The two-times champion Petra Kvitova was knocked out of Wimbledon by the American Madison Brengle
For all the understandable focus on Petra Kvitova and her emotional return to the game so soon after the horrific incident in her home last December during which she fought off a knife-wielding attacker, it always seemed improbable that this years Wimbledon would end in a fairytale win , no matter what the bookmakers indicated. And so it turned out on Wednesday as she was beaten 6-3, 1-6, 6-2 in the second round by Madison Brengle, an American ranked 95 th in the world.
There was always a chance that her emotions would catch up with the Czech in the end but the problems were physical as she struggled to breathe and felt nauseous throughout.
In the circumstances, she did well to take it to a third decide and she continued to fight in the decider but Brengle, who has been ranked as high as No35 in the past, held on to reach the third round for the first time in her career. She will now play Caroline Garcia of France for a place in the last 16.
My body didnt feel the best, the two-times champion Kvitova told. Im not sure what happened, I could not breathe and was feeling a bit sick as well. Sometimes that happens, regrettably it happened at Wimbledon.
Im glad its over. It was really tough and I feel really empty right now. I know my body is not great but mentally Im glad that its over.
It was kind of a fairytale but on the other hand it was very tough. I need to look forward and look to the future, be focusing on the next tournaments. I know I can play on all surfaces.
How you deal with adversity is the mark of any great player and Venus Williams needed to call on her champs mentality to move into the third round. Having broken down in tears at the end of her first-round press conference as she discussed her involvement in a fatal industrial accidents on 9 June, the American could easily have hurled in the towel when she dropped the first set to Qiang Wang of China.
But the five-times champ is made of strong stuff and she proved her mettle again as she came back to win 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 and set up a meeting with rising Japanese player Naomi Osaka.
There are challenges on the court and she played a great match, Williams told. She didnt let go. When I had opportunities to break, she would play infringe points, serve well. So I have to give her a lot of credit for pushing the match to the limit. I was happy in the third to have, like, a couple of violates to have some room to close it out. I hope of course it helps me in the Championships.
Even in a year when the womens singles is more open than at any time in recent memory, few people mentioned Victoria Azarenka as a possible champion. After her performance on Wednesdayagainst Russias Elena Vesnina, that is likely to change.
The former world No1, ranked 683 and in merely her second tournament back after returning to the Tour following the birth of her first child, Leo, in December, served eight hotshots and hit the ball crisply to take out the No15 seed 6-3, 6-3 to reach the third round, where she will play Heather Watson.
Patrick Mouratoglou, the coach-and-four of Serena Williams, said on Twitter that he is now starting to see her as a potential winner.
Azarenka appears in better shape than ever and is already showing signs that she may be ready to get back towards the top, with her remodelled serve looking much smoother than in her opening match.
Second seed Simona Halep, still trying to forget about expending a leading in the French Open final, recovered from a slow start to beat Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil 7-5, 6-3. Jelena Ostapenko, who beat Halep in Paris, fought back to beat Franoise Abanda 4-6, 7-6, 6-3.
Kei Nishkori combats through to third round
It would be fair to say that Kei Nishikori has not had the best of luck with traumata throughout his career, always stopping his momentum just when it looked like he was ready to really break through. With seven players discontinuing their firstround matches here this week, it is somewhat heartening to ensure the Japanese seemingly fighting fit after recent wrist trouble and combating hard, something he was required to do when he fended off Sergiy Stakhovskiy of Ukraine 6-4, 6-7, 6-1, 7-6( 6) to reaching the third round.
Statistically, Wimbledon is Nishikoris weakest grand slam event, the only one of the four where he has failed to reach the quarter-final or better. Against Stakhovskiy, whose serve-and-volley game constructs for nice viewing in an era dominated by baseliners, Nishikori held firm, get over the line in a fourth-set tiebreak despite missing two match points.
Stakhovskiy had enjoyed his 15 minutes of renown where reference is beat Roger Federer in the second round of 2013 and the world No122 dedicated the No9 seed some real cause for concern when he took the second defined. But Nishikori raced through the third and held on to take the tiebreak 8-6 and set up a clash with the No18 seed Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain.
I played good enough, Nishikori told. But I have to raise my level to beat Bautista.[ But] I felt good on the court very happy to be healthy again.
Nishikori had almost as much trouble dealing with the flying ants that were remarkably widespread on Wednesday, something that also bothered Marin Cilic in his 7-6, 6-4, 7-5 win against Germanys Florian Mayer. Mayer served for the opening decide and resulted the No7 seed 5-2 in the third but Cilic, who beat Nishikori to win his only grand slam title at the US Open in 2014, reeled off five games in a row to take his place in the third round. The Croat could now play Nishikori if he gets past Steve Johnson of the US.
I think it was a really, really good match, a high level from both of us, Cilic told. Florian had patently some chances, serving for the first and third situate. It was definitely a tough one.
Cilic has won all three of his matches with Johnson but the American, who beat Radu Albot of Moldova in four defines, has a big game and is likely to be no pushover. Plainly his really big weapons are the serve, when hes hitting the places well, and his forehand, the No7 seed told. So Im plainly going to try to put a little bit more pressure on him, so that he doesnt have as many forehands to hit.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga cruised into round three with a 6-1, 7-5, 6-2 win over the Italian Simone Bolelli and now plays Sam Querrey, who ousted Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia in four sets. It was in the third round last year that Querrey upset the then defending champ Novak Djokovic and Tsonga, twice a semi-finalist here, knows he needs to up his game if he is going to go further.
Sam is playing well, the Frenchman said. Thats not a new story. Hes playing well on this surface. He won a few things on grass. Hes always been very dangerous on this surface. So for me its a really serious match. Tsonga results their head-to-head 4-1 but in their only previous Wimbledon meeting, in 2014, he only progressed 14 -1 2 in the fifth.
I have a good record against him but it doesnt mean anything because thats the past, the No12 seed told. We are both at the third round, and the most important thing for me is to win.
It is four years since Jerzy Janowicz reached the semi-finals, by far his best grand slam performance. Since then he has been beset by traumata , notably to his serving shoulder, but the tall Pole earned his place in the third round with a good 7-6, 7-6, 3-6, 6-1 win against the French No14 seed Lucas Pouille.
South Africas Kevin Anderson continued his return to form after injury as he beat Andreas Seppi of Italy 6-3, 7-6, 6-3. He will satisfy the unseeded Belgian Ruben Bemelmans in the last 32.
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