Nadal Squeaks By; Venus v Kvitova Friday at Wimbedon
by Staff | June 27th, 2014, 1:42 am

Title favorites Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova moved closer to a potential quarterfinal meeting with wins on Thursday at Wimbledon.
The top-seeded Serena rolled over South African Chanelle Scheepers 6-1, 6-1, while the No. 5-seeded Sharapova in like fashion dispatched of Swiss qualifier Timea Bacsinszky 6-2, 6-2 to move into the third round.

Sharapova will next meet the dangerous American Alison Riske.

“I feel like her game matches up with grass extremely well,” the Russian said. “She stays down really low, hits really flat from both sides, has had steady results on the surface. It’s going to be a challenge.”

The only other Top 10-seeded player in action on Thursday was No. 9 Angelique Kerber, who weathered Heather Watson and a partisan British crown to prevail 6-2, 5-7, 6-1.

“I actually expected a match like that,” Kerber said. “Heather is a great player. She’s playing at home here. She had a great results in the last few weeks. I was trying to stay in the moment and try to be aggressive at the end. So I’m happy that I won the tough battle against her.”

Other seeded winners into the third round were No. 11 Ana Ivanovic, No. 13 Eugenie Bouchard, No. 19 Sabine Lisicki, No. 20 Andrea Petkovic who needed three sets to subdue Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu, No. 24 Kirsten Flipkens, and No. 25 Alize Cornet who was a three-set winner over Czech Petra Cetkovska.

Upset-minded players on Thursday were Kazakhstan’s Zarina Diyas who upended No. 15 Carla Suarez Navarro in three sets, and American Madison Keys who outlasted No. 31 Klara Koukalova in three.

“Definitely the whole match I wasn’t playing my very best today, so there was definitely a lot of balls that came off my racket that were not great,” said Keys, who struggled with unforced errors and will next meet Kazakhstan’s Yaroslava Shvedova. “[In the third set I thought] just stick to my game, calm down, don’t rush, just go back to the basics, don’t panic. It was really just staying with it and eventually feeling the ball a little bit better.”

On the men’s side No. 2-seeded Rafael Nadal overcame an old grasscourt adversary, defeating Czech Lukas Rosol, who held a previous win over him at Wimbledon, 4-6, 7-6(6), 6-4, 6-4.

“The difference maybe is one point,” Nadal said of being down a set and in the midst of a second-set tiebreak. “Maybe if I lose that set point in the second set, if that forehand down the line went out, maybe will be here with a loss. But that’s the sport.”

Other Top 10-seeded winners were No. 4 Roger Federer dismissing upset-minded Luxembourg-ian Gilles Muller 6-3, 7-5, 6-3; No. 5 Stan Wawrinka defeating Taiwan’s Lu Yen-Hsun 7-6(6), 6-3, 3-6, 7-5; No. 8 Milos Raonic serving out Jack Sock 6-3, 6-4, 6-4; No. 9 John Isner edging Finn Jarkko Nieminen 7-6(17), 7-6(3), 7-5; and No. 10 Kei Nishikori eliminating American Denis Kudla 6-3, 6-2, 6-1.

“I’m very happy with the match today, because I knew it could have been difficult,” said Federer about the big-serving Muller, who all three times he has beaten him in his career he has gone on to win the tournament title. “Midway through the second set, I think, for four straight games I didn’t see much on his serve.”

Isner delivered a resounding 32 aces in defeating the veteran Nieminen in two tiebreaks and a 7-5 set.

“I usually hit my hardest serves at that time,” Isner said of tiebreaks. “I’m going up, going after the ball, keeping everything the same, but just have a little bit more adrenaline.”

Three unseeded players took seeded scalps when Aussie youngster Nick Kyrgios upset No. 13 Richard Gasquet 10-8 in the fifth, Italian veteran Simone Bolelli outlasted No. 22 Philipp Kohlschreiber 7-5 in the fifth, and Czech Jiri Vesely shocked No. 24 Gael Monfils 6-4 in the fifth.

In other seeded action No. 14 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeated American Sam Querrey 14-12 in the fifth in a darkness-resumed match, and No. 23 Tommy Robredo topped France’s Adrian Mannarino in straight sets.

Highlights for Friday at the All England Club include French youngster Caroline Garcia vs. (22) Ekaterina Makarova, a teen battle in Swiss Belinda Bencic vs. American Victoria Duval, (23) Lucie Safarova vs. (10) Dominika Cibulkova, (16) Caroline Wozniacki vs. Croat teen Ana Konjuh, (15) Jerzy Janowicz vs. Lleyton Hewitt, (26) Marin Cilic vs. (6) Tomas Berdych, (11) Grigor Dimitrov vs. (21) Alexandr Dolgopolov, (1) Novak Djokovic vs. the wily Gilles Simon, (6) Petra Kvitova vs. (30) Venus Williams, and (3) Andy Murray vs. (27) Roberto Bautista Agut.

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33 Comments for Nadal Squeaks By; Venus v Kvitova Friday at Wimbedon

Michael Says:

Well Rafa was indeed lucky and it was that 2nd set tie break which turned the match upside down. If Rosol had indeed won that set, then things would have become pretty difficult for Rafa although you can never count him out. Poor Rosol just couldn’t maintain that tempo and serving consistency that he displayed in the first set which got him dividends. He faltered and that was what Rafa was hoping all through the match and he lapped it up.

roy Says:

as nadal said, rosol came out hitting everything ‘full power’ aka red-lining.

when people ‘come back to earth’ after taking this approach, it’s not because they fail, it’s simply because percentages catch up with them. as they basically always will in a 5 set match particularly.

people often think ‘if only they’d maintained…’
but it’s basically impossible to maintain the kind of serving and risky winners rosol was going for.
it’s why people don’t play like that normally and typically save it for matches like this where they know it’s the only way they can compete for a while …

having said that, grass is clearly a levelling surface with modern equipment/serving.
the best players still win wimbledon but only because you have 4 of them.

this year demonstrates what grass can give you, and consider all these losing players are proven on grass courts, including ferrer (3 4th rounds, 2 QF):

jimmy wang d. youhzny
kyrios d. gasquet
kuznetsov d. ferrer
bolelli d. kohl.

that’s basically impossible in any other slam right now.

even federer was almost beaten by falla a few years ago. FALLA.

it’s a levelling surface, where people like dustin brown suddenly become dangerous. because serve has become far, far too dominant with modern racquets.
and one bad game, or some bad luck in a game can decide a set more than any other surface.

the reason federer typically has an easier time of it on grass in comparison to nadal is simply this:
he has a better serve. that’s it. it takes the pressure off and allows him to more easily stay with big servers he can’t break for a set.

nadal’s all round game on grass is actually very good. and basically outside of darcis (who still served very well) the only troubles he’s had on grass are against big servers and those coming up swinging on the return games.

>the german guy who cheated with melzer in doubles

brown, lopez at the 250s


it’s quite strange how scared federer fans are of nadal on grass though. rosol never had so much support in his life. i don’t understand it.
federer will always make it a close match on grass with nadal because of the serve. so he’ll basically always have a shot.

Polo Says:

As a Federer fan, I am not scared of Nadal on grass. I am scared of him on all surfaces.

tennis fan Says:

Nadal’s mental strength superior to all

tennis fan Says:

as Nadal fan I am scared of Djokovic in masters and big servers in early rounds

Margot Says:

Surely “squeaks by” would be something like 10-8 in the 5th?
*eye roll*

Daniel Says:

Polo after last year I agree. Losimg Cincy and WTF didn’t did Fed any good. But Nadal was in a unusal HC dominant year. Hope tomsee they play again on fast courts.

Daniel Says:

Djokovic body language sometimes is too low this days. Usually he recorvers from points pretty quick.

skeezer Says:

“people often think ‘if only they’d maintained…’
but it’s basically impossible to maintain the kind of serving and risky winners rosol was going for.”
Not. Didn’t he beat Nadull this way sometime ago?

skeezer Says:

Nole lookin ominous in this tourney. Simon is no slouch and Nole took it to him today. Although his draw is tough, you know, iron sharpens iron.

Daniel Says:

Djoko is indeed playing great and he only get some tests from now on. Hope he doesn’t engage in long matches. He has most likely, Tsonga and Berdych beofore Murray to a potential, Nadal/Federer in the final. If he indeed is to beat all this players in a row it will be one of the most hard draw Slam victories in recent Memories: Stepanek, Simon, Tsonga, Berdych, Murray and Nadal/Federer. If everything goes accordingly to draw. All this player can still sets from him although Tsonga is a shade of himself and I think Djoko will handle him as RG. Berdych is a bit more tricky due to the serve and he likes grass.

jane Says:

“iron sharpens iron” – i’ve never heard that one before skeezer, but i sure hope you’re right. :)

tsonga is nole’s next opponent, and we all know he’s not an easy player to beat, but especially on grass. it seems too early in the tournament for nole to have to face tsonga, as though it should be at least quarterfinals, not in round 3! his draw is definitely not easy.

all in all he played a good match against simon. not great, but good. nice stats at net again, winning 27 of 36 approaches. he didn’t serve as well as the last 2 rounds though, and a few too many errors today as well.

although those could be forced. simon is a crafty player, very sneaking about switching pace. he gets a guy into these sort of metronome rallies, lulls him, and then whips off a fast forehand and surprises the opponent.

anyhow, we’ll see what nole/tsonga holds. hope that shoulder is okay. the impact looked painful.

jane Says:


jane Says:

oh and i guess it’s round 4 now isn’t it? but still, tsonga already? pfffft. too soon, too soon.

Daniel Says:

Did Hewitt saved MP in his match with Jerry? I noted that in third set tiebreak he won 9-7 looking at score but don’t know if Jerry has MP or not.

If Hewitt is to win this that would be a hell of a comeback.

Daniel Says:

Read somewhere Djoko may have hurt his shoulder, hence the bad serving jane.

FedExpress Says:

Has Janowicz stopped grunting???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

jane Says:

daniel, it was in the third set. nole was up 2 sets to love, and simon was serving at 3-4; nole had 30-30 on simon’s serve, with momentum. but then he slipped and landed right on his shoulder. he called a trainer to have a look at it as he may’ve dislocated the joint. it was worked on quickly and nole went back to play. simon held, and then nole held, and finally nole broke to finish the match. so the fall happened very late in the match and wouldn’t’ve affected his serving prior to then.

hopefully all is okay with the shoulder. luckily, he didn’t play long thereafter and stayed very focused to finish off the match. now he has 2 days and can have physio, ice, etc., so fingers crossed that all shall be well.

FedExpress Says:

last time i saw JJ playing a the french he was screaming like hell

FedExpress Says:

roger rasheed looks like a tank

full of msucles. Which player has more muscles than him?

jane Says:

i guess he was serving at 2-3. but anyhow, it was mid-third set.

Margot Says:

If Gorgeous Grig loses this, Castle will be so upset he’ll probably have to give up commentating and lie down in a darkened room for a bit.
In which case….Come On Dolgopolov!

Margot Says:

^ Aaaahh, edit button needed. Of course @CDP!

FedExpress Says:

Dimitrov is so overrated, trying to imitate fed

Gulbis is much better than him

andrea Says:

let’s go dog…..take it in the fifth!

Okiegal Says:

Grigor did it! Good match!

the DA Says:

Andy has been playing sublime tennis for 2 sets now. I’m so confused. Don’t peak too soon.

skeezer Says:

@the DA
As a Murray fan u have to be happy the way he is playin so far ;)

Margot Says:

@ the DA
Yes he has, but this guy is playing worse than Goffin. it’s really difficult to assess how “sublime” Andy really is.
I know, I’m being a typical Murray fan here but hubris isn’t in our vocab.

the DA Says:

@skeezer – I am :)

@Margot – Never hubris, egads. Agut was playing a lot better than Goffin imho, it’s just that Andy didn’t let him get into the match – except for the brain fart towards the end. Everything was working: serve, RoS, BH, FH. Im cautiously very happy.

the DA Says:

I forgot to add that, apart from all his strokes working effortlessly, he just seemed so calm out there. I’ve never seen him look so at home.

skeezer Says:

It wiil be interesting going into the second week what everyones predictions will be. Gotta say Murray and Nole are looking real good and foused. I would add Fed but you know, that age thing gives him “senior moments” now and then.

Margot Says:

@the Da
As a matter of fact Mac said exactly the same as you re Andy and RBA !
Gr8 minds. Also A best mover on grass. Always liked Mac…;)

Top story: Murray Overcomes Hurkacz In Vienna; Berrettini Gets Into Turin