Wimbledon 2017: Novak Djokovic beats Ernests Gulbis to reach round four

Novak Djokovic

Wimbledon 2017 on the BBC
Venue: All England Club Dates: 3-16 July Starts: 11:30 BST
Live: Coverage across BBC TV, BBC Radio and BBC Sport website with further coverage on Red Button, Connected TVs and app. Click for full times.

Second seed Novak Djokovic looked fired up and on form as he beat Latvia’s Ernests Gulbis in straight sets to reach the fourth round at Wimbledon.

The three-time champion from Serbia won 6-4 6-1 7-6 (7-2), reeling off nine games in a row at one stage.

He goes on to face Adrian Mannarino, who beat fellow Frenchman and 15th seed Gael Monfils 7-6 (7-3) 4-6 5-7 6-3 6-2.

Seven-time champion Roger Federer plays German 27th seed Mischa Zverev in Saturday’s final match on Centre Court.

An early argument with the umpire seemed to fire up Djokovic, who told the official to “focus” and then appeared to take his own advice.

From a break of serve down at 4-2 he powered into a 6-4 5-0 lead and had a set point for 10 straight games.

Gulbis, 28, clung on briefly but the second set soon disappeared and the Latvian then had lengthy treatment on his back.

Ranked down at 548 after a successionof injuries, the former world number 10 recovered sufficiently to earn a break point at the start of the third set.

Djokovic, a friend of Gulbis since their junior academy days in Germany, snuffed out the danger but required a tie-break to eventually see off the Latvian after two hours and 12 minutes.

Analysis

Boris Becker, three-time champion and ex-coach of Djokovic:

For the first time in a while I see the passion back. Ultimately it’s about passion; how much you’re willing to sacrifice, how much you’re willing to invest to win and go far in the tournament. All these screams really are a sign that the passion is back. He wants to win desperately.

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Wimbledon 2017: Angelique Kerber fights back to beat Shelby Rogers

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Wimbledon 2017 on the BBC
Venue: All England Club Dates: 3-16 July Starts: 11:30 BST
Live: Coverage across BBC TV, BBC Radio and BBC Sport website with further coverage on Red Button, Connected TVs and app. Click for full times.

Top seed Angelique Kerber survived a scare against American world number 70 Shelby Rogers to reach the Wimbledon last 16.

Germany’s Kerber, 29, lost a tight first set before fighting back to win 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 in a thrilling battle on court two.

She will face Spain’s 14th seed Garbine Muguruza in the fourth round on Monday.

Kerber will lose her world number one ranking if she does not reach the final.

Muguruza, a Wimbledon finalist in 2015, powered to a straightforward 6-2 6-2 victory over Romania’s Sorana Cirstea.

Second seed Simona Halep could take top spot from Kerber by reaching the semi-finals, while Karolina Pliskova – despite her second-round exit – still has a chance of taking it.

Two-time Grand Slam champion Kerber’s form has dipped since winning the US Open last year. She has failed to win any tour titles since then and sits just 15th in the year-to-date rankings.

But the left hander, who was beaten by Serena Williams in last year’s final, is known for her fighting qualities and needed to show all of them to beat Rogers in two hours and 17 minutes.

After Rogers won the opener with a single break of serve, Kerber cut down on the unforced errors as the American’s aggressive style started to produce more mistakes than clean winners.

Kerber battled back from a break down in the second, winning three successive games before going on to dominate the tie-break.

The German took her seventh break point to nick a 13-minute opening game in the decider, then exchanged breaks again as the momentum swung between the players.

Kerber roared with relief as Rogers, bidding to reach the last 16 at Wimbledon for the first time, cracked a forehand long on the German’s second match point.

Muguruza in last 16 without dropping a set

Garbine Muguruza

Muguruza, 23, has dropped down the rankings in recent months after struggling to sustain the form she showed to win last year’s French Open.

But she has raced through the opening three rounds in SW19, winning her matches without dropping a set.

Cirstea, who progressed to the last 32 when opponent Bethanie Mattek-Sands suffered a serious knee injury, provided little resistance.

After the 27-year-old Romanian held in the opening games of each set, Muguruza rattled off five successive games in both to win in one hour and 10 minutes.

“I felt today I improved my game a bit compared to the previous matches,” the Spaniard said. “I’m happy the way I’m playing out there.

“It’s great to reach the second week. That’s everybody’s goal, to go through the first week, the first matches, then the exciting part comes now in a way.”

Radwanska, Kuznetsova & Vandeweghe also through

Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska overcame a shaky first set to beat Swiss Timea Bacsinszky 3-6 6-4 6-1.

Radwanska, the world number 10, struggled to find her rhythm but took full advantage as Bacsinszky struggled to overcome a thigh injury.

Her backhand looked particularly strong as she reached the last 16 for the sixth consecutive year.

She will meet two-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova in the last 16, after the Russian’s powerful 6-4 6-0 win over Slovenia’s Polona Hercog.

The Russian converted four of six break points and showed a strong first serve as she beat Hercog in just over an hour.

American Coco Vandeweghe has yet to drop a set at Wimbledon after beating compatriot Alison Riske 6-2 6-4 on court three.

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Andy Murray column: I don't lock myself in a room just thinking about tennis

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Wimbledon 2017 on the BBC
Venue: All England Club Dates: 3-16 July Starts: 11:30 BST
Live: Coverage across BBC TV, BBC Radio and BBC Sport website with further coverage on Red Button, Connected TVs and app. Click for full times.

Weekends are the most important days of the year when you’re a tennis player, so if you’re working that’s a good thing.

We play finals on Sundays, most semi-finals are on Saturdays and if a tournament starts on a Monday, we’re practising the weekend before.

So it’s pretty rare to have a weekend when we don’t do anything.

We do get days off at other times. When I got back after the Australian Open in January I had four or five days when I wasn’t doing anything, and that’s your time to do normal stuff. You get to be with your family, watch TV, go out for dinner, see friends and do normal things.

It’s pretty rare at this time of year – at least you hope it is – but that doesn’t mean I get home every night and lock myself in my room, just concentrating on my match.

Maybe I don’t do loads around the house during the two weeks of Wimbledon but I still want to spend time with my family when I can.

For example, on Friday I only saw my daughter for an hour in the morning and I want to make sure I spend the time available with her.

I’ve got two days without a match this weekend and I’ll try to do stuff with my family in the mornings and the evenings around practice. Kim and I watched an episode an evening last week of a show called The Night Of, which we finished on Thursday.

I’m fine switching off from the tennis but I like being busy over the weekends because it means I’m doing well. I’ll get plenty of weekends off when I finish playing.

‘I was going to roll down the hill and up to the pump’

Andy Murray

There was a moment the other night when I was stuck in traffic, with the fuel gauge close to empty, and I thought, ‘this isn’t looking good’.

Home felt a lot further than 11 miles away with Wimbledon in gridlock and about six miles’ worth of petrol in the tank.

I always let it run down low, although not normally that low.

My car lets me know when I’ve got 35 miles left, and when I left home that morning I had 30 miles, so enough to get there and back.

Unfortunately there was an accident along the route and it was taking some people two hours to get in. I use an app that got me to the All England Club in 45 minutes, but I had to go around the houses to get to there.

It normally takes me 25 to 30 minutes, so if I’d stopped to fill up and then taken that route I’d have been late to start my physio, so I thought ‘just get to Wimbledon’. The club is surrounded by lots of petrol stations within two or three miles, so no problem.

But when I left that night there was so much traffic around the venue that I was stuck.

I had a back-up plan though – the petrol station I headed for is at the bottom of a hill, so I thought I could just roll down there and up to the pump if I needed to. That would have been quite a sight for anyone watching.

Luckily I made it there with one mile left in the tank, and I might fill it up a bit more than normal next week!

‘I fancy my chances against Rafa – at putting’

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Playing Monday, Wednesday, Friday means I get the weekend free, which can work both ways.

The other half of the draw get to play every other day throughout the tournament and pick up a good rhythm, on the other hand I have more time to catch up on the practice I missed in the week before Wimbledon.

I play Benoit Paire in the fourth round on Monday and he is another talented, tricky opponent. Like in the last round against Fabio Fognini, it will be our first meeting on grass.

That means plenty of time at the club working on my game, and there’s another competition I’ve got my eye on.

I saw Rafa Nadal and his team trying a bit of golf before he went on to play his match on Friday, they had the putter out for a little bit of friendly competition.

I don’t really play much golf and I know Rafa plays all the time, but putting is a very specific skill and I fancy my chances.

Maybe we’ll line that one up for next week, why not?

Andy Murray was talking to BBC Sport’s Piers Newbery

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Wimbledon 2017: Andy Murray wins thrilling contest against Fabio Fognini

Andy Murray

Wimbledon 2017 on the BBC
Venue: All England Club Dates: 3-16 July Starts: 11:30 BST
Live: Coverage across BBC TV, BBC Radio and BBC Sport website with further coverage on Red Button, Connected TVs and app. Click for full times.

Defending champion Andy Murray won a thrilling third-round contest against Italy’s Fabio Fognini at Wimbledon as darkness fell around Centre Court.

The Briton, 30, won 6-2 4-6 6-1 7-5 after two hours and 39 minutes, with match point clinched at 20:57 BST.

Fognini, the 29th seed, had five set points to force a fifth set but Murray won five games in a row to seal a place in the last 16 for the 11th time.

Murray will play Frenchman Benoit Paire in the fourth round on Monday.

Fellow Briton Johanna Konta earlier reached the second week for the first time with a 6-4 6-1 win over Maria Sakkari of Greece.

More to follow.

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Wimbledon 2017: Aljaz Bedene loses to Gilles Muller in third round

Aljaz Bedene

Wimbledon 2017 on the BBC
Venue: All England Club Dates: 3-16 July Starts: 11:30 BST
Live: Coverage across BBC TV, BBC Radio and BBC Sport website with further coverage on Red Button, Connected TVs and app. Click for full times.

Britain’s Wimbledon singles hopes were reduced to three players after Aljaz Bedene lost in straight sets to Gilles Muller of Luxembourg.

Muller, the 16th seed, won 7-6 (7-4) 7-5 6-4 on court two to reach the fourth round and end Bedene’s hopes of a first last-16 place at a Grand Slam.

Four British players reached the third round of Wimbledon for the first time since 1997.

Andy Murray, Johanna Konta and Heather Watson are also in action on Friday.

More to follow.

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Mattek-Sands has more scans on injured knee

Breaking news

Wimbledon 2017 on the BBC
Venue: All England Club Dates: 3-16 July Starts: 11:30 BST
Live: Coverage across BBC TV, BBC Radio and BBC Sport website with further coverage on Red Button, Connected TVs and app.Click for full times.

Bethanie Mattek-Sands is having more scans on a serious knee injury she picked up during her second-round Wimbledon singles match on Thursday.

The American screamed in agony after slipping during the third set against Romania’s Sorana Cirstea on court 17.

The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) said more will be known following Friday’s tests.

“Bethanie of course thanks everyone for their kind wishes and messages of support,” the WTA statement added.

Mattek-Sands was treated by paramedics on the court before being carried off on a stretcher and taken straight to hospital.

More to follow.

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Murray & Konta lead British challenge on day five

Andy Murray

Wimbledon 2017 on the BBC
Venue: All England Club Dates: 3-16 July Starts: 11:30 BST
Live: Coverage across BBC TV, BBC Radio and BBC Sport website with further coverage on Red Button, Connected TVs and app. Click for full times.

Andy Murray and Johanna Konta will hope to further their title ambitions as four Britons take part in Wimbledon third-round action on Friday.

Defending champion Murray plays Italy’s Fabio Fognini in the third match on Centre Court at about 17:00 BST.

British number one Konta is now rated as the favourite with some bookmakers, and she faces Maria Sakkari of Greece on Court One at about 15:00.

Heather Watson and Aljaz Bedene bolster the British challenge on day five.

Rafael Nadal, Simona Halep and Venus Williams are among the other leading names on the schedule, with another warm, dry day forecast.

Watson takes on two-time Grand Slam champion Victoria Azarenka, recently back on the tour after the birth of her son Leo, in the opening match on Centre Court at about 13:00.

Bedene must counter the serve-and-volley skills of Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller in the first match on court two at about 11:30.

It is the first time since Tim Henman, Mark Petchey, Greg Rusedski, Andrew Richardson and Karen Cross made the third round in 1997 that at least four Britons have reached that stage.

Murray faces step-up in class

Fabio Fognini

Two of Murray’s more chastening defeats of recent years have come at the hands of Fognini, but this time the Scot has the surface and home advantage on his side.

The pair, both 30, first played each other when they were 12 and share a 3-3 record as professionals.

Fognini played superbly to beat Murray in the Davis Cup three years ago and at the Italian Open two months ago, but those contests were on the clay of Naples and Rome.

“If I play like that, could be interesting,” said Fognini.

The Italian has never been past the third round at Wimbledon and will make his Centre Court debut on Friday.

“Of course, he’s the favourite,” Fognini added. “I know my game. I know how to play against him. We know each other really well. I’m ready.”

Murray said: “He’s always dangerous. He’s a shot-maker and he’s very solid off his forehand and backhand side, but he can also hit winners from both sides.

“He has good hands up at the net. He moves extremely well on the other surfaces. I don’t know how well he moves on the grass.”

Britons target breakthrough

Johanna Konta

After a gripping three-hour win over Donna Vekic in the previous round, sixth seed Konta will hope for a quicker passage into the second week against Sakkari.

The 21-year-old from Greece is ranked 101st and has made it through to the third round of a Grand Slam for only the second time.

Konta, 26, thrilled the crowd in her first ever Centre Court win on Wednesday and gave further evidence that she could be a title contender.

“I guess I keep sounding like a broken record, but for me, pressure is a very self-imposed thing,” said the Briton.

“I’m approaching this event like I am every other event. I’m coming here to do the best that I can, to compete the best I can.”

Watson is enjoying a real return to form after slipping outside the world’s top 100 this year.

The 25-year-old reached the semi-finals in Eastbourne last week, and thrashed 18th seed Anastasija Sevastova in round two.

She is now one win away from reaching the second week of a Grand Slam for the first time.

“It’s been one of my goals forever,” said Watson.

“I made those big goals years ago. Making the second week of a Slam would be huge for me.”

Bedene, 27, is another player on the verge of breaking new ground by earning a fourth-round place at a Grand Slam tournament.

The world number 58 lost to Muller at a grass-court tournament in the Netherlands last month, but it was three tight sets.

“He loves grass,” said Bedene. “He’s won Hertogenbosch. He played semis at Queen’s. He loves serve-and-volley play. He’s quite aggressive.

“I played him a few weeks ago so I know, I wouldn’t say his weaknesses, because there aren’t many, but if I play my game, I’ve got a chance.”

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Third seed Pliskova shocked by Rybarikova

Magdalena Rybarikova

Wimbledon 2017 on the BBC
Venue: All England Club Dates: 3-16 July Starts: 11:30 BST
Live: Coverage across BBC TV, BBC Radio and BBC Sport website with further coverage on Red Button, Connected TVs and app. Click for full times.

Third seed Karolina Pliskova is out of Wimbledon after losing in three sets to world number 87 Magdalena Rybarikova.

Czech Pliskova, who won the Aegon International at Eastbourne, was beaten 6-3 5-7 2-6 and is the highest-ranked player to exit the women’s draw.

Slovakia’s Rybarikova only returned to the tour in February after a seven-month lay-off with injuries.

“I am speechless right now,” said the 28-year-old, who has now won 15 of her 16 grass-court matches this summer.

Rybarikova, who reached a career-high ranking of 31 in 2013, had surgery on her left wrist and right knee in 2016 and missed the rest of the season after a first-round defeat at Wimbledon last year.

“It’s special. It’s amazing,” she told the BBC. “It was very difficult to play Karolina Pliskova. I was not so confident.

“I had two surgeries and hadn’t played for seven months. It was a difficult time for me and my coach told me that something good was going to happen.

“Could I win Wimbledon? I’m not thinking about it. It will be very difficult.”

Elsewhere, Polish ninth seed Agnieszka Radwanska came from a set down to beat American Christina McHale 5-7 7-6 (9-7) 6-3.

Radwanska, 28, who reached the Wimbledon final in 2012, saved two match points before winning the second set on a tie-break.

Russian seventh seed Svetlana Kuznetsova eased to a 6-0 7-5 victory over compatriot Ekaterina Makarova in 69 minutes.

American 24th seed Coco Vandeweghe progressed by beating Germany’s Tatjana Maria in straight sets.

Spain’s 14th seed Garbine Muguruza, Wimbledon runner-up in 2015 and a former French Open champion, won saw off Belgium’s Yanina Wickmayer 6-2 6-4.

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Wimbledon 2017: Gael Monfils ends Kyle Edmund bid to reach round three

Kyle Edmund

Wimbledon 2017 on the BBC
Venue: All England Club Dates: 3-16 July Starts: 11:30 BST
Live: Coverage across BBC TV, BBC Radio and BBC Sport website with further coverage on Red Button, Connected TVs and app. Click for full times.

France’s Gael Monfils ended the hopes of British number two Kyle Edmund with a straight-set win on Centre Court.

Monfils, the 15th seed, won 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 6-4 to reach the third round – and leave Britain with four players in the last 32 of the singles.

Andy Murray, Johanna Konta, Aljaz Bedene and Heather Watson will all play third-round matches on Friday.

Frenchman Monfils goes on to face compatriot Adrian Mannarino or Japan’s Yuichi Sugita in round three.

More to follow.

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'It's good to let your emotions show' – Murray on Konta & Fognini

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Wimbledon 2017 on the BBC
Venue: All England Club Dates: 3-16 July Starts: 11:30 BST
Live: Coverage across BBC TV, BBC Radio and BBC Sport website with further coverage on Red Button, Connected TVs and app. Click for full times.

When you get the chance to play in front of a home crowd on Centre Court, you’ve got to use the support and the atmosphere to your advantage as much as you can.

I saw the end of Jo Konta’s win over Donna Vekic in the gym while I was waiting to go on, and her calmness in such a tense finish really impressed me.

A number of times she was pretty close to getting broken at the end – she was 0-30 down – and she stayed focused and managed to get through it.

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You saw right at the end just how much emotion she had inside her. You don’t see Jo react like that too much and certainly not during a match, but it’s obviously in there.

She can go a long way here. She’s certainly good enough, and hopefully Wednesday’s match was the first of many on Centre Court.

It’s difficult to give other players advice because playing on that court is obviously a great experience but everyone deals with those things differently; everyone has different personalities.

I found for myself that when I’ve been in tight matches like Jo’s on Wednesday, maybe engaging the crowd a little more can help – but that might not be something she’s comfortable doing.

She remains very calm on the court and that’s a positive thing, but there can be times out there when it’s good to let the emotions out as well.

‘You need to try and block that out’

Playing with the crowd on your side is not a regular experience for most tennis players and it can take some getting used to.

We play all over the world and I’d say 90% of the time in matches it’s a fairly neutral crowd.

Obviously when you play against Roger or Rafa or Novak in different places they have huge, huge fanbases and people may want them to win, but most of the time people just want to see a great match. They want to be entertained.

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But when we’re playing at Wimbledon, pretty much all of the crowd want the Brits to win, and using that to your advantage and enjoying it and embracing it can really make the difference.

It always feels a little bit different out on Centre Court, not just because of the crowd but also the history there.

You can tell how much they want you to win because they live every point from the very first game, often groaning or sighing when you make a mistake. You need to try and block that out for sure, but then it’s part of the Centre Court experience.

Maybe the first few times it can be frustrating to hear that, or you can worry a little bit, but now I know exactly what to expect when I go out on that court.

Jo is top 10 in the world, she’s British and looking to get into the second week for the first time here.

She will play more and more matches on that court and hopefully over time become more and more comfortable. Wednesday’s match will have done her a lot of good, that’s for sure.

‘Fabio can be a little different out there’

Fabio Fognini

Fabio Fognini is one player who does let his feelings show on court.

I expect a really serious test when we play on Friday because he’s good off both forehand and backhand, and can hit a lot of winners. This will be our first meeting on grass, so we’ll see how that changes things.

We’re the same age and we grew up playing each other pretty much since we were 12, so I’ve known Fabio a long time as well as his family, because his dad, mum and sister have come to a lot of tournaments over the years.

On the court he can sometimes be a little bit different out there and show his emotions a lot – but then so can I.

Despite the extrovert competitor you see on court, he’s nice and friendly off it and I’ve always got on well with him. I’m looking forward to seeing him out on Centre Court.

Andy Murray was talking to BBC Sport’s Piers Newbery

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