Friday, October 31, 2014

Bouchard, Raonic advance at Wimbledon

Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard survived a tough first set, then rolled to a second round victory today at Wimbledon.
Bouchard defeated Silvia Soler-Espinosa of Spain 7-5, 6-1.

Bouchard had a tough start to her match but improved as it went on.
She needed 44 minutes to win the first set but just 22 to claim the second and close out victory with six breaks of serve and 17 winners.
The 2012 junior Wimbledon champion has duplicated her third round from last year’s main draw debut and next plays German Andrea Petkovic.
Bouchard and Soler-Espinosa traded two sets of service breaks in the first set, with the 20-year-old Canadian taking a 6-5 lead and then earning the opener a game later.
The second set was all Bouchard as the 13th seed ran away to her 32nd victory of the season.
Milos Raonic, meanwhile, didn’t seem that thrilled about reaching the third round of Wimbledon for the first time in his career.
After all, the No. 8 seed is chasing far loftier goals.
Raonic, from Thornhill, Ont., beat American Jack Sock 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 in the second round today.
And while this is the first time he has progressed this far at the All England Club, he wasn’t about to gush over a third-round appearance.
“It might sound a little bit harsh but [I don’t have] too much feeling for it,” he remarked.
“I want to do much better than I have to this point and than I have done today.”
While Raonic spoke of improvement, he never looked in trouble against Sock.
He had 13 aces, 39 winners, and three breaks of serve in the match.
“I found a rhythm,” Raonic said. “For me, the most important thing, especially on grass, is finding that rhythm on second serve return.
“I found that quite early on, and I was able to stick through it.
“At all of these majors, I want to play better than I have in the past, to fight, compete, and try to play better each day,” he stressed.
Raonic will face Poland’s Lukasz Kubot in the third round.
The news wasn’t so good for Frank Dancevic of Niagara Falls, Ont., who played through hip pain but lost 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 to Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan.
Dancevic, who got into the main draw as a lucky loser, said that a good result from a scan on his lower pelvis yesterday gave him the confidence to take to the court today.
“This is not a major issue so I decided to push through and play in some pain,” he noted.
Dancevic, who was sporting a new mohawk haircut, has struggled with back issues before and didn’t want to take any chances this time.
“I didn’t want to risk a lot and end up being out for the summer,” he remarked.
“I’m on a pretty decent streak,” he noted. “I feel I can have a good summer and rest of the year.”
In other action, two years after being knocked out in the second round of Wimbledon by Lukas Rosol, Rafael Nadal found himself one point away from falling behind two sets to love to the same player on the same Centre Court in the same round today.
It looked like another huge upset was in the making. But the Spaniard ripped a forehand winner to erase the set point and Rosol double-faulted two points later to give Nadal the set.
With that sudden shift in momentum, Nadal rallied for a 4-6, 7-6 (6), 6-4, 6-4 victory that sent him into the third round at the All England Club.
Rosol stunned Nadal in five sets in the second round in 2012—a match that finished under the closed Centre Court roof.
While Nadal was made to work, five-time women’s champion Serena Williams wasted no time in reaching the third round—routing Chanelle Scheepers 6-1, 6-1 in 49 minutes.
Chasing her 18th Grand Slam title, the top-seeded American overwhelmed the 94th-ranked South African in the opening match on Court 1, hitting eight aces and notching 26 winners.
“I don’t want to feel great necessarily right now because hopefully I have several more matches,” Williams said.
“The goal for me is just to feel a little better every day.”

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