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Updated: 2 min 15 sec ago

How Marcus Willis Turned His Career Around At Wimbledon 2016

Wed, 06/29/2016 - 3:00pm
Learn how Marcus Willis turned around his career at Wimbledon. Live At Wimbledon video courtesy Wimbledon.com.

Djokovic Extends Slam Winning Streak At Wimbledon

Wed, 06/29/2016 - 2:28pm

Make that 30 in a row.

Novak Djokovic overcame a late hiccup to extend his Grand Slam winning streak on Wednesday, sailing to a 6-4, 6-3, 7-6(5) win over Adrian Mannarino under a closed roof on Centre Court at Wimbledon.

The three-time Wimbledon champion (2011, '14, '15) next will face Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci or 28th seed Sam Querrey. Their match was suspended on Wednesday with Querrey leading 6-4, 5-2.

The Serbian now owns the longest Grand Slam winning streak of the Open Era. (The 1968 Roland Garros was the first Grand Slam of the Open Era). Djokovic said he was honoured to make more history and motivated to achieve more at SW19.

“I have to be very grateful to have the opportunity to make history of the sport. Of course, every single record that I manage to achieve in last couple of years is important and is unique to me. Every next one that I have a possibility to achieve is motivation more. That's how I look at it,” Djokovic said. “I want to keep on going. Let's see where it takes me."

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It could have been a hairy contest for Djokovic. The left-handed Mannarino has plenty of Wimbledon experience, including a fourth-round run in 2013. The Frenchman also possesses a game made for grass: steady, flat and hard groundstrokes from both sides.

“He's definitely not easy to play against on grass,” Djokovic said. “The shots that he comes up with are very flat, and they bounce very low. He picks up the ball very early. [He] has a very good variety on his serve, slice that fades away from you.”

But Djokovic did not panic as the two exchanged holds to 5-4 in the first set. As he has made a habit of doing, Djokovic adapted, mixed up his game and out-crafted his opponent just enough to sidestep the trap and snag the first set with a break when Mannarino netted a backhand.

Watch Djokovic vs. Mannarino Highlights (Video content not available in UK, USA, South America, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain and Australia)

From there, Djokovic mixed more slice into his usual topspin offering, which helped him earn a break in the second and third sets. Mannarino, however, on his ninth opportunity to break, finally converted against Djokovic when the Serbian first served for the contest. But the Belgrade native clinched the tie-break to move into the third round.

“It was a very good challenge for me at the right time,” Djokovic said. “I think I came up with the best game when it was most needed in all three sets.”

The 29-year-old is looking to clinch the third leg of the calendar Grand Slam this fortnight, having won the Australian Open and Roland Garros earlier this season.

The streaks were in his favour before the second-round contest. It had been eight years since he had lost at a Grand Slam to a player ranked as low as Mannarino, No. 55 in the Emirates ATP Rankings (No. 75 Marat Safin, 2008 Wimbledon). The left-handed Frenchman entered the match 1-16 against Top 10 opponents.

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Federer Looks Ahead To Willis Match At Wimbledon 2016

Wed, 06/29/2016 - 2:22pm
Roger Federer looks ahead to his second-round match against Marcus Willis at Wimbledon. Video courtesy Wimbledon.com.

Federer Serve Breakdown Wimbledon 2016

Wed, 06/29/2016 - 2:04pm
Former Wimbledon finalist Mark Philippoussis explains what makes Roger Federer's serve so potent. Video courtesy Wimbledon.com.

Can Willis Top Federer At Wimbledon 2016

Wed, 06/29/2016 - 2:03pm
Can Marcus Willis score an epic upset against the seven-time champion Roger Federer? Craig O'Shannessy breaks down the numbers. Video courtesy Wimbledon.com.

Girlfriend of Marcus Willis Remembers Life Changing Talk Wimbledon 2016

Wed, 06/29/2016 - 2:02pm
'Don't go. Don't go.' Jennifer Bate, Marcus Willis' girlfriend, remembers the conversation that changed their lives. Live At Wimbledon video courtesy Wimbledon.com.

Marcus Willis Enjoying Wimbledon 2016 Moments

Wed, 06/29/2016 - 2:00pm
Marcus Willis enjoys his Wimbledon experience as fans cheer for him at practice. Live At Wimbledon video courtesy Wimbledon.com.

Thiem, Berdych Win On Rainy Wednesday At Wimbledon

Wed, 06/29/2016 - 1:25pm

Dominic Thiem started Wednesday by receiving a new Chelsea Football Club shirt and ended it with a place in the second round at The Championships.

Eighth-seeded Thiem recorded an ATP World Tour-best 48th match win in his 60th match this year by beating Florian Mayer 7-5, 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and 37 minutes. Thiem lost just eight points on his first serve.

"I'm really happy with my performance," said Thiem. "I was feeling not comfortable all the past two years on grass. I think the biggest difference this year is I got a lot of self‑confidence, but the biggest difference I think is my movement. I am much more down [on the ball] and much more stable. [The courts are] soft. You have to stay low. The balls stay low."

Thiem broke Mayer to 30 for a 6-5 lead in the first set, in the fifth game of the second set and converted his third break point opportunity in a 12-point game for a 4-3 lead in the third set. Thiem had lost to Mayer in the Gerry Weber Open semi-finals two weeks ago.

The 22-year-old Austrian will next challenge Jiri Vesely, who overcame qualifier Igor Sijsling 6-2, 6-4, 7-6(7). The Czech recovered from a 2/6 deficit in the third set tie-break.

Thiem, who has won four ATP World Tour titles this year at Buenos Aires (d. Almagro), Acapulco (d. Tomic), Nice (d. Zverev) and Stuttgart (d. Kohlschreiber) explained the atmosphere as rain delayed matches getting onto court. "It's a very good atmosphere in the locker room," he said. "We were watching Centre Court matches together. There is a basketball basket there and a little golf putting [area], so there are some things to do. But if the rain takes too long [to clear] of course it's not easy anymore. You just have to keep your focus, which is not easy."

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Tomas Berdych secured a 7-6(5), 5-7, 6-1, 7-6(2) win over Ivan Dodig in the first round. The No. 10 seed managed to close out his unseeded opponent before rain interrupted play on the outer courts.

“It was really an up-and-down match. It should have been done yesterday. But it's good to finish now since my opponents already finished [their first-round matches] yesterday,” Berdych said. “Now let's wait and see what's going to happen in the upcoming days. You just have to keep your focus and be ready for the next match.”

Berdych, the 2010 finalist (l. to Nadal), only lost 11 points on his first serve throughout the three-hour, 23-minute encounter in a match that was carried over from a rain-soaked Tuesday. The Czech struck 54 winners to the Croat’s 51, and will face Benjamin Becker in the second round. Berdych leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry 5-1 and won their 2010 Wimbledon clash in straight sets.

Chardy FedEx ATP Player Profile 2016

Wed, 06/29/2016 - 12:18pm
Who was Jeremy Chardy's first tennis idol?

Kuala Lumpur Relocates To Chengdu In 2016

Wed, 06/29/2016 - 10:32am

The ATP has announced the relocation of the ATP World Tour 250 tournament in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Chengdu, China, in 2016, following ATP Board approval of the relocation request by tournament owners IMG.

The event in Chengdu will be held on outdoor hard court from 26 September – 2 October, taking place in the same week as the ATP World Tour 250 event in Shenzhen.

The venue in Chengdu boasts a modern facility with a centre court capacity of 6000, two additional show courts with 2000 seats each, and a total of 20 hard courts and 12 indoor courts. The venue has previously hosted an ATP Champions Tour event, featuring the likes of Pete Sampras, Michael Chang, Marat Safin, Carlos Moya, and many more.

Chendgu has an urban population of more than 10 million people and is renowned for being home to the giant Pandas of Chengdu.

Tennis Stars Change Jobs To Serve Coffees In Wimbledon

Wed, 06/29/2016 - 8:30am
Top doubles stars Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares get away from the day job as they learn a new profession - making coffees and serving customers at the Wimbledon Windmill Tearooms.

Willis Prepares For Federer Clash At Wimbledon 2016

Wed, 06/29/2016 - 7:29am
British qualifier Marcus Willis prepares for the match of his life as he takes on Roger Federer at Wimbledon.

Murray First Round Wimbledon 2016 Highlights

Wed, 06/29/2016 - 3:02am
Watch Andy Murray open his Wimbledon 2016 campaign against countryman Liam Broady. Photo: Getty Images. Video courtesy Wimbledon.com. Video content not available in UK, USA, South America, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain and Australia.

Wawrinka Looks Ahead To Del Potro Wimbledon 2016

Wed, 06/29/2016 - 2:07am
Stan Wawrinka discusses his first-round match against NextGen player Taylor Fritz and looks ahead to his second-round match against Juan Martin del Potro. Video courtesy Wimbledon.com.

Andy Murray Moves On At Wimbledon 2016

Wed, 06/29/2016 - 2:06am
Andy Murray talks about his Wimbledon debut. Video courtesy Wimbledon.com.

Del Potro Happy To Be Back At Wimbledon 2016

Wed, 06/29/2016 - 2:06am
Juan Martin del Potro returns to Wimbledon after three years away. Video courtesy Wimbledon.com.

Murray Avoids Lengthy First-Round Wimbledon Contest

Tue, 06/28/2016 - 8:23pm

At Roland Garros last month, Andy Murray spent more than seven hours labouring past his first two opponents. The Scot needed five sets to knock out 37-year-old Radek Stepanek, No. 128 in the Emirates ATP Rankings. Murray, who went on to the Roland Garros final, was just two points away from falling to the Czech veteran.

In the second round, the World No. 2 also relied on all five sets to solve French wild card Mathias Bourgue, who had never played a five-set contest before facing Murray.

So when Murray began his Wimbledon campaign on Tuesday, taking care of his first-round match in a timely manner was front of mind. And he did, coasting past Brit wild card Liam Broady in one hour and 42 minutes.

“I'm happy today I got done in three sets,” Murray said. “When you have the opportunity in matches to finish them, you have to try and be ruthless.”

As sometimes happens when one player nears the finish, Broady raised his level late in the third against Murray. The left-hander had two opportunities to break the Brit at 2-4 and get back on serve, but Murray rode out his early break for the clean win.

“For a first match, to get it done in three sets is good,” Murray said. [Roland Garros] was tough for me. I had a couple of long matches to start the tournament. I have also done it a lot of times in slams, where I have been quick in the first week, won the matches fairly quickly... hopefully I can have another good start here.”

Since he won Wimbledon in 2013, things have changed for Murray. He is reunited with his coach at the time, Ivan Lendl, but the Scot is now married to Kim Sears and they have a five-month-old daughter Sophia.

“All of the tournaments feel a little bit different because having a child changes your perspective on things. So it feels different all of the time,” Murray said. “She's come to a lot of the tournaments... I'll have as much contact as I can during the tournament.”

Murray finished much quicker than he did in Paris, but he still wasn't quite quick enough for Sophia, who was likely asleep before her father ended his Wimbledon opener.

“I haven't seen her since I came off,” Murray said. “She'll be in bed when I get back.”

DelPo's Happy Return To SW19

Tue, 06/28/2016 - 6:53pm

Juan Martin del Potro had to wonder if he'd ever return to Wimbledon. Before Tuesday, the last time his whipping forehand had been seen at the All England Club was 2013, when the Argentine faced Novak Djokovic for a spot in the men's final.

The two battled for four hours and 43 minutes – the longest semi-final in Wimbledon history – before Djokovic prevailed 6-3 in the fifth. “It was one of the best matches I've been a part of,” the Serb said after.

Djokovic has won two Wimbledon titles since then, but del Potro has spent much of the past three years recovering from wrist surgeries. On Tuesday, though, the likable Tower of Tandil was back at Wimbledon and looking like his old self, winning 6-1, 7-5, 6-0 against Frenchman Stephane Robert.

“Great [feelings] after three years,” del Potro said of his return.

The win was the latest encouraging sign of del Potro's comeback. After the 2013 Wimbledon, the 6'6” right-hander rounded out the year with his third appearance at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London. But in 2014, he played only four tournaments before undergoing surgery on his left wrist in March. The former World No. 4 tried to return in 2015 but ended up playing in as many tournaments, two, as he'd have surgeries on his left wrist.

“I was close to quitting tennis at the end of last year,” del Potro said on Tuesday.

He didn't, however, and the tennis world has been the beneficiary. Del Potro returned at Delray Beach in February and has strung together healthy weeks and quality wins. He beat then-World No. 14 Dominic Thiem in Madrid and reached the semi-finals earlier this month on the grass in Stuttgart.

“I'm enjoying tennis again. I'm starting to talk about tennis and no more about my wrist. That's important,” he said.

In month four of his comeback, the 18-time titlist admits his game could be better. He could have more confidence in his backhand, but that's OK for now. “This year my biggest challenge could be to finish healthy and be ready to make a good preparation for the next year,” he said.

Del Potro also has a new coach helping him. For the past few weeks, he's been working with Daniel Vallverdu, who has worked with Tomas Berdych and Andy Murray in the past. “We have a great relationship. We know each other since juniors,” del Potro said.

On Thursday, the 2013 Wimbledon semi-finalist will an opportunity for a big win at SW19. Del Potro faces fifth seed Stan Wawrinka for the sixth time. The Argentine leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry 3-2.

“I am enjoying tennis a lot. Of course, when you win your first round, everything is much better,” del Potro said. “I'm looking forward to playing a great match against Wawrinka.”

Wawrinka Full Of Praise For 'Future Of Tennis' Fritz

Tue, 06/28/2016 - 5:09pm

Stan Wawrinka defeated Taylor Fritz on Tuesday at Wimbledon, but the fourth seed had nothing but good things to say about the American #NextGen star after being stretched in a competitive four-set match.

“I practised with him in Madrid. He has great potential,” said Wawrinka. “He has a good game. Really talented, strong serve and a good backhand. For sure, he is the future of tennis.” 

Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam that Wawrinka hasn’t reached the semi-finals of, with his best result being quarter-final showings the past two years, but he’s determined to change that this fortnight. He has enlisted the help of 1996 Wimbledon champion Richard Krajicek for this grass-court swing.

Although Wawrinka lost his opening match at the ATP World Tour 500 event in London, he believes the time they’ve spent practising together will continue to show as the tournament unfolds.

“I know if I can start to win a few matches, I can be dangerous to go far,” said Wawrinka. “But before that, it’s grass. You need to get used to the conditions.”

Wawrinka has one of the most attractive second-round matches of the tournament ahead of him when he plays Juan Martin del Potro. The Argentine leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head 3-2 and has won their last three meetings, including their only grass court meeting in the second-round of Wimbledon in 2008. However, they haven’t played in four years and both of their careers have changed drastically since then.

“I think we’re all happy that he's back on the tour, hopefully without any injury, and he can play for a long time now. He’s always been a great champion and a great player to watch,” said Wawrinka. “It's going to be a tough match. I saw him play a little bit on grass in Stuttgart and he’s playing well, so it's going to be interesting to see what will happen.”

Wawrinka Vs Fritz 1R Highlights Wimbledon 2016

Tue, 06/28/2016 - 3:56pm
Watch highlights as Stan Wawrinka sees off #NextGen star Taylor Fritz. Video courtesy Wimbledon.com. Video content not available in UK, USA, South America, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain and Australia.