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No fireworks for Wimbledon

The 4th July, American Independence Day, is very different this year, and with no Championships at Wimbledon due to the coronavirus pandemic, there will be no fireworks and fans must get their tennis fix virtually.

Zverev could be banned

It has been asked on many an occasion over the past few weeks – what punishment will be handed down on those who break the Covid-19 safety regulations at a tournament?

US and French Opens to allow spectators

The decision by the USTA and FFT to allow a limited number of spectators to their respective events comes as a bit of a surprise bearing in mind the disastrous Adria Tour mini-series where the Covid-19 spiked followed the disregard of safety protocols.

Wimbledon strawberries for NHS birthday celebrations

Ahead of the NHS’s 72nd birthday celebrations, the AELTC is saying thank you with a donation of 200 punnets of Wimbledon strawberries per day to NHS staff and frontline workers in London.

The men play for Wimbledon’s pineapple

They make their appearances over the final weekend of The Championships and are highly prized - the five Wimbledon Trophies, one of which proudly displays an unlikely pineapple on the top - but, sadly, will not be on show this year.

Serbian Prime Minister, Gomez and Tipsarevic enter the debate

The fall out of the Adria Tour continues as many struggle to find someone to lay the blame on. In the main that someone is Novak Djokovic who led the campaign for this mini circuit and as it has been repeatedly said, his intentions were good and it had the backing of...

Watson joins Progress Tour Women’s Championships field

Heather Watson has accepted a wildcard and will compete alongside GB Fed Cup teammates Harriet Dart and Katie Boulter at next month’s £30,000 Progress Tour Women’s Championships at the National Tennis Centre.

Wimbledon’s green grass of home

The courts at Wimbledon are lush and green but absent are the world’s best players, who should be completing the first round of matches today had The Championships not been cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

It’s the ‘doughnut’ versus the ‘rat’

Nick Kyrgios and Boris Becker have got themselves embroiled in a major bust-up over Alexander Zverev’s recent escapade, namely caught on video partying after the cancellation of the Adria Tour which left a number of players and staff testing positive for the Covid-19...

Murray Trophy – Glasgow 2020 postponed

The Murray Trophy, an ATP Challenger tournament scheduled for 13-20 September at the Scotstoun Leisure Centre in Glasgow, has been postponed until 2021 due to the enforced suspension of professional tennis because of the Coronavirus pandemic, and the subsequent...
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US Open Day 5 | Merciless Muguruza marches on…

Garbiñe Muguruza is a firm favourite now for the title, having won Wimbledon and Paris and probably playing the most authoritative tennis of her life.

The third seed was riding a seven-match win streak through the first two rounds in New York after winning the US Open Series stop in Cincinnati.

Bizarrely, this third-round showing represented Muguruza’s best-ever US Open performance; in four prior tries, she had never been beyond Round 2.

I knew I had a tough match and was expecting someone who plays very good, I take every match [at a time] and I am concentrating on my next opponent, my next opponent, my next opponent Garbine Muguruza

In trying to better that, the Spaniard had to deal with Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia, the No 31 seed, who posted her own best Grand Slam showing in July, rolling across the lawns of London before getting mowed down by Muguruza in the semis.

Rybarikova, 28, had twice before reached the third round here but has lost in Flushing’s first round in each of her last three appearances.

Including this summer’s grapple on the grass, the two women had met four times, with Muguruza holding a 3-1 edge, and the contest promised to be tight at best.

It took place on the temporary Louis Armstrong Stadium, built to fill in while the new stadium is rebuilt alongside, and it has fast become a favourite among players and spectators alike with its overhanging trees and airy atmosphere.

In a rematch of the Wimbledon semi-final, the 23-year-old battered her opponent from the outset, first blood falling to Muguruza, who broke as soon as the match got under way, held and broke again to go 3-0 up, Rybarikova’s frustration clear.

Things did not improve as the Spaniard extended her lead to 4-0 before the Slovakian got herself on to the scoreboard.

It was short-lived and Muguruza closed out the set, 6-1, in just 27 minutes.

She met her first real resistance in the opener of the second in which she saved numerous break points but was unable to convert on her own game points until, eventually, she dropped her serve.

She broke back to restore the deficit, went ahead again by holding for 2-1, and then broke again to love to dominate 3-1.

Rybarikova had few answers for Muguruza’s onslaught as the World No 3 grew in confidence and used her superior fire power to greater effect, going up 15-40 on the Slovak’s next delivery.

She saved the first with fine serve-volley winner but drilled her forehand into the net to give up the game.

Muguruza served her second ace and nailed another to give her match point at 40-15, winning through with another winner, 6-1 6-1, in one minute over the hour.

“I knew I had a tough match and was expecting someone who plays very good,” she said.

“I take every match [at a time] and I am concentrating on my next opponent, my next opponent, my next opponent!”

She is looking like the potential champion here in New York with every appearance and has yet to lose a set at Flushing Meadows this year, and only nine games so far.

Next up for Muguruza is two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, the 13th seed, who beat 18th-seeded Caroline Garcia 6-0 6-4.

 

Suárez Navarro survives against Makarova

Another Spaniard, Carla Suárez Navarro scored an impressive victory over Ekaterina Makarova to reach the fourth round after surviving a roller-coaster of a match on Court 5.

When Makarova saved break point with a backhand winner while down 6-1, 2-0 against the Spaniard, and then proceeded to claim six of the next seven games, it appeared that everything was going the Russian’s way.

Suarez Navarro, the second-ranked Spanish woman in the world, however, righted her ship, jumping to another lead in the third set and not relinquishing it again, advancing to the fourth round of the US Open for the second year in a row, 6-1 3-6, 6-3, in 101 minutes.

After a sloppy first set littered with mistakes, the Russian making 11 more unforced errors than she hit winners in the opener, the match became far more even.

The world No 40 made just 6 unforced errors in the second set after the second game.

When Suarez Navarro jumped to a 3-0 lead in the decider, she would not get reeled in again.

The 29-year old Makarova battled hard, forcing two deuces in an attempt to break back while down 2-0 and 3-1, but she could not get any closer.

Suarez Navarro, who is 28, won 48 percent of return points in the third set, breaking twice to clinch the victory.

It has not been an easy season for Suarez Navarro, who parted ways with longtime coach Xavier Budo, with whom she worked for 10 years, in July.

After a lacklustre summer hard-court season in which her best result was making the third round in Cincinnati, Suarez Navarro is finding the form that helped her to a career-best year-end finish of No 12 in 2016.

 

Stephens ousts Barty

Sloane Stephens eliminated the last Australian in the women’s singles draw on Friday, beating Ashleigh Barty, 6-2 6-4, in the third round.

It was the first meeting for Barty, the 2011 Wimbledon girls’ singles champion who took a hiatus to pursue cricket, and Stephens, who is on the comeback trail after right-foot surgery in January.

Stephens now has the opportunity to surpass her deepest run at the US Open, matching her 2013 appearance in the round of 16, where she lost to Serena Williams.

Friday’s match in the temporary Louis Armstrong Stadium, however, was not her best, with 42 percent of the points resulting in unforced errors; Stephens simply made fewer of them – 21 compared to Barty’s 31.

Stephens also had a hard time gaining momentum on her service game, digging herself a 0-30 hole on 5 of her 9 service games.

Barty was unable to capitalise on her break points, losing 7 of 8 in the first set and 1 of 3 in the second.

Stephens, ranked No 83 in the world, faces Julia Georges in the fourth round and while Barty exits the singles draw, she is the No 6 seed in doubles with countrywoman Casey Dellacqua.

 

Georges sees off Kunic

Elsewhere, on Court 5, another Russian, Aleksandra Kunic, the vanquisher of Johanna Konta in round one, took on the talented Italian Julia Georges, and lost, 6-3 6-3.

Georges is the No 30 seed and will play Sloane Stephens in the next round.






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