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Wimbledon 2016: Wawrinka succumbs to Del Potro, Serena overcomes McHale

By Jacob Akindele
02 July 2016   |   4:02 am
On her part, Serena Williams had to battle from a set down under the centre court roof to get past compatriot Christina McHale in a match that lasted almost three hours.
US player Serena Williams returns to US player Christina McHale during their women's singles second round match on the fifth day of the 2016 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 1, 2016. ADRIAN DENNIS / AFP

US player Serena Williams returns to US player Christina McHale during their women’s singles second round match on the fifth day of the 2016 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 1, 2016.<br />ADRIAN DENNIS / AFP

Following the upset of second-seeded Garbine Muguruza, Wimbledon returned to its routine of the moisture soaked English Summer. Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland took on come-back former United States Open Champion, Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina.

On her part, Serena Williams had to battle from a set down under the centre court roof to get past compatriot Christina McHale in a match that lasted almost three hours.

McHale took the first set in a tiebreak, but Serena battled back to take the second easily. The deciding set was very tough for the defending champion, as she had to battle from a break down to even the match.

Serena however, broke in the tenth game and served for the match, sealing her spot in the third round.

At the end of the battle of big gunners, Wawrinka lost 3-/6; 6/3; 7/6; 6/3 on a Centre Court under its roof that does not conceal the sky or the natural light of daylight. It was a major upset ending a duel of few long rallies as the duo hammered serves down the turf in games flowing quickly.

In the first set, Wawrinka broke Del Potro in the third game and held for 4-1 lead. Del Potro served and held the sixth game at love to reduce the score.

The fourth seeded Swiss lost the first point of the seventh game but rallied back to take it with one of his many aces. Serving for the set at 5-3, Stan hit a volley winner to kick off, then an unsuccessful challenge got him down 15-30 and he faced a break point that he cancelled when he wrong-footed he lanky Del Potro who skidded and took some moments to get up.

Del Potro opened proceedings in the second set, and lost but one point to win and lead 1-0. Serving to level, Wawrinka missed a volley at net to get deuced but took the game at first advantage. The battle of big serves continued as Del Potro kicked off the third game with an ace, and despite a double-fault that got him in danger of a service break; he leveled and delivered two consecutive service winners to take the lead. Wawrinka missed a backhand shot and followed with a missed forehand to find himself at break point and he conceded the fourth game on a double-fault. Serving to stretch the lead, Del Potro overcame a deficit start from 0-15 but leveled and delivered an ace for game point and it was handed to him on a service return error by Wawrinka.

The two players held their serves as Del Potro struggled through a long seventh game in which he lost two advantage points yet clinched the third time. In the eighth game a Wawrinka shot was called out and the set ostensibly ended but he successfully challenged and then proceeded to that eighth game. There was a hope as he remained in the set but it was nipped in the bud. Although he lost the first point in the ninth game, Del Potro won three straight points to clinch game and second set

Wawrinka opened serving in the third set and dropped the fist point. That became the pattern for the first five games of the set in which the two players lost their successive service game twice. It was on the fifth game that Stan held serve to halt the run of breaks. Then the match proceeded with each player holding serve; with Wawrinka taking the odd games and Del Potro holding serve to level. In that flow, it was Del Potro that served the 12 game and took set to a tie break. It was a one-sided affair in which Warwinka lost five straight points and the Argentinean had the set 7points to 2 and the third set was in his kitty.