Tag Archives: semifinals

Djokovic strides into his 10th Wimbledon semi-finals

Novak Djokovic records his 100th tour-level match-win on grass to reach his 10th Wimbledon semi-finals and looks in good shape to land a record-equalling 20th Grand Slam; the 34-year-old will face Canadian youngster Denis Shapovalov for a place in Sunday’s final

Last Updated: 07/07/21 4:51pm

Novak Djokovic marched into his 10th Wimbledon semi-final after a straight-sets win over Marton Fucsovics on Centre Court

Novak Djokovic marched into his 10th Wimbledon semi-final after a straight-sets win over Marton Fucsovics on Centre Court

World No 1 Novak Djokovic dropped just 11 games in total as he rallied past Marton Fucsovics to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals in front of a near-capacity crowd on Centre Court.

The five-time champion, looking to claim a record-equalling 20th Grand Slam title this weekend, swept aside unseeded Hungarian Fucsovics 6-3 6-4 6-4.

Djokovic has still only dropped one set, against Britain’s Jack Draper in the first round, and he remains firmly on course to become only the fourth man to win three consecutive Wimbledon titles alongside Roger Federer, Bjorn Borg and Pete Sampras.

“I think it was a solid performance,” he said. “I started extremely well, did not do too many things wrong in the first five or six games.

“One break of serve in the second and third sets was enough and credit to Marton for hanging in there. He had a great tournament.

“Going for history is a huge inspiration to me – let’s keep it going.”

Things looked ominous for Fucsovics when Djokovic raced into a 5-0 lead and brought up two set points inside the first 25 minutes.

But the underdog fended those off to finally get a game on the board and, amid plenty of encouragement from the crowd, managed to break in the next, only the fourth time Djokovic had dropped serve in the entire tournament.

Fucsovics, the first Hungarian man to reach the last eight of a Grand Slam in 40 years, stayed with Djokovic until
4-4 in the second when one of too many forehand errors gave away a break point which the top seed devoured.

A backhand return winner brought Djokovic another break at the start of the third and he fended off four break points among some punishing rallies to wrap up another routine win.

Denis Shapovalov edged Karen Khachanov in a five-set thriller on Court One

Denis Shapovalov edged Karen Khachanov in a five-set thriller on Court One

Denis Shapovalov booked his first Grand Slam semi-final with a five-set win over Karen Khachanov.

The Canadian won the boys’ title in 2016 and is giving himself the best chance of replicating that in the men’s draw with an epic 6-4 3-6 5-7 6-1 6-4 quarter-final victory over the Russian.

His biggest test is now to come as he faces defending champion Djokovic in the last four on Friday.

Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram made it through to the men's doubles semi-finals

Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram made it through to the men’s doubles semi-finals

Britain’s Joe Salisbury and American partner Rajeev Ram knocked out defending Wimbledon champions Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah to reach the men’s doubles semi-finals.

Salisbury and Ram are having a very strong tournament and their 6-3 6-4 7-6 (7-2) victory over the Colombian third seeds means they are yet to drop a set.

They were the better team throughout and will now take on top seeds Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic, who have already won seven titles together this season.

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Karolina Pliskova fires brutal Emma Raducanu warning after reaching Wimbledon semi-finals

Karolina Pliskova fired her way into the Wimbledon semi-finals and then told Emma Raducanu – you have to be able to handle the pressure.

Eighth seed Pliskova, the former world number one and US Open finalist, overcame Viktorija Golubic comfortably 6-2 6-2 to book a last four clash with Aryna Sabalenka.

But the Czech star had little sympathy for British starlet Emma, 18, who pulled out of her fourth round clash with AjlaTomljanovic on Monday a set down, with breathing problems.

Pliskova, in her first Wimbledon semi-final, said: “If you decide to do this sport and take a wild card, you’re going to be playing on a big court because you are from this country.

“You need to count on that pressure.

“Of course it is not easy. I saw a bit from her previous matches. I think she was enjoying maybe too much excitement. That’s normal.

“When I was 18 I was still a kid. Some of these girls are old enough to deal with it. Coco Gauff, I think she’s ready for this.

“Hopefully she’s going to be okay – but you need to be ready for it.”

Sabalenka overcame Tunisian Ons Jabeur 6-4, 6-3 – and admitted she had been seeing a psychologist to get her over the mental block of never getting to a Grand Slam quarter-final in five years before this.

She said: “He said to not even think that this is a Grand Slam – just believe you can do it.”


Author: Tony Banks
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Kane leads England past Ukraine and into Euro 2020 semi-finals

England’s 4-0 victory over Ukraine sets up a semi-final match against Denmark on Wednesday at Wembley Stadium.

Harry Kane scored twice as a buoyant England cruised through to the semi-finals of Euro 2020 with a one-sided 4-0 win over Ukraine in Rome on Saturday.

Kane ended a worrying international scoring drought by netting in the 2-0 last-16 defeat of Germany in midweek and he put England ahead inside four minutes on a sweaty evening in the Italian capital.

Gareth Southgate’s side then put this quarter-final tie out of sight with two more goals early in the second half, one from Harry Maguire before Kane netted again.

Substitute Jordan Henderson got the fourth, and as Denmark lie in wait in the Wembley semi-final on Wednesday England will be confident of going on to reach a first ever European Championship final and even now claiming a first major international title since 1966.

The draw here was kind for them, with Ukraine surely as weak an opponent as they could hope to face in a quarter-final, a stage at which they have lost to the likes of Italy and Portugal in recent European Championships.

However the statistics are impressive, with England having come through five games at this tournament all without conceding a goal.

England’s Harry Kane scores their first goal [Alberto Pizzoli/Pool via Reuters]

Some of their play in wide areas was outstanding, with Raheem Sterling and Jadon Sancho – making his first start at the Euro – too hot for Ukraine to handle.

Kane, their captain, had gone close to eight hours without finding the net for his country but his opener here was his second in just eight minutes following the late strike that secured victory over Germany.

Regardless of the opposition, their display at the Stadio Olimpico was a step-up in class in the final third to previous games at the Euro and they will be favourites at home against a Danish side who played their own quarter-final against the Czech Republic on Saturday in distant Baku.

Hat-trick of headers

This will be the only match England play away from home in the competition and it marked quite a difference to their defeat of the Germans, which was watched by more than 40,000 supporters at Wembley, where coronavirus restrictions were eased.

With Italy currently imposing a five-day quarantine on all arrivals from the United Kingdom, the number of England fans in Rome was limited to those already based in the European Union although they still made themselves heard in the crowd of under 12,000.

They had plenty to celebrate, unlike their Ukrainian counterparts, as Andriy Shevchenko’s team came up short in their bid to take the country to a first ever major tournament semi-final.

They scraped out of their group and then edged 10-man Sweden in extra time in the last 16, and their chances of shocking England looked dead and buried when they fell behind early on.

Sterling, who terrorised the Ukraine defence down the left, played in Kane who poked the ball past Georgiy Bushchan.

England fans celebrate in Trafalgar Square after the match [Henry Nicholls/Reuters]

Ukraine’s giant striker Roman Yaremchuk forced a save from Jordan Pickford and a Declan Rice piledriver was kept out by Bushchan, with England looking comfortable.

However Ukraine were a different proposition after injured defender Serhiy Kryvtsov was replaced by Dynamo Kiev winger Viktor Tsygankov in the 36th minute.

They finished the first half strongly and more pessimistic England fans may have spent the interval reliving their exit from Euro 2016, when they lost to Iceland in the last 16 despite also having opened the scoring in the fourth minute.

They need not have worried.

England scored again less than a minute after the restart when a foul on Kane allowed Luke Shaw to deliver a free-kick from the left for Maguire to head in.

Four minutes after that Sterling supplied the overlapping Shaw and he crossed for a rejuvenated Kane to head home.

The Tottenham star nearly had his hat-trick, a stinging volley producing a fine save from Bushchan.

From Mason Mount’s resulting corner came the fourth goal, another header, this time from Henderson, the first of five substitutes sent on by Southgate who would have been thinking about the semi-final long before this quarter-final was officially over.

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Spain beat Swiss 3-1 on penalties to reach Euro 2020 semi-finals

After a 1-1 draw, Unai Simon made two saves in a shootout to keep Spain’s bid for a record fourth European crown alive.

Goalkeeper Unai Simon saved two penalties as Spain beat 10-man Switzerland 3-1 in a shoot-out to secure a place in the Euro 2020 semi-finals.

After a 1-1 draw on Friday in St Petersburg that saw the Swiss play for 43 minutes a man down, Simon made two saves in the shootout to help keep Spain’s bid for a record fourth European crown alive.

It was heartbreak for Switzerland, who were bidding for reaching the semi-finals of a major tournament for the first time in their history.

Spain forged ahead early on when Denis Zakaria put through his own net, but Switzerland were the better side for long periods and Xherdan Shaqiri, standing in for the suspended Granit Xhaka as captain, equalised in the 68th minute.

The Swiss were reduced to 10 men with 13 minutes remaining, though, when midfielder Remo Freuler was controversially dismissed for a tackle on Gerard Moreno.

Switzerland goalkeeper Yann Sommer, the hero of the penalty shootout win over world champions France in the last 16, made a string of fine saves in extra time.

But Simon saved from Fabian Schaer and Manuel Akanji, while Ruben Vargas blazed over in a tense finale as Spain snuck through, with Mikel Oyarzabal smashing home the winning spot-kick.

Spain move into a Tuesday semi-final at Wembley against Belgium or Italy.

Spain’s forward Mikel Oiarzabal celebrates with goalkeeper Unai Simon after winning the penalty shootout [Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP]

After scoring 10 goals in their previous two matches, this was a return to the type of profligate performances that saw Spain draw their first two group games against Sweden and Poland.

But the 2008 and 2012 winners made a dream start to this quarter-final, taking the lead in fortunate circumstances in only the eighth minute.

A corner was cleared only as far as Jordi Alba, whose left-footed volley was diverted past Sommer by Switzerland midfielder Zakaria, only playing in place of Xhaka.

It was the 10th own goal of Euro 2020, more than the other 15 editions combined.

Alvaro Morata wasted an excellent opportunity by heading too close to Sommer when unmarked, but then Switzerland started to grow into the game.

Silvan Widmer headed off target from a corner, before Steven Zuber thought he had won a penalty only to be flagged offside.

Spain coach Luis Enrique sent on Dani Olmo for Pablo Sarabia at half-time and the RB Leipzig man threatened inside 60 seconds, seeing his low volley well held by Sommer.

Zakaria came agonisingly close to making up for his earlier own goal when his header span narrowly wide.

Switzerland had an even better chance for a leveller in the 64th minute, as Shaqiri sparked a quick counter-attack that ended with Spain goalkeeper Simon reacting well to keep out Zuber’s stabbed effort at his near post.

Switzerland’s midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri (right) fights for the ball with Spain’s defender Cesar Azpilicueta [Dmitri Lovetsky/AFP]

Shaqiri strikes

But the underdogs found the equaliser they deserved four minutes later, as Freuler latched onto a loose ball after a mix-up in the Spanish defence and squared for Shaqiri to slot into the far corner and score his third goal of the tournament.

The pattern of the game changed in the 77th minute though, when referee Michael Oliver gave Freuler his marching orders for a sliding challenge on Spanish substitute Moreno.

Switzerland managed to keep Spain at bay until the end of normal time with relative ease, but in the third minute of the additional half an hour Moreno should have put Spain back in front, only to miskick Alba’s cross wide from close range.

Switzerland were perhaps lucky not to have another man sent off shortly afterwards, when Widmer escaped a second yellow card for a cynical foul on Olmo.

Moreno somehow passed up another golden opportunity, denied at point-blank range by Sommer, before the Borussia Moenchengladbach stopper made an excellent diving save from Oyarzabal.

Sommer made eight saves in extra time alone, but his one in the shootout from Rodri was not enough, despite Sergio Busquets also hitting the post, as Switzerland missed three of their four penalties.

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Texas loses walk-off heartbreaker to Mississippi State in CWS semifinals

OMAHA, Neb. (KXAN) — The Texas Longhorns lost to Mississippi State 4-3 after a walk-off double to the left centerfield gap from junior Tanner Leggett.

Texas had to face sophomore Will Bednar for the second time in the College World Series. In Bednar’s first start against the Longhorns he struck out 15 batters in a 2-1 win.

On Saturday night, the Longhorns were able to get to Bednar in the second inning with a two run home run from junior Cam Williams to put Texas up 2-0 early.

In the fifth inning senior outfielder Mike Antico scored freshman outfielder Douglas Hodo III with a double that he ripped into the right centerfield gap.

Junior pitcher Tristan Stevens took the mound for Texas allowing three runs through five inning of work, but left runners on second and third base with no outs in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Sophomore pitcher Cole Quintanilla came in and worked his way out of the jam without allowing any runs.

Quintanilla was on the bump for the rest of the night striking out five Bulldog hitters. After getting the first man out in the bottom of the ninth, a breaking ball got away from Quintanilla hitting freshman Kellum Clark in the back foot.

Sophomore Brayland Skinner pinch ran for Clark and wasted no time stealing second base. Leggett got a pitch over the middle of the plate and ripped the pitch to left centerfield scoring Skinner and knocking Texas out of the College World Series.

While the Longhorns will start making their way back to Austin, Mississippi State will take on Vanderbilt in a best two out of three championship series beginning Monday.

Author: Kam Dyer
This post originally appeared on KXAN Austin