearance in 2005, returned to No. 3 Court after his match against Kubot was delayed overnight after yesterday's rain interruption.

But although he had been recuperating some form during the match, recovering from a set down against the tricky Pole, the momentum all came tumbling down the wrong way. Dropping the third set 6-3, things went from bad to worse as Monfils, the former junior world No.1, fell 4-1 behind in the fourth set.

Unable to redeem the break, it was simple business for the Pole to serve out the match in four sets, and progress to only his second fourth round at a Grand Slam.

Despite producing less unforced errors and more aces than his opponent, it was Kubot's staggering 50 winners that cost the Frenchman dear, and also Monfils' inability to convert break points when he had the opportunity, managing just three out of nine.

Kubot will next meet Feliciano Lopez in the fourth round on Monday, the winner going through to meet either Andy Murray or Richard Gasquet in the quarter-finals.

Photos by Getty Images

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WIMBLEDON DAY 6: Schedule




Ladies' Singles 3rd Round

Serena Williams, USA (7) vs. Maria Kirilenko, RUS (26)


Gentlemen's Singles - 3rd Round

Gael Monfils, FRA vs. Lukasz Kubot, POL

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, FRA (12) vs. Fernando Gonzalez, CHI


Ladies' Doubles - 1st Round

Heather Watson, GBR and Jocelyn Rae, GBR
vs.
Sophie Lefevre, FRA and Evgeniya Rodina, RUS


Mixed Doubles - 1st Round

Heather Watson, GBR and Ross Hutchins, GBR
vs.
Rennae Stubbs, AUS and Marcelo Melo, BRA

Raquel Kops-Jones, USA and Wesley Moodie, RSA
vs.
Dominika Cibulkova, SVK and Lukas Dlouhy, CZE

Dustin Brown, GER and Vania King, USA
vs.
Elena Baltacha, GBR and Kenneth Skupski, GBR




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WIMBLEDON DAY 5: Results




Ladies' Singles - 3rd Round

Venus Williams, USA (23) defeated Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, ESP
6-0, 6-2


Gentlemen's Singles - 3rd Round

Gael Monfils, FRA (9) vs. Lukasz Kubot, POL
Rain Delay


Ladies' Doubles - 1st Round

Raquel Kops Jones, USA and Abigail Spears, USA
defeated
Johanna Larson, SWE and Jasmin Woehr, GER
7-5, 6-2

Heather Watson, GBR and Jocelyn Rae, GBR
vs

Sophie Lefevre, FRA and Evgeniya Rodina, RUS
Rain Delay



Mixed Doubles - 1st Round

Raquel Kops-Jones, USA and Wesley Moodie, RSA
vs.

Doninika Cibulkova, SVK and Lukas Dlouhy, CZE
Rain Delay

Dustin Brown, GER and Vania King, USA
vs.
Elena Baltacha, GBR and Kenneth Skupski, GBR
Rain Delay

Source: Wimbledon.org

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SERENA ON COURT TWO ASSIGNMENT: "I Don't Make It A Big Issue... I Think At Some Point, Maybe I Should"

Saturday, June 25, 2011




WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — Serena Williams wonders why she and her older sister Venus have played once each on Court 2 at Wimbledon this year — instead of Centre Court or Court 1.

After winning her second-round match Thursday on Court 2, four-time Wimbledon champion Serena was asked about being put in that venue, where five-time champion Venus won Monday. Each also has played one match on Centre Court this week.

"They like to put us on Court 2 — me and Venus — for whatever reason," Serena said. "I haven't figured it out yet. Maybe one day we'll figure it out."

Told of Serena's comments, tournament spokesman Johnny Perkins said there was no intentional snub, noting that several factors go into scheduling decisions, including TV broadcasting considerations, where players stand in the draw, and what ticket-buyers want to see.

"I don't think it's anything deliberate, clearly," Perkins said. "It's a hugely complex jigsaw puzzle. Everyone probably looks at it from their own point of view, so she's obviously quite entitled to."

The Williams sisters have combined to win nine of the past 11 Wimbledon singles championships, including Serena's titles in 2009 and 2010.

"I don't really think about it. I don't make it a big issue," Serena said about the scheduling. "I think at some point, maybe I should."

Stacey Allaster, the head of the women's professional tennis tour, said in a statement: "Serena Williams is a four-time Wimbledon singles champion, the defending champion of Wimbledon and a 13-time Grand Slam singles champion. I share her disappointment."

WTA CEO Allaster continued: "Scheduling decisions at Wimbledon are made by the All England Club and only they would be able to explain the rationale behind their decision for the scheduling of Serena's match today."

Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Andy Roddick have had all of their matches scheduled for Centre Court or Court 1 so far this year.

"Yeah," Serena said, "they're never moved across."

The Court 2 she played in Thursday was built before the start of the 2009 tournament and holds about 4,063 spectators — 7,330 fewer than Court 1, and 10,916 fewer than Centre Court. For years before that, the name "Court 2" at the All England Club was assigned to a venue about half the size and a few minutes' walk away.

That old Court 2 was known as the "Graveyard of Champions" because of a series of surprise losses by top players — including Serena against Jill Craybas in the third round in 2005. That particular match actually originally was scheduled for Centre Court but was shifted when others there went long. Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe and Pete Sampras — in his final match at the All England Club — all lost on the old Court 2.

After watching his daughter defeat Simona Halep of Romania 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 at the new Court 2 on Thursday, Richard Williams downplayed the issue of court placement.

"I can't say where she should be," he said. "I don't do the scheduling."

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Wimbledon Day 5: Ever The Diplomat, Venus Side Steps Reporters Attempts To Inflame Court Assignment After Defeating Sanchez

American Venus Williams celebrates third round 2011 Wimbledon Championships win.


Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez
(Reuters) - It made not a scrap of difference where Venus Williams played Spain's Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez at Wimbledon on Friday.

Center Court, court 16 or the local weed-strewn park... it would still have resulted in a thrashing.

As it was the five-times champion paraded her skills on Court One and duly reached the last 16 with a 6-0 6-2 victory to seal a re-match with Bulgaria's Tsvetana Pironkova who she surprisingly lost to last year.

Pironkova beat second seed Vera Zvonareva and with twice grand slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova also exiting Williams's half of the draw and the road to a July 2 date on Center Court is beginning to look a little less precarious.

After a few polite questions about her performance, reporters attempted to drag Venus into the court scheduling debate which flared up after her sister Serena, the reigning champion, was dispatched to the badlands of Court Two on Thursday.

Just like her Spanish victim, however, they were batted away with the minimum of fuss.





"Court Two's a solid court," said the 31-year-old, who played her first round there. "I'm grateful that it didn't rain when I played on Court Two.

"When I played on center I was grateful to be able to play that match when it rained and I was under the roof. So it's all worked out pretty well for me so far.

"I think you made your own observations already. I think go ahead and write what you feel is the truth and what's right."

After her near three-hour battle against 40-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm in the second round, Williams was back to her brutal, dominating best on Friday.

Her serve peaked at 120mph and she lost just two points when her booming first delivery hit the mark.

The fact that she has just returned from a five-month injury break has ceased to be an issue and few, it seems, are looking beyond another all-Williams final.

"I'm in the next round. That's my main goal regardless whether I play amazing, whether I play halfway decent, doesn't matter. It's just about finding a way to win," the 23rd seed said. "As long as I find a way to win that round, I'm good. So for me it's not about any level."

Photos by Getty Images

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WIMBLEDON DAY 5: Schedule

Friday, June 24, 2011



Ladies' Singles - 3rd Round

Venus Williams, USA (23) vs. Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, ESP


Gentlemen's Singles - 3rd Round

Gael Monfils, FRA (9) vs. Lukasz Kubot, POL


Ladies' Doubles - 1st Round

Raquel Kops Jones, USA and Abigail Spears, USA
vs.
Johanna Larson, SWE and Jasmin Woehr, GER

Heather Watson, GBR and Jocelyn Rae, GBR
vs.
Svetlana Kuznetsova, RUS and Vera Zvonareva, RUS


Mixed Doubles - 1st Round

Raquel Kops-Jones, USA and Wesley Moodie, RSA
vs.
Doninika Cibulkova, SVK and Lukas Dlouhy, CZE

Dustin Brown, GER and Vania King, USA
vs.
Elena Baltacha, GBR and Kenneth Skupski, GBR

Source:  Wimbledon.org

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Wimbledon Day 4: Results




Ladies' Singles - 2nd Round

Serena Williams, USA (7) defeated Simona Halep, ROU
3-6, 6-2, 6-1


Gentlemen's Singles - 2nd Round

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, FRA (12) defeated Grigor Dimitrov, BUL
6-7(4), 6-4, 6-4, 7-6(8)


Ladies' Doubles - 1st Round

Megan Moulton-Levy, USA and Lindsay Lee-Waters, USA
defeated by
Marina Erakovic, NZL and Tamarine Tanasugarn, THA
3-6, 2-6


Gentlemen's Doubles - 1st Round

Dustin Brown, GER and Michael Kohlmann, GER
defeated by
Carsten Ball, AUS and Santiago Gonzales, MEX
 7-5, 3-6, 11-13

Source: Wimbledon.org

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Wimbledon Day 4; Okay Tsonga...You Won... We See You.. Settle Down

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A very elated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, France, celebrates his Day 4 win at 2011 Wimbledon Championships



Grigor Dimitrov and Tsonga
WIMBLEDON - Jo-Wilfried Tsonga needed six match points to see off Grigor Dimitrov in a dramatic and emotional match that was interrupted by rain on three separate occasions.

The 12th-seeded Frenchman recovered from losing the first set to edge out the 20-year-old 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-4, 7-6(8) but was made to work all the way in a contest that saw both players warm up four times due to the unforgiving weather.

If the world No.62 was nervous about his outing on the No.1 Court, he certainly didn't show it. Maybe it was because he had played Tsonga earlier this year in Rotterdam where the Bulgarian had put up a good show in a 6-4, 6-4 defeat, which gave him an idea of what it is like to face the French giant. In addition, he was well-acquainted with these lawns having picked up the Boys' Singles title in 2008.

He was firing on all cylinders in the opening set despite the rain, which started to fall after just two points and forced the umpire to suspend play a further two points later. As soon as they walked off, the rain stopped. It was a pattern that would be repeated throughout the encounter.

While much of the first set went with serve, it was always Tsonga who seemed under pressure. He seemed to be forever staving off break points. The ninth game was a classic example. Tsonga blasted two balls out and an unfortunate net cord handed Dimitrov three break points. The 26-year-old managed to save them but then faced another when Dimitrov fired off an outstanding return. Again Tsonga saved it and two aces later he had managed to hold, but it was a shaky game and did not bode well for the expected victor. An error-strewn tiebreak, in which Tsonga double-faulted and ballooned a forehand and backhand long, did not help and he lost it 7-4

Early in the second the rainclouds were once again closing in as the men continued their sparkling baseline game, with each taking their turn to pin each other to the back of the court. Tsonga broke for a 2-1 lead just as the heavens opened for the second time. When the Frenchman returned he looked notably sharper and went on to win the second and third sets 6-4.

However, Tsonga's form dropped in the fourth. He was broken in the opening game and when rain returned again to suspend play for a third time he trailed 3-0. Tsonga came out of the delay the stronger man, holding serve and then breaking. A precision lob looped over the Bulgarian's head to set up two break points at 3-3 and Tsonga engineered a forehand crosscourt winner to break and take the lead.

But by the time Tsonga was serving for the match at 5-4, his inconsistency returned. On his first match point he served a double fault before a second match point came and went and he was forced to kiss the game goodbye. A further three match points passed Tsonga by in the tiebreak but he eventually sealed it on his sixth and jumped over the net to help up his opponent who had collapsed to the ground amid all the excitement.


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WIMBLEDON DAY 4: Serena Advances Once More - Slow And Steady Just May Win The Race

American Serena Williams on Day 4 of 2011 Wimbledon Championships
Photos by © AELTC/ J.Buckle



Simona Halep
WIMBLEDON - Though still some way short of her awesome best, the defending champion Serena Williams is safely through to the third round at the 125th Championships following a 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 victory over the 19-year-old Romanian Simona Halep.

Another layer of the rust accumulated during her 49-week absence from the game was shaken off as Williams gradually warmed to her task, converting an erratic start into a rousing finish.
Unusally for a title holder, Williams was required to play outside the two main courts, though the No.2 is of course a show court, and an impressive one at that.

This is the first Wimbledon appearance for Halep, the former Junior Roland Garros champion who stands at No.58 in the world rankings after zooming up more than 100 places in the past year. Though she stands only 5ft 6in she makes up in power and pace what she lacks in height. In the opening set she ran Williams relentlessly from side to side and led 3-1 when the American dropped serve on her ninth unforced error in just four games.



Halep's deep, accurate services kept Williams very much on the back foot until in the seventh game, when Halep took a tumble attempting a sharp turn and damaged her left leg. An extended break ensued while a trainer was summoned to treat the injury and although the teenager eventually resumed, the edge had disappeared from her game and her speed. Still, she clung on to her lead and jumped for joy when she closed out the set after 37 minutes.

Subsequently there was not a lot for Halep to be joyful about. Having seen the warning, Williams duly heeded it, tightened her own game and took control, at one point bellowing "C'mon, fight".

Though she landed only 39% of first serves on target in the second set, Williams won it with ease in 42 minutes, levelling the match with a net cord that dropped dead on the Romanian's side of the net. With Halep now demoralised and unrecognisable as the eager youngster who had started so brightly, the third set was embarrassingly one-sided.

But the better players awaiting Williams deeper into the draw will have noted that she required four match points to wrap up the win and committed 19 unforced errors.


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Britain's Heather Watson Edged Out By An Elbow

Heather Watson receives medical treatment for an elbow injury during her round one match.
Photos by © AELTC/ T.Hindley


WIMBLEDON - Although a bright future almost certainly lies ahead for Heather Watson, the British young gun narrowly lost her opening round match at The Championships. Playing against France's Mathilde Johansson on a packed No.3 Court, Watson battled an elbow injury and put up a brave fight before falling 2-6, 6-4, 6-4.

Those in attendance had plenty to be impressed about watching Watson, a compact, stylish player in the mould of Agnieszka Radwanska. She displayed great mental fortitude when pressed in her first service game, finally holding to level scores at 1-1 after almost 20 minutes on court.

Games continued on serve in the windy conditions, which the Brit used to her advantage. She threw a lob over the head of the net-bound Frenchwoman, which dropped just inside the baseline and helped her to level at two games apiece.

From there, Watson cruised. Her purposeful returns kept Johansson under pressure and several errors off Johansson's racket gave her the first break of the set. Watson's serve was also a major weapon - she landed two aces and two more powerful service winners to consolidate the break.

Watson lagged in the power department but her excellent court coverage frustrated her higher-ranked and more experienced opponent. She goaded Johansson into error and scored the second break of the match to lead 5-2.

Enjoying resounding applause when she returned to court after the changeover, Watson confidently pocketed the opening set in 42 minutes, her serve and forehand clicking.


The early stages of the second set mirrored the latter stages of the first. Wastson again demonstrated excellent use of the lob, finding the corner of the court and pouncing on the short reply from Johansson, smacking an off-forehand winner to bring up two game points. Two points later, she scrambled to retrieve a powerful Johansson drive, clinching the game after throwing up a sliced lob that Johansson smashed into the net.

The complexion of the match changed in the fifth game. Watson had fed the Frenchwoman a diet of short balls for the entire match, but now Johansson was finding the lines with her heavy groundstrokes and moved ahead 3-2.

Perhaps Watson remembered she was an experienced wildcard, or Johansson was sick of being made to look clumsy by a player seven years her junior and ranked 36 places lower. Whatever the reason, Johansson broke serve in the seventh game with several winners.

Things got worse for the local girl in the eighth game. Watson pulled up gingerly after a serve and required treatment on her right elbow at the ensuing changeover, returning to court with her arm heavily strapped. She played on seemingly unhindered, but was gradually worn down by Johansson's power, surrendering the second set 6-4 as another Johansson winner whistled into the corner.

"The injury didn't help," said Watson after the match."But my opponent played well. She was solid from both sides and was very aggressive. Got me on the defence quite a lot."

Against the tide, Watson broke serve and then held to lead 2-0 in the third set, before losing four consecutive games. As she put her hand to her forehead in frustration and disbelief, it all seemed to be slipping away for the youngster.

However, Watson broke serve in the seventh game and then followed this up with an impressive service hold to love, bringing the crowd to life once more. Could their girl get the job done?

Unfortunately, her inexperience showed. The finish line was in sight for both women yet it was Johansson who seized the moment - with scores locked at 4-4, 30-30, the Frenchwoman rifled a forehand winner down the line and held serve with the next point. She brought up two match points with yet another forehand winner.

Watson saved both, but a third match point proved one too many to handle. When the British girl's forehand found the net after a testing rally Johansson raised her arms in elation, the entertaining contest ending after two hours and 17 minutes.

"I am a fighter. I'm never going to give up," said Watson. "And the match is never over. People have lost after having had match points. It happens all the time, every week. I was fighting for every point. But it was disappointing at the end."


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Monfils' Winning Ace Is A Trick Shot That Takes Him To Wimbledon's Third Round

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Frenchman Gael Monfils on Day 3 of the 2011 Wimbledon Championships.


Monfils and Lucky Loser Zemlja
WIMBLEDON - As the gusty conditions continued late into the evening on Wednesday, another gale was blowing in the form of Gael Monfils. The effervescent Frenchman recovered from a set down to dispatch lucky loser Grega Zemlja 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 7-6(7).

The match was sealed when the ninth seed hammered down an ace on match point but, unbeknown to Monfils, the ball ricocheted towards a line judge and rebounded off her head. The Frenchman was too busy celebrating his victory to notice the incident.




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POST-MATCH INTERVIEW: Venus Talks About Date-Krumm Match And Not Having To Go To The Gym

Venus Williams' post-match interview (video here).



Well, at least we know where Venus Williams will not be in the next couple of days - she will not be in the gym busting a gut. After spending nearly three hours huffing and puffing on Centre Court to get the better of Kimiko Date-Krumm, she has given herself a little time off.

"When you lose, that gives you extra time to go practice and work out in the gym. But I prefer not to have the extra time," she said with perfect comic timing (not that she was laughing as she said it). "I've had a ton of extra time to be in the gym in the last five months, then the three months before that, then the three months before that. So it's been too much gym time. I needed that win and I'm glad it worked out for me."

It was an odd assessment of what had been a stunning match. The 40-year-old Date-Krumm had given Venus the most almighty scare, nipping to a 5-1 lead and then refusing to lie down when Venus started to fight back. The tennis was remarkable, the atmosphere was electric and the result was up in the air until the last couple of points. The crowd loved it; Venus seemed marginally less enthusiastic about the whole affair. This had been just a little too close for comfort.

"As you can tell in the match, I was very serious about trying to get the win, even down 1‑5 in the first set," she said. "I really felt like if I held and broke, I would still be in there. Even down, I don't know, was it 2‑6 in the tiebreak, I was still trying to win that set. So I always thought I was going out there to win it.

"She runs down every ball. She hits every ball basically on the baseline, hard and flat. If you get it anywhere near the mid‑court, she hits for the corners and comes to the net. I thought she played unbelievable today. I thought she had some luck on her side, too, with net cords, balls hitting lines. I just thought today was a perfect storm for her to try to get a win. Thankfully I had some answers."

The perfect storm above (which was actually more like relentless drizzle) meant that the roof was closed for the duration of the match giving Venus her first taste of "indoor Wimbledon". This, it turned out, was not necessarily a good thing as the acoustics amplified her every yelp of disapproval as another ball went wide or long.

"The roof was a lot warmer and definitely you can hear some echoes," she said. "So when I was frustrated, you could definitely hear those screams echoing around the arena."

Those screams continued for much of the three sets but, no matter, Venus would not give in. Since leaving SW19 last year, she had only played three tournaments thanks to injury and now, at last fit again, she was not going to be dumped out of her favourite tournament without a fight.

"I thought my movement was really good and I was competing really well," she said. "Because, let me tell you, she was really competing well. On big points, she was hitting all kind of shots on the line. So when you play an opponent like that, you just have to kind of get into that competitive mode and compete no matter what happens.

"I've been extremely positive regardless of how my opponent's playing ‑ not only here but also in Eastbourne. Just no matter what the score, very positive. Just keeping fighting. I think that's going to be crucial, not only for me but for anyone in this championship to stay positive and keep fighting."

And the longer she fights, the less time she has to spend in the gym. From here, that definitely looks like a win-win for the No.23 seed.



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Kimiko Date Who? Venus Advances To Round 3 After Defeating Dangerous Opponent

SUZANNE PLUNKETT/Reuters/Fotoglif
Five-time Wimbledon Champion Venus Williams, USA during match with Japan's Kimiko Date-Krumm.



Japan's Kimiko Date-Krumm
LONDON, June 22 -- Five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams needed to fight for nearly three hours to edge out the 40- year-old Japanese veteran Kimiko Date-Krumm in the women's second round at the 125th Wimbledon Champoinships on Wednesday.

The 23rd seeded Williams met strong challenge from Date-Krumm, who once reached the semifinals at the grass-court Grand Slam 15 years ago, but the American showed her quality as a great champion, eliminating the tough opponent 6-7(8), 6-3 and 8-6.

"It took me a while to adjust in the first set," said Williams, who lost the tiebreak 6-8 in the opening set although she managed to come back from 1-5 down.

"She runs down every ball. She hits every ball basically on the baseline, hard and flat," the seven-time Grand Slam champion talked about Date-Krumm.

"If you get it anywhere near the mid-court, she hits for the corners and comes to the net."

Date-Krumm, once ranked fourth in the world and retired for 12 years before returning to the tour in 2008, admitted that she was very disappointed as she was so close to a daunting win. "But most important, I played my tennis and then I can fight with Venus. She 's a five-time champion here. She's a great player. I can fight with her, so it's a very good match for me."

Williams, absent from the tour for half a year due to injury since Australian Open, will play Spaniard Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez in the third round.


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THE END OF WIMBLEDON DAY 2: Photos And Results

(L-R) Stephanie Foretz Gacon, France OUT, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, France ADVANCED, Serena Williams, USA ADVANCED, James Blake, USA OUT, and Heather Watson , GBR MATCH POSTPONED




Serena Williams, USA (7) defeated Aravane Rezai, FRA
6-3, 3-6, 6-1


"I'm not a crier," said Serena Williams.

 "I didn't expect to have any emotions," she said. "But it was definitely so emotional for me because, you know, throughout the last 12 months I've been through a lot of things that you guys don't even know about. It's just been a long, arduous road. To stand up still is pretty awesome.

"This was probably the most emotional I've gotten after a match. I think my first time, maybe, was when I won the US Open way back in '99. I think I got a little emotional then. But this was Centre Court; defending champion and it's Wimbledon. It doesn't get bigger than this."

"I don't think I played well," she said. "I could have done a lot of things. I had a lot of unforced errors. But it was all about going out there and doing what I could under a lot of pressure."




Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, FRA (12)  defeated Go Soeda, JPN
6-3, 77-64, 6-2





James Blake, USA defeated by Marcos Baghdatis, CYP (32)
4-6, 2-6, 77-65, 6-4, 4-6


Asked if he thought this loss signaled the consideration of retirement, Blake responded, "That's going to be a decision that's going to take longer than one match, and I wouldn't want to make it within an hour, two hours, or even a day of a loss, especially because your head isn't where it's supposed to be at that time."

"I've lost over the years, probably, about a couple of hundred matches, and I'd say out of 200, about 198 of them I probably thought I should retire right after those losses.  But I'd come back the next day ready to play and ready to get better. I'm thinking this one will be the same."



Stephanie Foretz Gacon, FRA defeated by Andrea Petkovic, GER (11)
3-6, 4-6



Heather Watson, GBR and her Mom Michelle.


Heather Watson, GBR vs. Mathilde Johansson, FRA
Match postponed until Wednesday - Day 3


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