American players advance on Independence Day
Venus Williams continued her come-from-behind record to defeat Romania’s Alexandra Dulgheru 4/6; 6/0; 6/1, following the quick 6/4; 6/3 victory by Madison Keys over Luksika Kumkhum of Thailand. The 11th-seeded Sam Querrey dismissed Sergiy Takhovsky of Ukraine 7/6 (4); 6/3; 6/3.
After taking the first set on a break of her opponent’s serve, the 10th seeded Madison Keys continued her power game to dominate the second set that ended 6-3. The 1.68 metre Luksika had lost in the first round of Wimbledon in 2016 but had her best Grand slam outing in reaching the second round of the Australian Open in 2013 and 2014.
Venus Williams lost the first set 6/4 to Dulgheru (ranked 141 in the world), raising a possibility of an upset for the 2017 finalist, especially as Venus was stretched to deuce in the first game of the second set. The five-time Wimbledon champion hammered hard serves but needed a second advantage to hold.
In the second game, the Romanian fell behind 0-40 on serve, saved a break point before conceding the break. Thereafter, it was a one-way run for Venus as she took the second set 6-0 and wrapped up the third set 6-1 for the victory after one hour and 59 minutes.
In a sensational match, Canada’s Milos Raonic won a battle of tie-breaks in the match with Australia’s John Millman ranked 86 in the world. Both players held serve in each set leading to the inevitable deciders in which the 13th seeded Raonic won each by 7 points to 4.
The American success did not extend to the doubles tournament in which the British par of Liam Broady and Scott Clayton defeated Frances Tiafoe and Jackson Withrow 7/5; 6/3; 7/5 to advance to the second round.
In other second-round matches, France’s Gael Monfils outlasted the Italian Paolo Lorenzi 3/6; 6/3; 7/6 (5); 7/6 (3) in a marathon of 2 hours and 53 minutes while top-seeded Roger Federer needed only 90 minutes to achieve the 6/4; 6/4; 6/1 victory over Lukas Lacko of Slovakia.