Posts Tagged ‘2010 Wimbledon.

04
Jul
10

Nadal coasts to his 2nd Wimbledon title.

Rafael Nadal cemented his status as the best player in the world with a 6-3 7-5 6-4 demolition of surprise Wimbledon finalist Tomas Berdych on Centre Court this afternoon.

The Spaniard took two hours and 13 minutes to win his eighth grand slam title, securing back-to-back major victories in Paris and London for the second time.

The first time he completed the feat, in 2008, it took five epic sets to beat Roger Federer, but it was a different story today as Berdych could not find the form that had seen him beat Federer and Novak Djokovic in previous rounds.

Nadal was at his supreme best in the first set, putting the 12th-seeded Czech emphatically in his place, and, although the next two sets were closer, the winner was never in doubt.

Nadal was thrilled to reclaim the Wimbledon crown after the knee injury problems last year which denied him the chance to defend the title.

He said: “To have this trophy in my hands is more than a dream for me. Playing my fourth final was amazing after a difficult year last year.”

Referring to his absence 12 months ago, he said: “It was probably one of the toughest moments in my career. I’m lucky, I have a great team around me who support me.”

Berdych paid tribute to his opponent, who has now won 14 straight matches at the All England Club, and vowed to be back after finally living up to his potential.

The Czech said: “It was a great two weeks for me but he was really strong today. He has showed in the last few months that he is really the champion and he deserves to win today.

“It gives me a lot of confidence and power to be stronger for next time and who knows what’s going to happen for the next years.”

Berdych has been tipped as a star of the future since his victory over Federer at the Athens Olympics in 2004, but it has not been until the last couple of months that he has really threatened at grand slam level, firstly by reaching the semi-finals of the French Open.

The Czech once beat Nadal three times in a row but that was four years ago and coming into today’s match the world number one had won all six of their subsequent meetings, including a straight-sets triumph in the Wimbledon quarter-finals in 2007.

Berdych coasted through his first three service games but he came unstuck in the fourth.

His big first serve dried up and Nadal needed no second invitation, setting up three break points with a trademark forehand and then taking his second opportunity as a crunching backhand return left Berdych helpless.

Nadal had stepped up a level from his semi-final win over Andy Murray, particularly on serve, and he stamped his authority on proceedings in emphatic fashion by breaking again to take the set.

Berdych had barely had a sniff on the Nadal serve but that changed in the opening game of the second set. The Spaniard played several uncharacteristic loose shots, including two double faults, to give his opponent three break points.

However the 12th seed could not get a hold on any of his returns and Nadal eventually came through to make it five games in a row.

The French Open champion’s level had definitely dropped but Berdych was unable to find the big shots when he needed them, and both players seemed to be struggling with the swirling wind.

The underdog was at least serving much better, as he had to if he wanted to even test Nadal, but it was not enough to save him when he served to stay in the set for a second time.

Berdych just could not find the power or the accuracy to put away a succession of chipped returns and a wide forehand gave Nadal a break to love, the second set, and surely the title.

It became clear that three great Wimbledon men’s singles finals were, perhaps unsurprisingly, not going to be followed by a fourth, although there was no doubt about the greatness of the champion elect.

Berdych was not giving up, and forced his fourth break point of the match in the third game of the third set. But again he was thwarted, netting a backhand after a rare slice rally.

Nadal had hit fewer winners, made more unforced errors, served fewer aces and more double faults than his opponent, yet his dominance was obvious to all of the packed Centre Court crowd.

And when Berdych served to stay in the match for the first time there was an inevitability about the result.

The Czech battled back from 0-30 but when he fired a forehand well long at deuce it gave Nadal a first match point. And one was all he needed, the world number one placing a forehand pass just inside the line before dropping to the turf in celebration.

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03
Jul
10

A boring dominant final by Serena earns her another title, but there was none of the magic that highlighted the Roland Garros final a month ago.

World number one Serena Williams powered past Russian 21st seed Vera Zvonareva in 66 minutes to win a fourth Wimbledon and 13th Grand Slam title.

The American came into the final having not dropped a set and with 80 aces, and she stormed to a 6-3 6-2 victory.

Zvonareva, playing in her first Grand Slam final, could do nothing to improve a 1-5 career record against Williams.

The victory takes Williams past Billie Jean King to sixth in the all-time list of female Grand Slam singles champions.

Williams retains the crown she won in 2002, 2003 and 2009, and ensures that between her and sister Venus, the title has stayed within the family for nine of the last 11 years.

An ace and a backhand winner down the line in the opening game served notice that the 28-year-old was not suffering any pressure as the overwhelming favourite, but Zvonareva did well to see off the first break point of the match on her way to levelling at 3-3.

Williams was furious with herself for missing a second break point in game eight when she hammered a backhand return into the net off a Zvonareva second serve, but a brilliant lob and a running forehand pass ensured the chance was not wasted.

Fifteen winners could not mask the fact that it was not yet vintage Williams but she was serving well enough to stay ahead and wrap up the first set in 36 minutes.

Zvonareva, the second-lowest ranked woman to play in a Wimbledon final, had performed well enough without threatening to break the American’s serve for only the fourth time in the tournament.

And when the 25-year-old from Moscow dumped a mid-court forehand into the net to drop serve at the start of the second set, Williams was already within sight of victory.

Zvonareva had remained impressively calm and focused on her way through the draw, but the emotional side of her character threatened to take hold when she double-faulted to fall a double-break down at 4-1.

It was brilliant, brutal stuff now from Williams as she totally dominated on serve, moving forward at every opportunity, and although Zvonareva managed to stem the tide briefly with a final service hold, there was no doubting the outcome.

Serving for the championship, Williams opened the game with a huge 122mph ace – her 89th of the tournament – and moments later thumped away a smash on match point before throwing her racquet into the air in celebration.

03
Jul
10

Vera Zvonareva is in two finals today….she should win one!

Vera Zvonareva and Elena Vesnina, playing their first event together since 2008, showed that their stunning defeat of the Williams sisters on Wednesday was no fluke, as they eased past fourth-seeded Gisela Dulko and Flavia Pennetta, 63 61. Vesnina is seeking her fourth Sony Ericsson WTA Tour doubles title and Zvonareva her sixth (she has one major among her doubles titles – the 2006 US Open), although it would be their first as a duo

Zvonareva, who will play in Saturday’s singles final against Serena Williams before taking the court again later in the day for doubles, is looking to capture the singles and doubles titles at the same event for the second time, having done so at Indian Wells in 2009.

Standing in the Russians’ way will be another team seeking their first title together, Vania King and Yaroslava Shvedova, who topped No.5 seeds Liezel Huber and Bethanie Mattek-Sands, 64 64. Making the result all the more surprising is the fact that in the only previous match-up between the teams, just a few weeks ago in the semifinals of Birmingham, King and Shvedova managed just four games.

02
Jul
10

Murray, Robson and Golding all lose, as all three Brits go down like bowling pins.

And so the wait goes on. Another attempt to break the curse of the British at Wimbledon, and reclaim the title last won by Fred Perry in 1936, has ended at the semi-final stage.

In truth, despite Andy Murray’s disappointing performance yesterday, we should not be too downhearted. He is by far the best player these isles have produced in decades, and the likelihood remains that he will win a Grand Slam title sooner rather than later. Chinks have started to appear in the armour of the mighty Roger Federer; Rafael Nadal, Murray’s conqueror yesterday, occasionally goes weak at the knees. And the ruthless determination that can make the young Scot seem off-putting to some reflects a drive that “Tiger Tim” Henman, for one, struggled to match. Still, for millions around the country, there would have been nothing to beat a Murray win at Wimbledon – especially given the shambolic performance of the England team at the World Cup. A one-day series win in the cricket – even against the Australians – does not have quite the same cachet. Instead, the summer will proceed on its usual course: a procession of foreign superstars taking the plaudits, while the British watch forlornly from their chairs.

In the Junior events Laura Robson lost to Japanese teen Sachie Ishizu 7-5, 7-6, and Oliver Golding lost to Australian Ben Mitchell 6-2, 6-2.

After fielding questions about today’s events, where she and fellow Brit Oliver Golding lost in the penultimate matches in the junior events, Laura perked up immediately when asked if she’d met David Beckham before he took his place in the Centre Court Royal Box.

“I got a picture with him!” beamed 16-year-old Robson. “That brightened up my day so much.”

02
Jul
10

Boris Becker picks Murray to defeat Nadal in 4 sets!

For the four guys left in the tournament, this is a big, big chance.

Each of them will now be thinking that this is their year. They all knew that when Federer was at his best nobody could touch him, but the genius is out, and semi-finalists all have the same beliefs and the same chance.

The favourite on paper is Rafael Nadal, but that is only on paper. It will simply come down to who can perform best when it matters most.

Andy Murray, arguably, has the hardest task, in that he must come through his semi against Nadal, the world No 1.

However, he has an immediate advantage because he has beaten Nadal in the last couple of grand slams in which they have played each other, in New York in 2008 and Melbourne this year.

Murray knows how to play Nadal, and what is more he likes to play him.

In terms of strategy and tactics, Murray knows what he has to do – after all, these two have played each other 10 times.

Murray will know, for example, that he cannot wait for Nadal to control the baseline. He played a waiting game against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who was taking a lot of chances in the first set. On Friday he has to be the one taking chances.

Firstly, he has to stay aggressive, and serve big. You have to beat Nadal quickly, because the longer the match goes on, the less chance you have. Murray needs to come out swinging from the start.

His first serve was good against Tsonga, but he will need free points on it against Nadal. Likewise, he cannot be too defensive on the second serve. He has to take the initiative. He has to be the one who shoots.

Nadal will never be the best on grass, but he is a fighter. He is a real champion who knows how to win on the big occasions, and that cannot be underestimated. You have to beat him, because he is not going to give away that match.

Overall I think that his fitness is not a problem. As usual, a few players have called on the trainer or the doctor over the past 10 days, whether for physical reasons or just because they want to take a breather and bother the opponent.

Nadal has a history of calling the trainer more than once in a match, which just illustrates how he will do anything it takes to win the match – that means forehands, backhands and mind games – even if he sometimes gets warned for communicating with his Uncle Toni.

I do not believe that players should be able to get verbal assistance from their teams during a match – part of the drama in tennis is that it is a man-to-man contest.

You are by yourself, you have to figure out how you are going to win by yourself. But getting illegal coaching happens for sure. Whether or not Nadal resorts to this sort of gamesmanship, Murray not only has to be prepared for it, he has to keep cool.

Essentially, Friday’s semi-final is not so much about strategy, but about the mental battle. For example, Nadal’s whipped cross-court forehand, which kicks up high on a right-hander’s backhand, actually plays into Murray’s strength.

Both know that, and both are wonderful players who can hit great forehands and backhands. It is more about who is tougher, who wants it more.

If anything, it will be the occasion, attempting to reach his first Wimbledon final, that could stop Murray.

He has never been there before. Yet every year at this tournament he has gone one step further, so my feeling is that he will go through to the final, but it will take four sets at least.

It is his time, he just has to control his nerves.

01
Jul
10

Serena will meet Zvonareva in the 2010 Wimbledon final.

Saturday’s final all comes down to how well Zvonareva can return Serena’s service. If Serena’s first serve percentage drops dramatically then the result is unpredictable. Zvonareva’s ground strokes on both sides are among the best of the Women, but she won’t get much chance to use them if Serena continues to serve well.

Vera Zvonareva came back from a set down to book her place in the Wimbledon final with victory over unseeded Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova.

The 21st seed from Russia looked to be heading for a shock defeat against the world number 82, who stunned Venus Williams in the previous round, but won 10 of the last 13 games to secure a 3-6 6-3 6-2 triumph.

Zvonareva, who will now be playing in her maiden Grand Slam final on Saturday, had never previously been past the fourth round at Wimbledon but has dropped only two sets in producing her best tennis since she was ranked as high as number five in February 2009.

She becomes only the third Russian Wimbledon finalist of the open era, after Olga Morozova and Maria Sharapova.

“I’m very excited,” she said. “It’s one of my dreams.

“It was very tough out there against a very tough opponent. I’m happy with the way I was able to hang in the match and turn it around.”

World number one Serena Williams reached the final of Wimbledon with a straight-sets triumph over Petra Kvitova.

The American top seed was made to work hard by the 20-year-old Czech, ranked 62 in the world, as the opening set went to a tie-break but in the end she ran out a 7-6 (7/5) 6-2 winner to set up a final with Vera Zvonareva.

Williams had been expected to steam-roller the 20-year-old challenger but Kvitova came out firing and stunned her when a flashing service return secured her the break for a 4-2 lead.

Attacking the Williams second serve and hitting a series of stunning forehand winners, Kvitova won over the Centre Court crowd but the favourite clawed back the break to draw level at 4-4 and ultimately force the tie-break.

Two early forehand errors by Kvitova gave Williams a 4-0 lead in the breaker which she extended to 6-3. Despite Kvitova saving the first two set points,

Williams took the third with a booming serve.

30
Jun
10

Does Murray have the fortitude to win the two next biggest games of his life?

Andy Murray reached the Wimbledon semi-finals for the second time with a battling four-set win over France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Centre Court.

The British number one came through a tense encounter 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 6-2 in two hours and 48 minutes.

Tsonga was close to a two-set lead in the second set tie-break but a poor misjudgement let Murray back in and the fourth seed never looked back.

The Scot will play world number one Rafael Nadal in Friday’s semi-finals.

“It was really tough,” Murray said. “The first couple of sets, we both had chances and neither of us could take them so we had the tie-breaks. I was having to do a lot of defending, but I played very well the last couple of sets.”

Murray’s first Wimbledon semi-final 12 months ago ended in defeat by Andy Roddick, and things will not get any easier this year against Nadal, but he is in good enough form to feel optimistic of becoming the first British man to reach the final since Bunny Austin in 1938.

30
Jun
10

Men’s singles title is up for grabs!…there’s little to choose between Nadal, Murray, Berdych and Djokovic.

Rafael Nadal bounced back from losing the first five games of his Wimbledon quarter-final against Robin Soderling to win in four sets.

The 2008 champion was one point away from being on the receiving end of a first-set whitewash before gradually getting on top of his opponent to win 3-6 6-3 7-6 (7/4) 6-1.

Nadal said: “He started so well with some very powerful shots, it was very difficult.

“I had some problems in the first game of the second set at break point but after that I improved.

“Being in the semi-final of Wimbledon is great for me, it’s a very important moment in the season for me.”

Novak Djokovic claims he would “give everything” to reach a Wimbledon final and is now just one step from reaching his goal after romping to an easy victory against Yen-Hsun Lu in the last eight.

The third seed was imperious as he ended Lu’s fairytale run at the quarter-final stage with an accomplished performance on Court One.

The Serbian’s 6-3 6-2 6-2 victory secured his place in the semi-finals at the All England Club for the first time since 2007.

Tomas Berdych now stands between Djokovic and a place in Sunday’s showpiece match after the 12th-seeded Czech stunned reigning champion and top seed Roger Federer.

30
Jun
10

Champions fall at Wimbledon….Federer and the Williams sisters.

Tomas Berdych pulled off the biggest win of his career as defending champion Roger Federer crashed out of Wimbledon.

Federer, who has won the men’s singles title in six of the last seven years, became the latest casualty in a tournament of shocks as he went down 6-4 3-6 6-1 6-4 to the world number 13 on a stunned Centre Court.

The result was greeted with widespread disbelief as the Swiss ace joined last year’s runner-up Andy Roddick and women’s second seed Venus Williams through the exit door.

Berdych, who had lost eight of his previous 10 meetings with Federer, becomes the first Czech to reach the semi-finals of the Wimbledon men’s singles since Ivan Lendl 20 years ago and is aiming to become the first winner from his country since Jan Kodes in 1973.

Standing in his way in Friday’s semi-finals will be third seed Novak Djokovic, who has beaten him in both their previous meetings.

The Williams sisters were knocked out of the ladies’ doubles at Wimbledon on Wednesday.

Venus and Serena, the current champions at all four of the Grand Slam events, were beaten 3-6 6-3 6-4 by the Russian duo of Elena Vesnina and Vera Zvonareva at the quarter-final stage.

It had all started so well for the top seeds, winners in SW19 in 2000, 2002, 2008 and 2009, when they took the first set.

However, the Russian refused to fold and battled back by winning the second.

When the Williamses lost serve midway through the decider, the crowd sensed trouble.

And although the Americans had the chance to bounce back in the 10th game, they missed two break-back points at 15-40.

The win means Zvonareva is now in two semi-finals in SW19 – she plays Tsvetana Pironkova in the singles semis on Thursday.

29
Jun
10

Serena will face Kvitova in the semi final.

Serena Williams reached the semi-finals with a 7-5 6-3 win over Li Na.

The top seed saw her sister Venus crash out to Tsvetana Pironkova before she came out to face ninth seed Li.

Serena did not have things all her own way either, but Li played a poor service game to drop the first set.

The world number one was broken for the first time at 5-2 in the second set but broke again to seal a semi-final against Petra Kvitova. Kvitova won a bizarre match against qualifier Kaia Kinepi in 3 sets by coming from 4-1 down in the final set to win 6-4, 6-7, 8-6. She also saved 5 match points on her way to victory.

Serena is now the overwhelming favourite to take her fourth Wimbledon title after the demise of five-time champion Venus, who lost to Pironkova only shortly before her younger sister walked out on Centre Court for her quarter-final match.

It was perhaps not surprising that Serena was in rather subdued mood against Li.

The first set was closely fought until Li double-faulted twice in a gift of a game at 5-5, allowing Serena to serve it out after 45 minutes.

The American pumped her fist in a rare show of emotion as she broke for a second time at 2-2 in the second set, and when Li double-faulted again to give Serena a 5-2 lead, the Chinese player’s shoulders slumped.

Serena is certain to face a player making their debut at that stage of a major tournament, and she is by far the most experienced of the remaining players in the draw.

Only Vera Zvonareva, who faces Pironkova in the other semi-final, has ever beaten Serena and that was four years ago.




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