July 2, 2021

Wimbledon: Kerber wins three-hour match, Medvedev and Zverev on song

Angelique Kerber needed 3 hours, 19 minutes to get past unseeded Sara Sorribes Tormo, while Daniil Medvedev saw off promising Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz in straight sets to reach the third round at Wimbledon.

Former Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber needed 3 hours, 19 minutes to get past unseeded Sara Sorribes Tormo 7-5, 5-7, 6-4 in the second round. The two players traded blows in a match that saw 15 breaks of serve, including seven in the final set. Kerber finished with 47 winners and just as many unforced errors. The German won Wimbledon in 2018 and has three Grand Slam titles overall. Sorribes Tormo has never been past the second round at a major.

Second-seeded Daniil Medvedev saw off promising Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz in straight sets to reach the third round at Wimbledon. Medvedev beat the 18-year-old Alcaraz 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 and then predicted his opponent will soon be a top-10 player.

Alcaraz has drawn similar praise from countryman Rafael Nadal and made the third round at the French Open this year. He was playing Wimbledon for the first time after being given a wild card. Medvedev is a two-time Grand Slam finalist but has never made it past the third round at Wimbledon. Former U.S. Open runner-up Kei Nishikori lost 7-5, 6-4, 5-7, 6-3 to Jordan Thompson of Australia.

Back on Centre Court, Coco Gauff beat an opponent twice her age to reach the third round at Wimbledon. The 17-year-old American defeated 34-year-old Russian veteran Elena Vesnina 6-4, 6-3 to keep her on track for making another run into the second week at the All England Club.

Gauff became an instant sensation when she reached the fourth round two years ago at the age of 15 — saving a match point before beating Polona Hercog on Centre Court in the third round. She has since won two WTA titles and made the quarterfinals at this year’s French Open.

Gauff had a slight wobble at 3-0 in the second set when she missed an easy forehand to be broken for the first time at this year’s tournament. But she broke again to clinch the win when Vesnina double-faulted on match point. Vesnina was making her 13th appearance at Wimbledon and made the semifinals in 2016.

Top-ranked Ash Barty overcame nine double-faults and a bad line call on match point to move into the third round at Wimbledon with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Anna Blinkova. Barty's forehand was called out on her second match point but a replay showed it clipped the line. The point was replayed and Barty clinched the win when Blinkova hit a shot long.

She had other problems, too, especially with her serve. Aside from the slew of double-faults, Barty was broken three times in the match and had 33 unforced errors. But she also hit 33 winners, compared to 12 for Blinkova.

Cameron Norrie defeated Australian wild card Alex Bolt 6-3, 6-1, 6-2 on No. 1 Court to join Andy Murray and Dan Evans in the third round. It's the first time three British men have made it that far since Tim Henman, Greg Rusedski and Danny Sapsford did it in 1999.

The 29th-seeded Norrie was given a standing ovation by the home crowd after producing his best result so far at the All England Club. He made the third round at the Australian Open and French Open this year, and the 2020 U.S. Open, but had only won one match at Wimbledon in three previous appearances.

No. 3 Elina Svitolina became the sixth top-10 seeded woman to be eliminated in the first two rounds at Wimbledon. The 2019 Wimbledon semifinalist lost to Magda Linette of Poland 6-3, 6-4 after hitting only eight winners in the match, compared to 28 for her opponent. Svitolina hit 34 winners in her first-round match against Alison Van Uytvanck.

She joins No. 4 Sofia Kenin, No. 5 Bianca Andreescu, No. 6 Serena Williams, No. 9 Belinda Bencic and No. 10 Petra Kvitova in making an early exit at the All England Club. Williams, a seven-time Wimbledon champion, had to retire injured during her first-round match. In total, eight of the top 11 women in the WTA rankings are out as Simona Halep and Naomi Osaka did not enter.

American Shelby Rogers knocked out French Open semifinalist Maria Sakkari to reach the third round of Wimbledon for the second time. Rogers beat the 15th-seeded Sakkari 7-5, 6-4 on Court 5. Sakkari became the first Greek woman to reach a Grand Slam semifinal when she made the last four at Roland Garros, but has never been past the third round at Wimbledon.

French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova advanced with a 7-5, 6-4 win over Andrea Petkovic. Krejcikova is a former Wimbledon doubles champion but is making her debut in the singles draw. She is coming off her first Grand Slam title at Roland Garros. Against Petkovic, Krejcikova converted four of her five break points and finished with twice as many winners — 24 to 12.

Fourth-seeded Alexander Zverev rode his powerful serve into the third round of Wimbledon, beating Tennys Sandgren of the United States 7-5, 6-2, 6-3. The German lost only five points on his serve in the first two sets, then saved the only break point he faced with a backhand winner down the line when leading 2-1 in the third.

Zverev broke again in the final game when Sandgren netted a forehand. Zverev reached the U.S. Open final in 2020 and the semifinals at the recent French Open but has never been past the round of 16 at Wimbledon. Sandgren reached the round of 16 in 2019.

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