Reem's Wimbledon diary: Elena Vesnina and #TheLendlEffect

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Could Ivan Lendl's magic rub off on us all?

Elena Vesnina joked that her surprise run to her first grand slam singles semi-final is due to #TheLendlEffect, a hashtag her mixed doubles partner Bruno Soares coined a few weeks ago on Twitter.

Ivan Lendl reunited with Andy Murray before the Queen’s tournament last month which led to the Scot winning a record fifth title there.

Soares, who plays doubles with Andy’s brother, Jamie, later took to Twitter, starting this exchange with Vesnina.

It is three weeks later and Vesnina finds herself in the Wimbledon semi-finals and ready to take on Serena Williams. She laughed when I reminded her of #TheLendlEffect.

“You see, I have it now. I need to speak about that with Bruno. That’s true actually. Good that you mentioned that. That’s definitely the Lendl effect,” she chuckled.

Explaining The Lendl Effect to the rest of the room, the Russian added: “That was Bruno Soares, my mixed doubles partner, he tweeted three weeks ago at the Queen’s tournament… there is a hashtag – Lendl effect – because he’s playing with Jamie Murray, who is brother of Andy Murray, who won Queen’s. They won, as well. They were winning some tournaments. There’s definitely a Lendl effect.

“I tweet them back ‘I’m your partner in mixed doubles, I’m your partner as well’. He said ‘you will see, you will get it’.

“I am in semi-final of Wimbledon. There is something in it.”

I passed Lendl in the hallway the other day, surely The Lendl Effect will reach me somehow, right?

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Wimbledon highlights: Williams sisters roll back the years

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Women’s quarter-finals day at Wimbledon saw success for Serena and Venus Williams as well as Angelique Kerber and Elena Vesnina.

Top seed Serena beat 21st seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia 6-4, 6-4 to reach the last four while Venus beat Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan 7-6(5), 6-2 to advance.

Angelique Kerber gained a narrow win over Romania’s Simona Halep in a 7-5, 7-6(2) encounter to book a semi-final match with Venus Williams.

Meanwhile, Elena Vesnina will face Serena Williams in the last four after skipping past Dominika Cibulkova 6-2, 6-2.


Tomas Berdych, the 10th seed, beat fellow Czech Jiri Vesely 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(8), 6-7(9), 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals.










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Cilic relieved not to be playing Djokovic ahead of quarter-finals with Federer

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Federer and Cilic face off in the quarter-finals

In Roger Federer’s own words, the last time he faced Marin Cilic, the Croat “blew him off the court”.

It was in the US Open semi-finals in 2014 and Cilic stunned Federer in straight sets en route to winning the title – his first and only grand slam to date.

It remains Cilic’s sole victory over the Swiss, who had won their first five meetings against one another.

Wednesday marks the first time Federer will face Cilic since that surprise US Open semi-final and the world No3 says he knows what he’s getting into.

They practiced together at Wimbledon before the tournament and Federer noted the No9 seed is firing on all cylinders.

Looking back at that US Open semi-final, Federer said: “Everything he touched went in. I don’t know. It was all right, here is a chance, boom. Maybe here is another chance, boom. That’s kind of how it was for three straight sets. I didn’t play poorly in any way. It was just all on his racquet. It was very seldom that I was blown off the court like that.”

“He’s really tough to play. He’s really improved his serve in the last few years, especially since the US Open,” added Federer, who is bidding for an 84th Wimbledon match win that would see him equal Jimmy Connors’ record of most victories here.

“I think the weather’s also getting a bit warmer, so the conditions are faster, rather than playing indoors, which might help him, too.”

“But I’m happy about my game as well, that I’ve been able to rise now to the occasion and play a really good match against (Steve) Johnson (in the fourth round).”

“I think it was by far my best match. I’m confident also going to the Cilic match.”

Stefan Edberg, Federer’s former coach, was seen in the No3 seed’s box during his match with Johnson but he was not there in an official capacity, simply offering his support. The Swedish legend will also be in attendance today, alongside Federer’s coaches Severin Luthi and Ivan Ljubicic.

Cilic, who is in the Wimbledon quarter-finals for a third consecutive year, also has a real asset in his box – his coach Goran Ivanisevic, who won the title here at the All England Club in 2001.

The dynamic duo have a great relationship and have experienced tremendous success together so far.

“Definitely since I’m working with Goran, we made three quarters in a row, which I have never done before. Definitely, just a sign that we are working well,” said Cilic.

“This year I feel that I’m playing the best out of all these years in the past, and it’s another good, positive sign.”

Cilic lost to Novak Djokovic in the two quarter-finals he has reached at Wimbledon and the 27-year-old is certainly glad the Serb is no longer a potential opponent this fortnight, following his shock exit at the hands of Sam Querrey in the third round.

“It’s still too early but I’m more relieved definitely to see that I’m not playing Novak, yeah. A bit easier,” says Cilic.

One of three grand slam champions still alive in the draw, Cilic is without a doubt flying under the radar, with far less attention directed his way compared to Federer or Andy Murray.

Does that help him in a way?

“Yes and no,” he said with a smile. “If you’re playing well, it helps. If you’re not playing well, it doesn’t help.

“Obviously the guys at the top are gonna be more on stage and that’s obvious because of the obvious reasons. For me I have had a little bit ups and downs in these last 12 to 18 months. I have to just get back to the position where I am playing great tennis and keep that for a longer period of time.”

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