Thursday, July 01, 2021
Victories at Wimbledon
Zverev walks, Kerber fights
Strong appearances by the top German players in Wimbledon: First Alexander Zverev Tennys Sandgren from the USA doesn’t give a chance, then Angelique Kerber moves into the third round – albeit after a great fight. Andrea Petkovic, on the other hand, has to leave.
Angelique Kerber handed out kisses: After a marathon match, the winner of 2018 Alexander Zverev, who came to Wimbledon with fresh hopes, followed into the third round. Zverev joked in the convincing 7: 5, 6: 2, 6: 3 against the American Tennys Sandgren, Kerber then toiled in a marathon match over 3:18 hours to 7: 5, 5: 7, 6: 4 against the uncomfortable Spaniard Sara Sorribes Tormo.
Either way, the two German stars enjoyed each other and the British tennis fans in second place. For Andrea Petkovic, the end came in the second round. The former top ten player from Darmstadt lost 5-7, 4-6 against French Open winner Barbora Krejcikova from the Czech Republic. This Friday, Dominik Koepfer wants to reach the second round in a Grand Slam tournament for the second time after the 2019 US Open.
The eight-time winner Roger Federer also made it into the third round. The long-time tennis world number one beat the French Richard Gasquet 7: 6 (7: 1), 6: 1, 6: 4. The next opponent of the 39-year-old Swiss is the number 29 seeded Briton Cameron Norrie. In the first round, Federer had a lot more trouble and before the fifth set benefited from the injury-related abandonment of his French rival Adrian Mannarino.
Kerber was challenged against Sorribes Tormo. The strong running 24-year-old forced the North German into many long rallies, if the former number one could pull through her left-handed basic strokes, she had an advantage. But Sorribes Tormo fought, caught up 2: 4 in the second round, fended off a match point at 4: 5 and forced a third set. With her tried and tested fighting qualities and also thanks to a lucky net scooter to 5: 2, Kerber finally defeated the Spaniard in an emotional duel. The next opponent of the 33-year-olds on Saturday is either Alexandra Sasnowitsch from Belarus or the Japanese Nao Hibino.
“British fans have a good sense of humor”
It was pretty relaxed at Zverev. “I’m on the right track, but it was only a second round. The next few games will tell more,” he said. “The top guys always raise their level in the second week. There are opponents who don’t let me play so well, in those moments I have to improve.” On Saturday, the next American in Taylor Fritz or Steve Johnson is waiting for the sixth in the world rankings, who then wants to make it into the last 16 of the Grand Slam tournament for the second time since 2017.
However, Zverev has a lot more plans: The 24-year-old wants to play for the title on the legendary grass pitches. Against the world number 68. Sandgren had no problems with Zverev after a balanced initial phase and won after 1:45 hours. At lunchtime he also had a lot of fun with the fans, some of whom were also admitted to Wimbledon, and they with him on sunny place number two. “British fans have a good sense of humor,” said Zverev. “I enjoy interacting with the fans, these things are also very good for the sport.” Up to 5: 5 in the first set, Sandgren, who made it to the round of 16 two years ago, was able to make the match evenly. However, the German number one shone with 13 aces and a very offensive game and always had the action under control.
Petkovic worried her defeat against Krejcikova because she was equal over long stretches – except in the crucial moments. “It annoys me that I can’t find the balance between playing aggressively and safely. If I can do that, I can take the next step to defeat the best – otherwise it’s not enough,” said the 33-year-old firmly.