MEN’S HIGHLIGHTS DAY 4
Roger Federer schooled a British youngster in the grass-court game, with the eight-time Wimbledon winner advancing on Thursday into the third round.
Local wild card Jay Clarke, ranked a distant 169, got a 6-1, 7-6(3), 6-2 spanking from the Swiss Master, who has only lost once in his career here to a Brit (Tim Henman, 2001 quarters).
Rival Rafael Nadal won a grudge match over Nick Kyrgios which capped weeks of the pair as the contest took on the feel of a boxing match.
Kyrgios, who reportedly was seen at a local Wimbledon village pub on the night before the match, used his surprise underhanded serve a few times and engaged in a running argument with the chair umpire over the slow speed at which his opponent played.
Kyrgios occasionally directed a shot at Nadal, and drew an unsportsmanlike behavior warning; he also labelled the chair umpire a “disgrace.”
Nadal tried to keep it all business as he won his 50th Wimbledon match.
“He’s a tough opponent, when he wants to compete well he is one of the toughest you can face,” the third seed said.
“I was aware of everything (between Kyrgios and the chair) but I don’t want to comment.
“It’s amazing how good he is able to play; he’s a potential Grand Slam winner.
“It was so difficult to win two tiebreaks against him,”
Second seeded Federer needed just over 90 minutes to inflict his damage on the 20-year-old Clarke, playing in only his third Grand Slam.
Federer broke in the final game as the Brit floated a return long to end his stay on court No. 1.
“I know the crowd was hoping for him to get into the match, especially in the second set,” Federer said,.
“I struggled a bit to take care of business but I played a good tiebreaker.
“Overall I’, very happy with the match. The (energy) tank is full. I came her with good confidence after winning Halle.
“I’ve recovered well from my first matches, they were not too taxing.
“You want to win regardless of the score, but straight sets is always better. From now on, the opponents will only get tougher.”
He will now play Lucas Pouille of France a 6-1, 7-6(0), 6-4 winner against French compatriot qualifier Gregoire Barrere.
No. 13 Marin Cilic, finalist here two years ago, continued an injury-plagued season in a 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 loss to Portugal’s Joao Sousa.
Sam Querrey followed up on his fist-round elimination of French Open finalist Dominic Thiem, becoming the first man into the weekend third round as he beat Andrey Rublev 6-3, 6-2, 6-3.
The Californian fired 26 aces in the 95-minute rout.
Germany’s No. 33 Jan-Lennard Struff put out Eastbourne champion Taylor Fritz 6-4, 6-3, 5-7, 7-6(2).
Querrey now faces formidable Australian John Millman, who completed another straight-set victory as he defeated Laslo Djere 6-3, 6-2, 6-1.
Alex De Minaur lost to Steve Johnson of the US 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.
British players had mixed results, with Daniel Evans beating Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-3 6-2 7-6(2) with the home hope playing in his 100th Tour-level contest.
But Cam Norrie was easy prey for Japan’s eighth seed Kei Nishikori, losing 6-4, 6-4, 6-0.
It was the top Asian’s first time to face a Brit at Wimbledon while standing 13-2 versus Australians in Melbourne, the French in Paris and Americans in New York.
Norrie was bidding for his second victory here after achieving his first 48 hours earlier.
Dan Evans took a British victory over Nikolaz Basilashvili 6-3, 6-2, 7-6(2), while Kazakh Mikhail Kukushkin stopped John Isner 6-4, 6-7(3), 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 in three hours..
Marcos Baghdatis called time on his career, with the smiling Cypriot retiring as planned after losing 6-1, 7-6(4), 6-3 to Italy’s Marco Berrettini.
Baghdatis bid farewell with emotion, kneeling down to kiss the grass and patting his heart as he gestured to standing and applauding fans on court No. 2
Ash Barty put her world No. 1 status on display Thursday as the Australian top seed dealt out a 6-11, 6-3 defeat of Alison Van Uytvanek to power into the Wimbledon third round.
“Overall today I was just really clear,” the winner said after her 55-minute exercise.
“I did a really good job with my execution of how we wanted to play.”
But defending champion Angelique Kerber fell in a shock to American Lauren Davis 2-6, 6-2, 6-1, with the German fifth seed suffering her earliest Wimbledon loss since 2011.
Davis, a No. 96 lucky loser from qualifying fired 45 winners to just 13 for the holder.
Julia Goerges took up some of the German slack, beating Varvara Flink from Russia 6-1, 6-4.
“I was trying to finding my game the whole match actually,” Kerber said. ” was not really feeling good from the beginning, the energy was not there.
“I was not able to finish the match in the way I would like to.”
Surprise French Open champion Barty called her game “pretty sharp right from the start.
“I was able to implement what I wanted to right away and put the pressure straight back on her. It took time to adjust (to court conditions on No. 2) today.”
Barty continued her run of form, winning her 14th match in a row and 18 straight winning sets.
As a new No. 1, Barty has yet to play on Wimbledon’s Centre Court, with that chance certainly to come if she keeps on winning.
“If I get to play on the court, it would be incredible, one of the most beautiful courts in the world.
“I’ll play whenever I’m scheduled. There’s not a bad court here at Wimbledon, all special in their own right. They’re all very beautiful. I certainly enjoyed playing on Court 2 today.”
Barty is sure to get her showcourt dream fulfilled at the weekend when she meets Briton Harriet Dart, who won her first Grand Slam match in her third appearance at a major.
The No. 182 wild card defeated Brazilian qualifier Beatriz Haddad Maria 7-6(4), 3-6, 6-1.
Seven-time champion Serena Williams had her troubles in putting out a Slovenian qualifier, finally beating teenaged threat Kaja Juvan 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 with th Duchess of Sussex (Meghan Markle) watching.
“It was definitely coming together as the match went on. I’m just low on matches basically. I could feel it,” Williams said.
Double Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova overcame the handicap of being unable to properly train due to a weeks-long forearm injury, with the Czech defeating Kristina Mladenovic 7-5, 6-2.
The Frenchwoman did not help her cause with eight double-faults as Kvitova reached the third round here for the first time in four years, saving three sets points in the first set.
” I can’t say (my arm) is better, I can’t say it’s worst,” Kvitova said. “I’m feeling everything on my body. It’s not really surprising.
“We’ll see how it will look tomorrow. I really had a tough match today. Fast serves were flying to me, so we’ll see how it’s going to be.”
Former US Open champion Sloane Stephens was untroubled by China’s Wang Yafan, pounding out a 6-2, 6-0 victory in 54 minutes.
The ninth seed advanced easily with 19 winner and 10 unforced errors while her Asian opponent suffered with 21 unforced errors.
“I thought I played a good, solid match obviously from the beginning,” Stephens said, “I was happy with that.
“I executed my game plan well, and that’s all you can really do. I was just happy to get a good win today.
“Grass hasn’t been my best surface, so just come and try to give myself the best opportunity to win some matches and get going and get some confidence on it.”
Johanna Konta, a 2017 semi-finalist, thrilled home fans as she put out Katerina Siniakova 6-3, 6-4.
Belgian Elise Mertens swept the final 10 games over Monica Niculescu 7-5, 6-0.