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Federer, Barty, Stephen, Johnson advance on American Independence Day

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Roger Federer / AFP PHOTO / Glyn KIRK / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE

The fourth day of the Championships, Wimbledon featured many Americans in action on their nation’s July 4 Independence Day. The top-seeded lady, Ashleigh Barty of Australia progressed to the third round with a 6/, 6/3 victory over Netherlands’ Alison Van Uytvanck. Roger Federer won the first set 6/1, but encountered a stiff challenge in the second set, which he won 7/6 (3) and proceeded to roll over 20-year old Briton, Jay Clarke, 6/1, 6/3.

Other Americans, who advanced were Sloane Stephens, who defeated China’s Yafan Wang 6/0, 6/2 and Alison Riske, who defeated Serbia’s Ivana Jorovic 6/2, 6/7 (3), 9/7.

America’s Sam Querrey’s successes at Wimbledon continued when he defeated Russia’s Andre Rublev 6/3, 6/2, 6/2. However, the match of the day was Steve Johnson’s marathon with the talented Australian youth, Alex de Minaur.

Minaur won the first set 6/3 and was close to victory in the second but lost it in a tie-break 7/6 (4). Buoyed by the momentum, the American took the third set 6/3, sealing the ninth game with his 12th ace.

In the decider, Johnson hammered his 11th ace to win the first game but his opponent leveled at love. The American lost the first two points on his serve in the third game, but leveled and reached 40-30 game point.

Although taken to deuce, he won the game on the first advantage. Each player held routinely until the eighth game when Minaur could not recover from 15-40 and conceded the critical break.

Serving for the match, Johnson opened with his ninth double-fault and prevailed in a long rally to reach 30-all before facing 30-40 break threat. He served his way out of the danger and held the game on the first opportunity for the set and match.

The upset of the day was the marathon by the ninth seeded John Isner and Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan. Kukushkin won the first set 6/4, while Isner took the second set in a tiebreak 7/6 (3) with a tally of 17 aces by the American.

In the third set, Kukushkin lost his service to concede the seventh game and Isner held to lead 5-3. Although Kukushkin reduced the tally, Isner hammered two aces to win 6/4. The fourth set was a one-way run by Kukushkin, who won 6/1.

In the decider, Kukushkin secured the break of Isner’s serve in the ninth game. Serving for the match, he took the first two points to lead 30-0, dropped the next for 30-15 but reached match point 40-15 and he clinched the game for the set and match.

Isner tallied 35 aces and one double fault while Kukushkin delivered only six aces but committed no double fault. The victory was due to Kukushkin’s defensive skills in the face of Isner’s blitzkrieg serve.

The victor won 51 points receiving Isner’s serve and with his modest serving, he won 24 service games on his serve compared to 22 by Isner. With 108 points won on his serve, contrasted to his opponent’s 100. Kukushkin amassed 159 points to 141 for Isner.


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