Dramatic return for Maria Sharapova

It was at the 2016 Australian Open when she was tested positive for the banned heart medication Meldonium after losing to Serena Williams in the quarterfinals. Although her suspension ended in April, physical ailments have plagued her comeback all summer. She couldn’t play the qualifying tournament at Wimbledon because of a left thigh injury, pulled out of both Toronto and Cincinnati tournaments due to a left forearm tweak. The U.S. Tennis Association, as a courtesy to a former champion, gave her a wild card entry into the Grand slam and she played her first match back like she never ever left.
She was slated to play current world No. 2 Simona Halep of Romania against whom she has a head to head record of 6-0. This match showed why that record is so one sided. Maria’s serve was precise, she was hitting each angle perfectly and she easily covered more ground than her opponent. But Halep was not going to let this match go so easy since the stakes were even higher for her. She was one of seven women who was vying for the coveted world No.1 position. She fought with vigour but eventually surrendered the match 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 to Sharapova in what was a thrilling match.
At the end of the match Sharapova was quoted saying, “Despite not playing a lot of matches coming into this, it almost seemed like I had no right to win this match today. And I somehow did. I think that is what I’m most proud of. I felt like my team and I have been through a lot. Since I’ve come back, I feel like I’m on a team. You know, I’m not just winning for myself, but I’m winning for everyone that has stood behind me. That is a very special feeling to have.”

Wimbledon 2015: It’s Serena vs Muguruza

Photo: Tom Jenkins/ Guardian

Top seed Serena Williams brushed aside Maria Sharapova for the 17th consecutive time after winning  6-2 6-4 in the women’s singles semi-final on center court. Her opponent for Saturday’s final will be Garbiñe Muguruza who will be playing her first ever grand slam final.

Serena was at her best throughout the match, taking the game to the Russian, with 13 aces along with the 68 already collected this far, and 29 winners to Sharapova’s nine. Serena now has the chance to complete a ‘Serena Slam’ for the second time in her career after holding all four grand slam titles.

“I’m so excited. I got a bit nervous because it was a semi-final and it’s a long time since I’ve been this far.” Serena told BBC sport after reaching her 25th Grand slam final.

Spanish delight, Muguruza meanwhile broke sweat to beat Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2 3-6 6-3 in the first semi-final. Mugurunza dominated the game for a set and a half, until Radwanska clawed back to make it an entertaining semi-final.

“I don’t have words to explain it,” Muguruza told BBC Sport.

Interestingly Muguruza beat Serena Williams at the French Open last year, but it will take tremendous effort for the Spaniard to stop the American who is looking to win her sixth Wimbeldon and 21st Grand Slam title.

Read more: http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/tennis/33464691



Wimbledon – Federer, Djoko advance as Murray bows out

London: Roger Federer fought back to make it a step closer to what will be his 8th Wimbledon title as he came back to inflict a stunning victory over fellow countryman Stan Wawrinka 3-6, 7-6, 6-4, 6-4. The 4th seeded Federer had last tasted glory here back in 2012, also his last Grand Slam. However, home favourite Andy Murray on the other hand fell to a shock defeat to Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov in his run to defend his title as he lost out 1-6, 6-7, 2-6.

Picture Courtesy – cdn.newsday.com

Dimitrov will have to fight world no.2 Novak Djokovic who too had a hard time to set his foot in the semis; Cilic leading two sets to one before the Serbian pulled back the last two in a dominating fashion. The scoreline read 6-1, 3-6, 6-7, 6-2, 6-2. Nadal-slayer Nick Kyrgios’ dream run came to an end as Milos Raonic pulled back from a set down to win it 6-7, 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 with the Canadian firing 39 aces to seal the tie.

Quite contrary to the men top seeds were the case for women that have only Simona Halep among the top 5 seeds remaining in the tournament. Serena Williams and Li Na had both failed to make it even to the 4th round that saw the shock defeat of Maria Sharapova in the hands of Samantha Murray; another wild card entry from Britain. The home favourite lost just a single game to register a 6-1, 6-0 victory against the former Wimbledon champion. Halep now faces Eugenie Bouchard to seek a place in the finals while Lucie Safarova faces Petra Kvitova in the other, an all Czecch semi-final.

Picture Courtesy – images.fashionstyle.com

It’s been a mixed story for the Indians at this edition of Wimbledon as old horse Leander Paes along with Radek Stepanek brushed past a gritty challenge from Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau winning 6-4 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 7-5 to set up a quarter-final date with D. Nestor and N. Zimonjic. Leander’s fortunes with Cara Black in the mixed doubles section however wasn’t that good as though leading by a set, the Indo-Zimbabwe pair fell to the American pair of Eric Butorac and Timea Babos 6-1, 2-6, 3-6.

Dominating their presence in the first game, Sania Mirza and Cara Black failed to hold up to their initial success as they crashed out in the 2nd round to the unseeded Russian and Czech pair of Anastasia and Lucie Safarova 6-2, 6-7(7), 4-6. Pairing with Romanian Horia Tecau however, Sania Mirza won in straight sets 6-3 6-3 against a weak challenge put up by Mate Pavic of Crotia and Serbian BojanaJovanovski in their opening match. The Indo-Romanian pair is seeded 6th.

Picture Courtesy – www3.pictures.zimbio.com

Eighth seeds Rohan Bopanna and Pakistan’s Aisamul Haq Qureshi bowed down 7-6, 6-7, 3-6, 5-7 against Canadian-American pair VasekPospisil and Jack Sock after play resumed after initially suspended for bad weather. Seeded 7th in the mixed doubles section, Bopanna partnering Czech Andrea Hlavackova put up a spirited performance as they saved all three break points to advance defeating local pair Colin Fleming and Jocelyn Rae in straight sets to win 6-4, 7-5.

Somdev Devvarman earlier fell to yet another 1st round defeat, his 10th in the last 13th tournaments to bow out 6-4 3-6 3-6 6-3 3-6 to 15th seed Jerzy Janowicz.

Picture Courtesy – blog.trimtimes.com