Wimbledon

Azarenka marches on as Murray, Nadal wait

2017-07-05 16:47
Victoria Azarenka (AP)

London - New mum Victoria Azarenka continued her comeback bid for Wimbledon glory on Wednesday as Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal and Venus Williams attempted to join her in the third round.

Former world number one Azarenka, playing her first Grand Slam tournament since giving birth to first child Leo in December, knocked out Russian 15th seed Elena Vesnina.

The 2012 and 2013 Australian Open champion, in her fourth match back, won 6-3, 6-3, taking her record over the Russian to 8-0 without dropping a set.

The Belarusian, 27, could become the first mother to win the Wimbledon singles since Evonne Goolagong Cawley in 1980.

"Travelling is a little stressful for me, travelling with a baby. I want to make sure that everything is okay. But overall, it's just great. It's really fun that I'm able to go home and spend time with my son," she said.

"Overall, I felt like I played really good on the important moments, which gave me opportunities to win comfortably," she said of the match.

Azarenka next faces British wildcard Heather Watson who also upset the form book. The world number 102 knocked out Latvian 18th seed Anastasija Sevastova in straight sets.

"I think Vika is an incredible player and person," Watson said of Azarenka.

"I know she has only just come back, but I expect her to be playing really well because I know she will have put in the hours and the work."

Men's defending champion Murray was due to face the unpredictable serve-volleyer Dustin Brown on Centre Court, before Nadal steps out into the 15,000-seater arena.

Nadal, the 2008 and 2010 champion, is looking to reach the third round for only the second time since he finished runner-up in 2011 when he faces fellow left-hander Donald Young of the United States.

Fresh from winning a historic 10th French Open, Nadal is looking bury memories of the 2015 second round defeat to Brown, his last appearance at the All England Club.

Seventh seed Marin Cilic, the 2014 US Open champion, is in form on grass having reached the Queen's final. The Croat faces Germany's Florian Mayer for a spot in the third round.

Spanish 18th seed Roberto Bautista Agut was the first man through to round three with a four-set victory over German qualifier Peter Gojowczyk.

He next faces either Japanese ninth seed Kei Nishikori or Ukrainian qualifier Sergiy Stakhovsky.

France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the 12th seed, made short work of Italian qualifier Simone Bolelli in the sizzling heat, winning in straight sets.

Fans shielded their faces from the sun with towels, programmes and napkins as temperatures reached 29 degrees Celsius (84 degrees Fahrenheit).

Five-time champion Williams is trying to concentrate on tennis against the backdrop of the impending legal action she faces back home in the United States over a fatal car crash.

The 37-year-old veteran, devastated by the incident, broke down in tears on Monday when talking about the crash. She faces Chinese rising star Wang Qiang on Court One.

Two-time champion Petra Kvitova, the bookmakers' favourite for the title, continues her comeback from six months out recovering from a horrific knife attack in her home with a match against Madison Brengle of the United States.

Eighth seed Dominika Cibulkova saw off Jennifer Brady of the United States in straight sets. The 2014 Australian Open finalist faces 27th seed Ana Konjuh of Croatia in round three.

In Wednesday's later matches, French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko faces Canada's Francoise Abanda, while second seed Simona Halep takes on Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil.

Wimbledon results on Wednesday, the third day of the 2017 championships at the All England Club (x denotes seeding):

Men

2nd rd

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA x12) bt Simone Bolelli (ITA) 6-1, 7-5, 6-2

Sam Querrey (USA x24) bt Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO) 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3

Gilles Muller (LUX x16) bt Luks Rosol (CZE) 7-5, 6-7 (7/9), 4-6, 6-3, 9-7

Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP x18) bt Peter Gojowczyk (GER) 6-2, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3

1st rd

Paolo Lorenzi (ITA x32) bt Horacio Zeballos (ARG) 7-6 (7/3), 4-6, 7-6 (10/8), 7-5

Women

2nd rd

Dominika Cibulkova (SVK x8) bt Jennifer Brady (USA) 6-4, 6-4

Ana Konjuh (CRO x27) bt Irina Begu (ROM) 7-6 (7/3), 2-6, 6-3

Maria Sakkari (GRE) bt Kristna Plskov (CZE) 6-7 (6/8), 6-4, 6-4

Victoria Azarenka (BLR) bt Elena Vesnina (RUS x15) 6-3, 6-3

Heather Watson (GBR) bt Anastasija Sevastova (LAT x18) 6-0, 6-4

NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Sport Talk

Vote

Novak Djokovic has 12 Grand Slam titles to his name, while Rafael Nadal boasts 15. Roger Federer is currently out in front with 18. When all is said and done, who wins more?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.