Nadal, Barty, Kvitova and Serena cruise into Wimbledon last 16

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Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova returns against Poland's Magda Linette during their women's singles third round match on the sixth day of the 2019 Wimbledon Championships on July 6, 2019. (AFP / Daniel Leal-Olivas)
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Two-time champion Petra Kvitova defeated Poland’s Magda Linette and will face either Britain’s Johanna Konta or Sloane Stephens of the US for a place in the quarter-finals. (AFP)
Updated 06 July 2019

Nadal, Barty, Kvitova and Serena cruise into Wimbledon last 16

  • Two-time champion Petra Kvitova also reached the last 16, the first time in five years
  • Barty overwhelmed British wild card Harriet Dart, while Williams easily dispensed with German Julia Goerges

WIMBLEDON, England: Two-time Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal had a much more enjoyable experience on Saturday than his previous match as he eased into the last 16 with a 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 romp over French veteran Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

The ease with which Nadal made the fourth round for the ninth time was replicated on the women’s side by Ashleigh Barty — who will be breaking new ground in appearing in the last 16 for the first time — and Serena Williams.

Nadal, who embraced Tsonga fondly at the end in stark contrast to the chilly handshake he had with fiery Australian Nick Kyrgios in the previous round, said he was delighted with the manner of his victory describing every match as a battle.

“I was very happy,” said Nadal. “I played a great match from the beginning to the end. “Jo is one of those players you don’t want to face early but today was my day.”

His great rival eight-time champion Roger Federer followed him onto Center Court to play another Frenchman, Australian Open semifinalist Lucas Pouille.

Federer and Nadal’s one-time fellow member of the big four Andy Murray’s hopes of men’s doubles glory ended early as he and French partner Pierre-Hugues Herbert went out in the second round.

 

Blockbuster quarter-final

On the women’s side Barty and Williams could meet in a blockbuster quarter-final if they win their last 16 matches on ‘Manic Monday’.

Two of the top 10 seeds did bow out, Dutch fourth seed Kiki Bertens and American ninth seed Sloane Stephens losing to Czech Republic’s Barbora Strycova and Britain’s French Open semifinalist Johanna Konta respectively.

Two-time champion Petra Kvitova also reached the last 16, the first time in five years, on Saturday.

Czech sixth seed Kvitova defeated Poland’s Magda Linette 6-3, 6-2 and will face either Britain’s Johanna Konta or Sloane Stephens of the United States for a place in the quarter-finals.

Kvitova last made the last 16 in 2014 when she won her second title having also been champion in 2011.

While Barty will be in new territory playing singles in the second week for the first time, for Williams it is the 16th time.

Barty overwhelmed British wild card Harriet Dart 6-1, 6-1 while 37-year-old, seven-time champion Williams produced her most convincing display in dispensing with German Julia Goerges 6-3, 6-4.

Barty, bidding to become the first Australian Wimbledon women’s champion since Evonne Goolagong Cawley won her second title in 1980, will play unseeded American Alison Riske for a place in the last eight.

She is also the first Australian woman to make the second week since 2010. “That was really good,” said Barty. “I served really well and getting out of the love 40 game was massive.

“Incredible it is a first for me (to be in the last 16), new territory for me.” Williams goes on to face Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro for a place in the quarter-finals. Eleventh seed Williams, who defeated Goerges in last year’s semifinals, is bidding to equal Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 Grand Slam titles. “It’s been an arduous year for me, so every match I’m hoping to improve tons,” said Williams, who had a knee problem which affected her season.

“Every time I get out there, I try. I’m getting a really late start but all that matters is that I’m still here.”

Mixed doubles rarely gets center stage but British fans will wait till the bitter end as former world number one Murray will partner Williams against Andreas Mies of Germany and Chile’s Alexa Guarachi.

“I wanted to play mixed because I’ve only played just about 15 matches so far this year,” said Serena.

“It’s such a buzz going around about me and Andy now, that I’ve got nervous. “I’m ready and excited but I’m definitely nervous.”


VAR denies Manchester City again in latest wild Premier League match with Tottenham

Updated 17 August 2019

VAR denies Manchester City again in latest wild Premier League match with Tottenham

  • Gabriel Jesus thought he scored the winner in the second minute of injury time
  • VAR — new to the league this season — ruled the ball reached Jesus off the arm of Aymeric Laporte

LONDON: Four months later, Manchester City was denied another crucial late goal against Tottenham by an intervention from the video assistant referee.
Gabriel Jesus thought he scored the winner in the second minute of injury time in a wild English Premier League match at Etihad Stadium on Saturday when he curled home a finish after the ball landed at his feet following a corner. The Brazil striker waved and danced in front of City’s jubilant fans, unaware the on-field referee had been told the goal was under review.
VAR — new to the league this season — ruled the ball reached Jesus off the arm of Aymeric Laporte as the City defender stretched to head it. Newly implemented rules say a foul should be awarded if a goal is scored from an accidental handball.
The goal was disallowed, much to the anger of Jesus and City’s frustrated fans, and the match finished 2-2. The final whistle was greeted with loud boos inside the stadium as the English champions dropped points in the second match of their title defense.
Back in April, almost the exact same thing happened to City when Spurs visited for a Champions League match. On that occasion, Raheem Sterling had a goal disallowed for offside by VAR in the third minute of injury time, denying City a place in the semifinals.
City manager Pep Guardiola didn’t drop to his knees and look as crestfallen like he did in April. Instead he engaged in conversation with Tottenham counterpart Mauricio Pochettino in the technical area as confusion reigned around him.
“I thought we left that situation against Tottenham in the Champions League last season. But it is the same,” Guardiola said. “The referee and VAR disallow it. It’s the second time, it’s tough. It’s honestly tough.”
Guardiola will wonder how his team didn’t win.
Twice taking the lead in the first half, through Sterling and then Sergio Aguero, City was twice pegged back by Tottenham, first by Erik Lamela and then by Lucas Moura 14 seconds after he entered the field as a substitute.
The diminutive Brazil winger ran straight toward the penalty area to line up for his team’s corner and rose highest — somewhat improbably — to send a glancing header looping into the net in the 56th.
Aguero was substituted soon after that goal and exchanged some strong words on the sideline with Guardiola as he sat down. The pair was seen embracing near the end of the match, however, suggesting they patched up their differences.
The result leaves City two points behind Liverpool, the team expected again to be its biggest rival for the title.
Liverpool beat Southampton 2-1 earlier.
ADRIAN’S CRAZY WEEK
In the space of nine days, Spanish goalkeeper Adrian has made his Liverpool debut as an injury substitute, saved the decisive penalty to win the club the UEFA Super Cup, got injured by a pitch-invading fan, and made an embarrassing error in a Premier League game.
To say it has been a roller-coaster start to life at Anfield would be an understatement.
Adrian, an offseason signing filling in for the injured Alisson Becker, was a doubt for Liverpool’s match at Southampton after a fan slid into the goalkeeper’s ankle while the team celebrated his crucial penalty stop in a shootout win over Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup on Wednesday. He was declared fit on the morning of the match and made some good saves before Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino put Liverpool 2-0 up at St. Mary’s.
Adrian ensured there was a nervy finish when he kicked a clearance straight at Southampton striker Danny Ings and saw the ball rebound into the net in the 83rd.
Liverpool hung on, though, for a second straight win after beating Norwich.
PUKKI PEAKING
Teemu Pukki scored a division-high 29 goals to proper Norwich to the second-tier League Championship title last season.
He cannot stop scoring in the Premier League, either.
After his consolation goal at Anfield on the opening weekend, the Finland striker added another three in dismantling sorry Newcastle as top-flight soccer returned to Carrow Road.
“The guys are creating chances — I could have scored more,” Pukki said.
Newcastle has lost both of its opening games under new manager Steve Bruce.
AUBAMEYANG AGAIN
Another striker to have started the season strongly is Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who has grabbed winning goals in each of Arsenal’s first two games.
A week after scoring the only goal at Newcastle, Aubameyang led Arsenal to a 2-1 win over Burnley with a shot inside the near post from the edge of the area. He was tied as the top scorer last season with Liverpool attackers Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.
The standout player for Arsenal, though, was Dani Ceballos, who is on a season-long loan from Real Madrid. He set up both goals — the first was scored by Alexandre Lacazette — and showed the touch and vision Arsenal has been missing since the departure of another Spanish playmaker, Santi Cazorla.
WINS FOR EVERTON, BOURNEMOUTH
Everton and Bournemouth got their first wins after opening the season with draws.
Brazilian winger Bernard scored in the first half to secure a 1-0 victory for Everton against Watford, while Bournemouth built on a second-minute penalty from Josh King and beat Aston Villa 2-1.
Jack Grealish, the Villa captain, has lost a record 20 straight Premier League games, stretching back to when the team was last in the top flight in 2015-16.
Brighton and West Ham drew 1-1 in the other match.