WIMBLEDON WATCH: Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Serena Williams win, men’s final will not move for World Cup showdown

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Serena Williams reacts during her fourth round match against Russia's Evgeniya Rodina . (REUTERS/Toby Melville)
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Switzerland's Roger Federer celebrates after beating France's Adrian Mannarino 6-0, 7-5, 6-4 in their men's singles fourth round match. (AFP/Oli SCARFF)
Updated 09 July 2018

WIMBLEDON WATCH: Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Serena Williams win, men’s final will not move for World Cup showdown

  • Nadal, the 2008 and 2010 champion, will face either Juan Martin del Potro, the fifth seed from Argentina, or unseeded Gilles Simon of France
  • Williams is looking for her eighth Wimbledon title and has established herself as the big favorite once again

LONDON: World number one Rafael Nadal reached his first Wimbledon quarter-final since 2011 with a 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 win over Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic on Monday.
Nadal, the 2008 and 2010 champion, will face either Juan Martin del Potro, the fifth seed from Argentina, or unseeded Gilles Simon of France for a place in the semifinals.
It will be 32-year-old Nadal’s 35th appearance in a Grand Slam quarter-final as he continues his bid to win an 18th major title.
Elsewhere, Roger Federer advanced to a record-extending 16th Wimbledon quarterfinal with a 6-0, 7-5, 6-4 victory over Adrian Mannarino of France.
The eight-time champion earned his latest win with maximum efficiency on Center Court, particularly during a 16-minute first set, where the top-seeded Federer lost just five points.
The 22nd-seeded Mannarino became the first man to earn a break point against Federer at the tournament, but was unable to take any of his four opportunities.
Federer has now won 32 consecutive sets at Wimbledon to move within one straight-sets victory of breaking his previous longest streak at the All England Club, when he won 34 in a row between the third round in 2005 and the final in 2006.
On the women’s side of the draw, Serena Williams is back in the Wimbledon quarterfinals for the 13th time after beating Russian qualifier Evgeniya Rodina 6-4, 6-2.
In a matchup of the only two mothers remaining in the draw, Williams jumped into a 3-0 lead in both sets and wrapped up the win in 62 minutes.
“It was tougher than the scoreline,” Williams said. “I knew we were both moms, and I’m not sure how often that’s happened, if ever. So it’s really cool. You can be a mom, you can still play tennis and you can still be great.”
Rodina, who upset 10th-seeded Madison Keys in the previous round, broke back for 3-2 in the second set but was broken to love straight away.
Williams is looking for her eighth Wimbledon title and has established herself as the big favorite once again, with the top-10 seeds all eliminated. She is seeded 25th after missing last year’s tournament while pregnant.
Meanwhile, Wimbledon chiefs insisted again on Monday that the men’s final will start at its traditional time despite it clashing with a potential England FIFA World Cup triumph.
The All England Club has come under increasing pressure to rethink its 2pm (1300GMT) start time for Sunday’s men’s singles final with the football showpiece in Moscow kicking off at 4pm in the UK (1500GMT).
Should England defeat Croatia in Wednesday’s semifinal then the national team will feature in a World Cup final for the first time since lifting the trophy in 1966.
“It is purely our decision to stay at 2pm. It will stay this year, it will stay next year,” said All England Club chief executive Richard Lewis.
Defending champion Roger Federer, who is more than likely to be playing in Sunday’s final, even joked that maybe the World Cup final should move to accommodate the Wimbledon title match.
“I’m more concerned the World Cup final will have issues because the Wimbledon final is going on,” said the eight-time champion after seeing off France’s Adrian Mannarino in straight sets on Monday.
“They’ll hear every point, Wow, Love-15, 15-30. The players (at the World Cup) are going to look up in the crowd and not understand what’s going on at Wimbledon.
“That’s how important Wimbledon is to me and to us over here.”


NBA playoff picture comes into a bit more focus

Updated 08 August 2020

NBA playoff picture comes into a bit more focus

  • Orlando and Washington are last two teams contending for one spot in the East
  • The race for the last unclaimed playoff spot in the Western Conference remains close

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Florida: The NBA playoff picture is getting a little clearer.
Brooklyn secured one of the last two playoff spots in the Eastern Conference on Friday, defeating Sacramento 119-106. That leaves Orlando and Washington as the last two teams contending for one spot in the East, with the Magic needing only one more win or one Wizards loss to clinch.
Orlando and Washington were both playing later Friday.
For the Nets, the clinching comes as something to savor in a topsy-turvy season.
Kevin Durant couldn’t play at all because of his recovery from Achilles surgery — yet still got a $1 million contract bonus because Brooklyn made the postseason. Kyrie Irving missed much of the year because of injury, the Nets had several regulars opt out of participating in the restart, changed coaches in March and have used 24 players so far this season.
“It’s great to punch our own ticket into the playoffs,” Nets coach Jacque Vaughn said. “I joked with the guys: I like my laundry being done, but nothing like doing your own laundry.”
The race for the last unclaimed playoff spot in the Western Conference remains close, with teams vying to grab the No. 8 spot and play the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round. If the eighth- and ninth-place teams are within four games of one another when the seeding game schedule ends next week, there will be a two-game series to determine who gets the last playoff spot.
Should that series take place, the ninth-place team would have to go 2-0 in a best-of-two series to advance.
Memphis remained alone in eighth, after the Grizzlies snapped a four-game bubble losing streak by beating Oklahoma City on Friday 121-92. The Grizzlies are one game ahead of Portland in the West standings.
“We channeled what we’ve done all season long,” Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins said. “We played Grizzlies basketball. Grizzlies basketball equals Grizzlies wins, more often than not. We hadn’t done that in the first four games.”
San Antonio leaped idle Phoenix into 10th in the West by beating Utah 119-111, with the Spurs improving to 3-2 in the bubble. The Spurs (30-38) are one game behind Portland in the standings.
“At the end of the day, we can’t control what they’re doing,” Spurs center Jakob Poeltl said. “We can only control what we’re doing. We’re going to take every game as it comes. We’re going to try to win every game.”
Phoenix, Sacramento and New Orleans remain in the mix for a play-in series spot. The Suns, who are 4-0 at Disney, play Miami on Saturday.