Reem's Wimbledon diary: Maria keeping it short & sweet

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Sport360's Reem Abulleil is stationed at Wimbledon throughout the tournament and each day will be providing an alternative outlook on the happenings at SW19.

Keeping it short and sweet

Maria Sharapova is one smart businesswoman. There is a reason why she is the highest earning female athlete in the world and it’s because the Russian simply gets it.

She knows how to capitalise on her opportunities, and she’s even managed to turn candy into a successful business, despite it being an unhealthy food option for athletes.

Asked about her candy line, Sugarpova, in press the other day, and how it has received some criticism given it’s not the “kind of food for athletes”, Sharapova was ready with the following response.

“Criticism but great sales afterwards. It’s kind of like the best day after the criticisms. If you want to provide some more,” Sharapova told the reporter, before suggesting to him: “You can smile more often, by the way.” Perhaps a bag of her candy would do the trick? 

The Russian’s boyfriend, Grigor Dimitrov, is in action in the quarters today and you’d expect Sharapova to make an appearance for it since she’s now out of the tournament but she is yet to confirm if she will be there to support him.

No time to mingle

Swiss duo Stan Wawrinka and Roger Federer both earned victories on Tuesday to set up a quarter-final against one another.

We all know the pair are good friends but if you’re wondering if they’ve been watching Switzerland’s World Cup matches together, the answer is no.

While it was nice to imagine Stan and Fed chilling on a couch together watching Switzerland play Argentina the night before they face off at Wimbledon, Wawrinka burst that bubble and revealed they been doing their own thing.

Friendly advice

Sir Alex Ferguson came to Wimbledon the other day and Andy Murray revealed they stay in touch throughout the year and that he even welcomes some advice from the great football coach.

“We talked about my match today, spoke about football, World Cup a little bit. Then, yeah, he just said a few things, what he’s observed when he’s been watching me, not necessarily about technical or tactical things, but more sort of mental things, how you respond to tough or tight situations,” said Murray.

“Obviously you’re going to listen to someone like him. He’s witnessed a lot of big sporting occasions. He knows his stuff.”

TODAY'S HIGHLIGHTS

Halep (3) vs Lisicki (19)

Halep, who has reached the quarter-finals at all three Grand Slams this year, is the only player among the top four seeds left in the draw. She will fancy her chances against Lisicki, who took an injury timeout in her match against Yaroslava Shvedova and was treated by a trainer on her right shoulder.

Sport360° Verdict: Halep in three.

Wawrinka (5) vs Federer (4)

It’s an all-Switzerland quarter-final clash with both players coming into the match on the back of straight sets wins. However, Wawrinka didn’t find the going too easy against Feliciano Lopez and given that he has a poor record against his compatriot, Federer will go into the match as the favourite.

Sport360° Verdict: Federer in four.

Raonic (8) vs Kyrgios

This promise to be an enthralling encounter. While Raonic is on a high after becoming the second Canadian to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals in the Open era, Kyrgios is on cloud nine after defeating Rafael Nadal. However, one gets a feeling Raonic will be doubly prepared for the clash and won’t give an inch.

Sport360° Verdict: Raonic in five.

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Sharapova kicked to the Wimbledon Kerb in fourth round

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Disappointment: Maria Sharapova has crashed out of Wimbledon to Kerber.

Maria Sharapova has failed to make the Wimbledon quarter-finals for a seventh time in eight years after the former champion fell to German No5 seed Angelique Kerber 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-4 in the fourth round.

A winner at Roland Garros less than a month ago, Sharapova saved six match points but after hitting a perfect lob, struck an inexcusable forehand in the net to offer Kerber on the seventh.

And this time, the Russian sent a backhand long to surrender to the German, who moved into her sec­ond Wimbledon quarter-final and the third one in any major.

Sharapova had broken Kerber as she was serving for the match at 5-3 but was unable to capitalise on the lifeline she got.

“I gave myself a chance to come back in the match after losing the first set. After a slow start to the third, I felt like I worked too hard to let it go the easy way,” said Sharapova.

“I did everything I could in the end to try to save those (match points), but I didn’t save the last one.”

Kerber won just six more points than Sharapova, who com­mitted 49 unforced errors. The No9 seed, a semi-finalist at Wimbledon in 2012, next faces Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard in the last eight.

Petra Kvitova, the 2011 Wimble­don winner, is the last remaining former grand slam champion in the draw after the Czech overcame her compatriot Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 6-2, 7-5 in the quarter-finals yesterday.

Kvitova will be part of an all- Czech all-lefty semi-final after Lucie Safarova swept past Ekateri­na Makarova 6-3, 6-1.

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Kyrgios stuns Nadal to reach Wimbledon quarter-finals

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Major upset: Nick Kyrgios was sensational in defeating Rafael Nadal.

What do you do when you’re 19 years old, ranked No144, playing just your second grand slam and you’ve just beaten the world No1?

Nick Kyrgios certainly didn’t know. He turned around to face his family after pulling off the mother of all upsets, in disbelief over his stunning victory over Rafael Nadal in the last 16 stage at Wimbledon.

“I didn’t really know what to do. Fall to the ground, drop the racquet?” the Australian teenager said moments after his victory.

“It still hasn't sunk in yet. I was just overwhelmed with every feeling out there. I turned to my whole box, just shared that moment with them.”

He ended up doing a dance which he calls the “Juicy Wiggle” and it’s a moment he will undoubtedly remember for the rest of his life.

Playing just his second career grand slam main draw, Kyrgios struck 70 winners en route to a 7-6 (5), 5-7, 7-6 (5), 6-3 over two-time Wimbledon champion Nadal, to become the first player ranked outside the top-100 to defeat a world No1 at a Grand Slam since No193 Andrei Olhovskiy defeated Jim Courier at Wimbledon in 1992.

He’s also the first player in 10 years to reach the men’s quarter-finals on his Wimbledon debut and the lowest-ranked player to every defeat Nadal at a major.

“That's the biggest win of my career and that's something I'm never going to forget,” said Kyrgios. 

“I'm going to draw so much confidence out of that no matter where I play now. To have that under my belt – it's massive.”

Kyrgios was shockingly confident and aggressive from the get-go, showing zero signs of the huge gulf in experience and ranking between him and Nadal.

He had said before the match that he had nothing to lose and the young Aussie certainly played like it, blasting huge serves and giving Nadal no chances to break throughout the entire first set, which he took in a tiebreak.

The Canberra native made sure he took in his first experience on Wimbledon Centre Court and he got the crowd roaring when he hit a between-the-legs winner in the seventh game of the second set.

Kyrgios was so clinical, that it took him one hour and 32 minutes before he dropped his first point on his first serve. He was 37 out of 37 on first serve points until the 12th game of the second set, which is where Nadal got his first and only break of the match to make it one-set-all.

Nadal had dropped his opening set in each of his first three rounds at Wimbledon and a similar scenario was expected after her drew level but Kyrgios never slowed down, and even though his first serve percentage went down, he was still hitting aces and massive sharp-angled groundstrokes.

Kyrgios once again capitalised on a tiny window in the third set tiebreak to take a two sets to one lead and he finally earned a service break in the fourth game of the fourth, sending Nadal wide outside the court with a backhand, which the Spaniard was unable to return.

Kyrgios sealed the upset with an ace, his 37th of the day, on his first match point to send Nadal packing.

Nadal hit 41 winners and a mere 18 unforced errors throughout the match and admits his level was not bad.

“That's the sport in this surface. I felt in a way I am even not angry today because I feel that I lost the match losing only one time my serve during the whole match. I created my opportunities. But I was not able to read his serve during the whole match,” said the Mallorcan.

“I am satisfied the way that I played this Wimbledon. Is true that my draw was not the best one. All the matches were uncomfortable against players that didn't give you the opportunity to play a lot.

“I fought until the end in every single match. I was able to play some good tennis on this surface. That's something that I was not able to do in the last two years.”

Kyrgios will have to keep his emotions in check as he has to get back on court today to face No8 seed Milos Raonic – a 4-6, 6-1, 7-6(4), 6-3  winner over Kei Nishikori – for a spot in the semi-finals.

Earlier in the day Swiss duo Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka each earned a straight sets victory to set up a quarter-final against one another today.

Federer breezed past Spaniard Tommy Robredo 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 while Wawrinka brought his best serving game to overcome Feliciano Lopez 7-6(5), 7-6(7), 6-3. Wawrinka will be playing for a third consecutive day after rain messed up his schedule but the world No3 says he’s up for the challenge.

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