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Jul 01

Wimbledon 2013 : The story continues into the Round of 16

London, England: The Wimbledon Championships entered into the sixth day on 29th June, with the 3rd round wrapping up. With players like Nadal, Sharapova, Federer and Azarenka already having made an early exit, the tournament has taken a turn and many new players, otherwise subdued in the earlier rounds, have got the opportunity to capitalize on it. A large chunk of the ousted players’ fanbase is having a tough time deciding “the (interim) one” to be supported in the future course of this tournament. Some have flocked to support Murray, some to Djokovic, some to Williams and so on.

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Li Na will be aiming to go as far as possible as she is one of handful of elite players left.

The 3rd round saw some tough matches and some amazing games played. The 2011 French Open champion, Li Na, had to fight hard to win her match against Zakopalova 4-6, 6-0, 8-6, turning out to be a rather unusual scorecard. Sabine Lisicki won against Samantha Stosur 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 in a tough encounter, thereby ousting the former US Open champion from the tournament. Wimbledon 2012’s finalist Agnieszka Radwanska also had to keep herself composed during the hard battle she fought against teenager Madison Keys to win 7-5, 4-6, 6-3. These tough clashes, requiring a lot of grit and perseverance, were in stark contrast to the match played by Serena Williams, the defending champion, against the oldest player of the tournament, Kimiko Date-Krumm. Williams simply cruised through the match with an easy 6-2, 6-0 victory, clearly dominating the court through the sets and setting a dangerous precedent for the upcoming rounds.

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Radwanska had to sweat a bit to overcome Keys’ challenge.

On the Gentlemen’s side, things were a bit cooler. Only two of the sixteen matches ran into 5 sets while most other were won with clear domination. Novak Djokovic easily defeated Jeremy Chardy 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 to make it to the Round of 16 without conceding a single set. Likewise, Andy Murray, who defeated Tommy Robredo in the 3rd round 6-2, 6-4, 7-5, also has had a clean run without dropping a set so far. Juan Martin Del Potro also joined the same league as he defeated Slovenian Grega Zemlja 7-5, 7-6 (3), 6-0. As a pleasant surprise, German tennis player Tommy Haas, aged 35, entered the 4th round on defeating Feliciano Lopez 4-6, 6-2, 7-5, 6-4. He has returned back in action after quite a few years, having shown his renewed form by reaching the QFs of the French Open earlier this year. David Ferrer, the Roland Garros runner-up, had to face a tough opponent, Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov, the No.26 seed. The match turned out to be an unexpectedly close one, running into 5 sets before Ferrer swung it in his favour to win 6-7 (6), 7-6 (2), 2-6, 6-1, 6-2.

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David Ferrer was stretched to 5 sets to book his place in the last 16

The Round of 16 has turned out to be an interesting set of draws, whose outcome cannot be predicted owing to the entry of new faces. In the Gentlemen’s draws, 7 of the 16 players are unseeded, while in the Ladies’ draws, 6 are unseeded. Going by what has been witnessed so far, predictions, if any, can go haywire as seen in the earlier rounds, and hence it would be best to wait and catch the action live. The Middle Sunday would provide some much-needed rest to the players and some time to think over their strategies. This Sunday can be seen as the calm before the storm, as the new entrants would be feeling upbeat having reached thus far, looking forward to establishing a place in the QFs and ready to take on their opponents with some renewed vigour and confidence!

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Aniket Samant

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