Wimbledon PIX: Kvitova survives, Kyrgios serves masterclass

IMAGES from Day 4 of the Wimbledon Champions at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, on Thursday 

Twice former champion Petra Kvitova overcame a second-set wobble to reach the Wimbledon third round with a 6-1, 7-6 (5) defeat of Romanian Ana Bogdan on Thursday.

The big-hitting Czech, seeded 25th, was cruising at 6-1, 5-1 but Bogdan staged a remarkable comeback.

Kvitova had a match point when serving at 5-4 but was broken for the second time in a row as Bogdan levelled.

Bogdan then had two set points as Kvitova served at 5-6, one saved with an ace, the other with a forehand winner.

A relieved Kvitova finally got the job done in the tiebreak when Bogdan’s backhand found the net under pressure.

Kvitova, champion at Wimbledon in 2011 and 2014, will now play Spain’s fourth seed Paula Badosa who enjoyed a comfortable 6-3, 6-2 win over Irina Bara, also of Romania.

Since winning her second title, Kvitova has only managed to reach the Wimbledon fourth round on one occasion but is in good form after winning the Eastbourne grasscourt title last week.

Kyrgios serves up masterclass to blow away Krajinovic

Australian Nick Kyrgios delivered a devastating serving masterclass at Wimbledon as he blasted past Serbia’s Filip Krajinovic 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 in 85 minutes on Thursday to charge into the third round almost without breaking sweat.

There were none of the chuntering umpire complaints or run-ins with fans that were a feature of his first-round match — Kyrgios barely had time — as he pounded down 24 aces, with only one double fault overall. He took the first set without dropping a point before many fans had even taken their seats.

Krajinovic, ranked 31st but seen as a dangerous floater on grass after reaching the Queen’s Club final earlier this month, could do nothing in the face of the barrage as Kyrgios did not let up from start to finish.

In all he dropped just nine points on serve and smoothly mixed up power and finesse to hit 50 winners – a stark contrast to his five-set struggle to overcome British wild card Paul Jubb in the first round.

“I think just getting over the line in that first round was massive,” Kyrgios said.

“I’ve been playing some really good tennis in the last month so I was really surprised the way I played the other day. But I was in my zone today, great body language.

“It’s nice to remind everyone that I’m pretty good,” he added, raising a laugh from the fans on Number Two Court.

“I’ve been preparing for this tournament, it’s been circled on my calendar pretty much all year and I’m so excited to be here again. It’s genuinely a tournament I think is my best chance to win a Grand Slam, but I’ll take it match-by-match.

“Obviously I’ve got an incredibly tough draw but today I couldn’t play better and now I can just recover and get ready.”

Kyrgios, who has reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals only once, on his debut in 2014, is likely to face fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in the next round, with a potential semi-final against Rafael Nadal on the distant horizon.

Don’t look away, superman Fritz is in town

American Taylor Fritz said he pulled off the shot of his life to win the second set against Britain’s Alastair Gray on the way to a 6-3, 7-6 (3), 6-3 second-round Wimbledon win on Thursday.

Gray appeared to have saved a set point in the tiebreak with an angled volley and had turned away, fist-pumping, only for Fritz to launch himself across the Court 12 turf.

The 11th seeded Fritz managed to scoop the ball up and play it into the open court with Gray paying the price for his premature celebrations.

Fritz dominated thereafter and the 24-year-old moved through to play Slovakian Alex Molcan when victory would put him into the fourth round at Wimbledon for the first time.

Asked about his superman-style shot, Fritz said it ranked as the best he had ever hit.

“It was the first thing I looked at when I got off the court,” he told reporters.

“That was insane. I mean, it was a huge point. He hit a good volley crosscourt.

“I don’t know. I just thought, it bounced up a bit and I heard the crowd cheering like the point was over, but I thought if I fully lay out for this one, I’m pretty long, I feel if I just dive at this one, maybe I can get a racket on it.

“It felt really good. That’s got to be number one because especially just the moment, as well, it’s a huge set point.”

Fritz has never been to the last 16 of any Grand Slam but now has a golden opportunity against the unseeded Molcan.

He said 37-year-old John Isner’s win over twice champion Andy Murray on Wednesday was inspiring him and the other Americans and believes the tennis superpower is in good shape, even if there are no obvious candidates to win a Slam.

“It’s definitely just improving, improving our games. Becoming, you know, stronger, better players than we all are,” he said.

“We are all good inside the top 40, top 30, and any given week we can go really deep in the tournament, but to beat the best players in the world, it’s just going to take a little bit more,” Fritz added.

“We have a lot of depth and everyone is on the younger side. There’s still a lot of time for improvement. If I can kind of keep improving at this rate, then I’ll get there.

“The same goes for everybody else.”

As well as Fritz and Isner, Tommy Paul, Steve Johnson and Frances Tiafoe are also in the third round and that number is likely to grow later on Thursday.

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