Novak Djokovic reaches third round at Wimbledon in straight sets

Serbia's Novak Djokovic in action during his second round match against Denis Kudla of the US at Wimbledon. (Reuters)
Updated 03 July 2019

Novak Djokovic reaches third round at Wimbledon in straight sets

  • Djokovic will next face Hubert Hurkacz on Friday
  • Despite the straightforward score, however, Djokovic was short of perfection

WIMBLEDON, London: Novak Djokovic can make tennis look easy, and he can make opponents look bad.
The defending champion did a bit of both on Center Court at Wimbledon on Wednesday, beating Denis Kudla of the United States 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 in the second round.
Despite the straightforward score, however, Djokovic was short of perfection as he moves toward a fifth title at the All England Club. His serve was broken twice, once in each of the first two sets.
“There were some moments in the match where maybe I could have done better,” the top-seeded Serb said. “Dropped a couple of times my serve.”
The service hiccups didn’t really matter, though, because Djokovic made up for it by breaking Kudla multiple times in each set — seven in total.
Djokovic will next face Hubert Hurkacz on Friday, and then could face 18-year-old Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime on Monday if they both reach the fourth round. Auger-Aliassime, who on Monday became the first male player born in the 2000s to win a Grand Slam match, defeated Corentin Moutet of France 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.
In a Wimbledon tournament filled with upsets, Reilly Opelka pulled off another one earlier Wednesday.
The 6-foot-11 (2.11-meter) American with the big serve defeated three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka 7-5, 3-6, 4-6, 6-4, 8-6 on No. 2 Court.
“At first I had a lot of success serving and volleying, so I kept with that,” Opelka said. “And then as he kind of picked up on what I was doing and started reading my serve a little bit, it was more difficult for me to win points at the net. So I had to play, played a lot of tennis on the baseline today.”
Opelka is making his debut at Wimbledon, and playing in only his fourth Grand Slam tournament. He had never before reached the third round at any major. Wawrinka, who has won each of the other three major titles but has never been past the quarterfinals at the All England Club, also lost in the second round at Wimbledon last year.
On Monday, both No. 6 Alexander Zverev and No. 7 Stefanos Tsitsipas were eliminated. No. 5 Dominic Thiem, a French Open finalist the past two years, followed them out of the tournament on Tuesday.
The 21-year-old Opelka, who is unseeded, finished the match against Wawrinka with 23 aces, with several serves topping 140 mph. One, at 142 mph, tied with Zverev for the fastest of the tournament so far.
“I had some chance,” Wawrinka said. “I start a little bit slow. I was a bit hesitating, not really moving well enough. ... At the end he went for it. He went bigger than me and he deserved to win.”
Opelka will next face 2016 Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic in the third round on Friday. The 15th-seeded Canadian beat Robin Haase 7-6 (1), 7-5, 7-6 (4).
Two-time major champion Victoria Azarenka, third-seeded Karolina Pliskova and eighth-seeded Elina Svitolina all advanced in the women’s draw, but only two of them had an easy time getting to the third round.
Azarenka, who won the Australian Open title in 2012 and 2013, beat Ajla Tomljanovic 6-2, 6-0, while Pliskova defeated Olympic gold medalist Monica Puig 6-0, 6-4.
Svitolina, on the other hand, was two points from losing to Margarita Gasparyan in the second set but eventually won when her opponent retired with an injury at 5-7, 6-5.
Gasparyan was serving at 5-5, 0-15 in the second set when she was injured. She clutched her right thigh after a serve and eventually dropped to the court, lying along the baseline. A trainer attended to Gasparyan, and Svitolina came over to check on her opponent, bringing her a bottle of water.
“I know when there is cramps you need to drink lots of water. Your muscles are contracting. So it’s important just to drink lots of fluids,” Svitolina said. “So that’s why I gave her some water, because no one really did anything. I mean, we were trying to help, but, yeah, it’s tough to react straightaway.”
When play resumed, Svitolina broke to lead 6-5 and served for the second set, but Gasparyan retired from the match while trailing 40-15 in that game.
Former No. 1 Simona Halep also advanced, beating Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-3, 4-6, 6-2.
Later, American teenager Coco Gauff was playing Magdalena Rybarikova on No. 1 Court at the All England Club.
The 15-year-old American’s second-round match was moved to No. 1 Court, a stadium with a roof and lights, because last year’s runner-up Kevin Anderson didn’t complete his victory over Janko Tipsarevic on No. 2 Court until almost 8 p.m.
Gauff beat five-time champion Venus Williams in the first round.


Saudi Professional League broadcasts live on Twitter

Updated 12 November 2019

Saudi Professional League broadcasts live on Twitter

  • Video watching of the league’s events and news has generated more than 115 million views

RIYADH: Saudi sports channels, exclusive carriers of the Saudi Professional League 2019/2020, have started broadcasting all league matches on Twitter.

The broadcast via the Twitter platform (@riyadiyatv) will be free and include studio analysis for each match and other relevant information to give viewers the chance to follow the games, including on their smartphones.

The move between the Saudi sports channels and Twitter offers fans the chance to watch Saudi league matches and pursue their passion for sport through mobile applications and smart programs on social media platforms.

The growing public interest in the Saudi Professional League is clear. Video watching of the league’s events and news has generated more than 115 million views and recorded more than 360 million hits on the accounts of Saudi sports channels on Twitter during the first two months of the league.

Sports content is one of the most popular items on Twitter, as evidenced by several surveys about the Kingdom conducted by Toluna, which specializes in consumer insight surveys and analysis.

The most-watched videos on football include highlights of the matches (88 percent), commentary and technical analysis (43 percent). The study also found that (72 percent) of Twitter users in the Kingdom consider the platform one of the main sources of access to online video content.

Twitter will create customized pages in Arabic and English for watching the main matches of the league. Live events will be transmitted directly to sports fans through videos and “Moments,” a collection of tweets, by accessing the page through the “explore” section or at the top of the timeline or by using the “search” feature. Twitter created the first page dedicated to watching the Al-Hilal-Al Nasr derby, held last Sunday at the King Saud University stadium.

Zeinab Abu Alsamh, CEO of commercial and marketing affairs at the Saudi Broadcasting Authority, said that Saudi Arabia was one of the leading countries using the Twitter platform. 

“This important step with the global Twitter platform in broadcasting the matches of the Saudi league will make us reach a wide segment of our followers everywhere in the world, in order to ensure the access of media content to all spectrums of viewers through the widespread Twitter platform,” she said.

Kinda Ibrahim, Twitter director of media partnerships for the Middle East and North Africa, said: “We are delighted to be broadcasting the Saudi Professional League on our platform as we are always striving to bring new and exciting experiences to football fans on Twitter. The Saudi Professional League has a huge following inside and outside the Kingdom, and we seek through a live broadcast to enrich the experience of Saudi football fans.”

Commercial brands will be able to link their products and services to the Saudi Professional League’s premium content and communicate with the public through the Saudi Alwasail media company. Videos of the most important moments of the league will be posted on the Saudi sports channels accounts in promotional tweets, in cooperation with sponsoring brands. These tweets contain brand ads, which automatically appear before videos from Saudi sports channels.

The Saudi Professional League began on Aug. 22 and will continue until May 2020.