Advantage Serena as Venus joins seeds exit, Federer cruises

It was a day to forget for the former Wimbledon champion Venus Williams
Updated 06 July 2018

Advantage Serena as Venus joins seeds exit, Federer cruises

  • Former champions shocked by Kiki Bertens.
  • Roger Federer enjoyed a 6-3, 7-5, 6-2 win over Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff

LONDON: Serena Williams boosted her chances of winning an eighth Wimbledon and 24th Grand Slam by making the fourth round at the All England Club on Friday as big sister Venus fell victim to the curse of the seeds.
Serena, seeded a modest 25 this year, enjoyed a 7-5, 7-6 (7/2) win over France’s Kristina Mladenovic to set up a last-16 duel with Russian qualifier — and fellow mother — Evgeniya Rodina.
Victory on Center Court, sealed with a 13th ace, came 20 minutes after Venus, a five-time champion, had slumped to a 6-2, 6-7 (5/7), 8-6 loss to Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands over on Court One.
Only two of the top 10 seeds remain in the women’s draw — number one Simona Halep, who plays her third round match on Saturday, and seventh seed Karolina Pliskova who came back from 1-4 down in the second set to defeat Mihaela Buzarnescu 3-6, 7-6 (7/3), 6-1.
While the women’s draw was being blown wide open, it was business as usual for defending men’s champion Roger Federer who enjoyed a 6-3, 7-5, 6-2 win over Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff.
Serena said she was delighted to be into the second week at Wimbledon.
“I have worked really hard and it’s been a long arduous road,” said Serena, playing in just her second Slam since the birth of her daughter Olympia last September.
“A lot of top players have lost. Technically I am not a top player although I have the wins of one.”
Venus, 38 and the runner-up last year, was worn down by Dutch 20th seed Bertens who next faces Pliskova.
“It means a lot. It was such a tough match and such a big fight so I’m really happy that I won this one,” Bertens said.
Also exiting was 10th seed Madison Keys, who had made at least the quarter-finals of her last three majors.
The American lost 7-5, 5-7, 6-4 to Rodina, ranked 120th in the world.
“I have played the quallies and three matches this week which were all three sets,” said 29-year-old Rodina.
“She hits the ball so hard. I am a little surprised that I won, I was a little bit lucky.”
Federer took his consecutive sets won at Wimbledon to 29 in what was his 200th career grass court match.
The eight-time champion will face French 22nd seed Adrian Mannarino on Monday for a place in the quarter-finals.
“I was happy to stay clam and finish off the job. I thought I did very well today,” said the 36-year-old 20-time Slam winner.
“I created more chances in the second set and was always able to stay pretty clean on my own service games.”
Stefanos Tsitsipas became the first Greek man in the Open era to make the last 16 of a Slam as the 31st seed beat Italian qualifier Thomas Fabbiano 6-2, 6-1, 6-4.
The 19-year-old will faces US ninth seed John Isner for a place in the quarter-finals.
German fourth seed Alexander Zverev made the third round, seeing off Taylor Fritz of the United States 6-4, 5-7, 6-7 (0/7), 6-1, 6-2 and faces Latvian qualifier Ernests Gulbis for a spot in the last 16.
Zverev had trailed two sets to one when his tie with Fritz was halted due to darkness on Thursday.
But the 21-year-old raced away with the last two sets in Friday’s bright sunshine.
“Stopping last night was not a nice feeling to go to bed with,” said Zverev who said he had vomited on Friday due to a stomach bug and came close to quitting.
Russia’s Ekaterina Makarova defied second round victim Wozniacki’s churlish prediction that she wouldn’t progress further in the tournament by reaching the last 16.
Makarova, who made the quarter-finals four years ago, beat a weary-looking Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic 4-6, 6-1, 6-4.
She next faces Italy’s Camila Giorgi who saved a match point to beat Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic 3-6, 7-6 (8/6), 6-2.
South Africa’s Kevin Anderson, seeded eight, swept past Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 7-5, 7-5 on the back of 22 aces and 42 winners.
Anderson has reached the last 16 for the fourth time and goes on to face France’s Gael Monfils.


Arsenal, Roma open Europa League with comeback wins

Updated 22 October 2020

Arsenal, Roma open Europa League with comeback wins

Arsenal opened its fourth straight Europa League campaign with a 2-1 come-from-behind win at Rapid Vienna on Thursday in an opening round of games affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Star striker Pierre­ Emerick Aubameyang came off the bench to score the winning goal in the 74th for Arsenal, which won its group in its previous three campaigns in the second-tier European competition.
Roma also came from a goal down to win 2-1 at Young Boys, as did Granada to upset PSV Eindhoven away.
Rangers’ Kemar Roofe scored the goal of the night in a 2-0 victory at Standard Liege, dribbling his way through three opponents inside his own half and then launching a shot from the halfway line that caught the goalkeeper off guard and looped into the net.
Dutch team AZ Alkmaar overcame a slew of coronavirus cases to upset Napoli 1-0.
Tottenham, AC Milan were among teams playing later Thursday.
Arsenal went behind when goalkeeper Bernd Leno played a poor pass that fell to Rapid forward Taxiarchis Fountas, who slotted in a low shot from a tough angle in the 51st minute.
Arteta sent on Aubameyang and Héctor Bellerín in the 61st, and the substitutes helped spark the comeback.
After David Luiz headed in a free kick from Nicolas Pépé to level the score, Mohamed Elneny freed Bellerín down the right to cross for Aubameyang to complete the comeback from close range.
In the other Group B game, Molde also came from behind to win 2-1 at Dundalk.
AZ Alkmaar flew into Naples with 13 players sidelined with coronavirus infections. Napoli, meanwhile, was coming off a 4-1 win over high-scoring Atalanta 4-1 this past weekend. But the Dutch staved off the hosts’ pressure before Dani de Wit scored the winner in the 57th. Real Sociedad won 1-0 at Rijeka the other Group F game.
With Roma resting striker Edin Džeko, Bruno Peres and Marash Kumbulla led the rally with the second-half goals for the Italian side.
Jean ­Pierre Nsame had given Young Boys the lead by converting a penalty kick in the 14th.
It was the first home loss for Young Boys to an Italian opponent in European competitions after beating Udinese, Napoli and Juventus.
Also in Group A, Romania’s Cluj won 2-0 at Bulgaria’s CSKA Sofia.
In Group C, Bayer Leverkusen produced the biggest win of the early games by beating Nice 6-2. Nadiem Amiri and Lucas Alario scored early first-half goals five minutes apart for Leverkusen, while substitute Karim Bellarabi netted two and 17-year-old forward Florian Wirtz came off the bench to complete the rout.
In a game between teams from two countries whose domestic leagues have been interrupted due to high levels of coronavirus infections, Israel’s Hapoel Beer-Sheva beat Czech Republic’s Slavia Prague 3-1.
James Tavernier gave Celtic the lead from the penalty spot in the 19th before Roofe added his spectacular second goal in injury time. Benfica won 4-2 at Lech Poznan in the other Group D game.
In Group E, German forward Mario Götze put PSV ahead in first-half injury time before Jorge Molina and Darwin Machis scored for Granada in the second half. Omonoia drew with PAOK 1-1.