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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 27 February 2024

Wimbledon: Elena Rybakina defeats Alize Cornet in second round, Casper Ruud falls

Rybakina’s power game set her up but Cornet’s tenacity made a game of it. She hurt her knee after a nasty slip but continued through the pain with a ton of strapping on her injured leg

Reuters London Published 07.07.23, 07:56 AM
Elena Rybakina hits a forehand during her second-round clash against Alize Cornet at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on Thursday.

Elena Rybakina hits a forehand during her second-round clash against Alize Cornet at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on Thursday. Getty Images

Defending champion Elena Rybakina defeated Alize Cornet 6-2, 7-6 (7-2) in the second round at Wimbledon on Thursday.

Though the win came in straight sets, it does not tell the full story of this epic. The second set was a blockbuster battle as Cornet refused to lie down.

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Rybakina’s power game set her up but Cornet’s tenacity made a game of it. She hurt her knee after a nasty slip but continued through the pain with a ton of strapping on her injured leg.

The defending champion, however, kept her cool and is through to the next round.

Former Wimbledon semi-finalist Elina Svitolina continued her excellent run in grand slams following her maternity break as the Ukrainian wild card downed 28th seed Elise Mertens 6-1, 1-6, 6-1 to move into the third round.

Svitolina, who returned to the tour in April following the birth of her daughter in October 2022, reached the French Open quarter final last month and proved too good for five-time champion Venus Williams in her Wimbledon opener.

It took a 10-point shootout, but French fifth seed Caroline Garcia finally overcame Leylah Fernandez in three sets to reach the third round.

Having dropped the opening set 6-3, the Frenchwoman drew level with a 6-4 second set before winning the decider 7-6 (10-6).

Victoria Azarenka moved up to 12th in the list of most women’s singles grand slam wins in the Open Era.

Following her 6-3, 6-0 victory over Nadia Podoroska in her second-round match, Azarenka brought her total number of grand slam match wins up to 155.

Brilliant Broady

British wild card Liam Broady claimed the biggest win of his career and the biggest shock of Wimbledon 2023 when he stunned Norwegian fourth seed Casper Ruud 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 in front of a delirious Centre Court crowd.

Broady belied his 142nd ranking against a player who has reached three of the last five grand slam finals but had struggled at Wimbledon in his three previous appearances.Broady made the running to take the first set and though Ruud regrouped to take the next two, it never felt as if he was in control and the Briton was the dominant force in the fourth to take it to a decider.

Ruud looked like he had mentally packed his bags again in the fifth as Broady ripped through it, barely dropping a point, to seal a memorable win.

Stan vs Novak

Stan Wawrinka rolled back the years as the 38-year-old Swiss proved the old adage that class is permanent and form temporary by knocking out seeded Argentine Tomas Etcheverry to reach the third round. Wawrinka proved a notch above a man 15 years his junior to claim a 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 victory on a sunny Court Three.

It was the first time Wawrinka has reached third round of a grand slam in three years and his reward is a box-office duel with defending champion Novak Djokovic, the man he famously made cry after beating him in the 2015 French Open final.

Fired-up Zverev

Germany’s Alexander Zverev fired 20 aces past Dutch qualifier Gijs Brouwer to move into the second round with a hard-earned 6-4, 7-6(4), 7-6(5) win.

Andrey Rublev overcame an opening set blip to beat Aslan Karatsev 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-4, 7-5 in an all-Russian clash to claim his 50th grand slam match victory and move into the third round.

Matteo Berrettini recovered from a slow start to his rain-affected tournament opener against fellow-Italian Lorenzo Sonego to complete a 6-7(5), 6-3, 7-6(7), 6-3 victory.

Safety not a worry for Dimitrov

London: Wimbledon’s security arrangements are adequate despite two court invasions by climate activists, according to Bulgarian 21st seed Grigor Dimitrov.

Dimitrov was playing Japan’s Sho Shimabukuro when two Just Stop Oil protesters ran on armed with ticker-tape which they sprinkled over the playing surface.

Asked whether he felt more should have been done to stop the incident, which was repeated later when Britain’s Katie Boulter was playing on the same court, Dimitrov shrugged it off.

“In the end of the day there is not much you can do,” the former semi-finalist said.

Dimitrov was asked whether he was worried about his safety.

“No, no, not at all,” the 32-year-old said. “We are never left unguarded anywhere we have to go. I for one feel okay with everything on that end.”

Reuters

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