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Serena Hits 600, Bernie's Big Win and Sun on Middle Saturday

by Nicholas McCarvel
Saturday 29 June 2013

When the weather is talked about at Wimbledon, it's not often that the sentiments are positive. Rain comes and goes, the sky is grey and, well, it's London. But Saturday at the All England Club it was the most glorious of days in SW19, with a beaming sun and blue skies overhead, tennis moved full steam ahead, with 88 matches being completed in all. What other numbers and storylines stood out on Saturday? Read on to find out...

Match of the Day: [1] Serena Williams def. Kimiko Date-Krumm 6-2, 6-0

It wasn't the match itself that made this one special, it was more the occasion of it. After the day's matches preceeding it on No.1 Court ran long, the Referee moved this battle to Centre Court, announcing that the roof would close and the lights flicked on. This has happened just a few times since the roof's arrival at the All England Club, and the night match-like feel mixed in with the tradition of Centre Court is unlike anything else. It was a 600th career win for Williams, the five-time champion here. It could have been the 400th career win for Date-Krumm, who at 42 became the oldest woman to ever play a third round match at The Championships. The last time Date-Krumm reached this stage at Wimbledon? 1996, when she was 25 and made a run to the semi-finals.

Honorary match of the Day: [6] Li Na def. [32] Klara Zakopalova 4-6, 6-0, 8-6
It's been a roller-coaster tournament for Li Na. The No.6 seed won 6-2, 1-6, 6-0 against Simona Halep on Thursday and again had an up-and-down fight, this time against Klara Zakopalova, the veteran. Li ran through the second set with comfort, but had to hold her nerve down the stretch, trading long rallies from the baseline with her opponent. The Chinese No.1 is into her third fourth round here and first since 2010, when she made the quarter-finals (she also made the quarter-finals in 2006).

Upset of the Day: Bernard Tomic def. [9] Richard Gasquet 7-6(7), 5-7, 7-5, 7-6(5)
Back is the magic that brought an 18-year-old Bernard Tomic to the quater-finals of Wimbledon two years ago, when he was the youngest to reach that stage at Wimbledon in some 25 years. The Australian, now 20, had marked his run coming into Saturday's match with wins over Americans Sam Querrey and James Blake. But on Centre Court it was a different occasion for the 20-year-old, playing there for the first time against a higher-ranked Gasquet. Tomic's flat groundstrokes worked well throughout the afternoon, keeping Gasquet deep
in the court and not allowing the Frenchman to dictate play. He next plays Tomas Berdych, the 2010 finalist here, in their first-ever meeting

Stats of the Day
With Laura Robson's win on Saturday, Britain has a woman in the fourth round at Wimbledon for the first time in 15 years. It was in 1998 that Sam Smith made the fourth round, the journeywoman losing to eventual finalist Nathalie Tauziat.

Sabine Lisicki, with her win over Sam Stosur on Saturday, moves to 16-4 in her career at Wimbledon compared to a 16-15 record at the other three Slams. She has made at least the quarter-finals in three of her four appearances here, including the semi-finals in 2011.

Novak Djokovic hits just three - that's right, three - unforced errors in his 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 drubbing of Jeremy Chardy on Centre Court. A nearly-flawless performance from the world No.1, who will face Tommy Haas in the  fourth round.

Quote of the Day: Djokovic on his three-error performance
Yeah, it was a fantastic match. I felt great from the start till the end. I had that super focus, you know, and tried to, you know, be out there every point and not allow him to come back to the match or to have I saw the stats that I won 100% of first serves and I served over 80% of serves in in the whole match. That was incredible for me. I enjoyed every moment of it, especially at the end. I managed to read his serve. Everything went well. So when you play that well, obviously you feel great, you feel confident.

'Did You See?' of the Day
So many great champions were in the Royal Box on Saturday. As tradition, Middle Saturday brings some of the top athletes in Britain to the tennis to honour them and their achievements. Following the London Olympic and Paralympic Games, today was especially unique, as cycling gold medal winners Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton led a slew of athletes being honoured. And who else popped in? That would be Andy Murray, who received a standing ovation from the Centre Court crowd.

Tweet of the Day


Video of the Day: How many matches has Djokovic won in his career? And does he know the number? Find out in this entertaining Q&A with Novak.

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20:24...But boy, it was a barrow-load of fun. I hope you enjoyed it even half as much as we did. Thank you for all your messages throughout, you've been the glue holding us together as the edges frayed amid the madness. Now if you'll excuse me, it's time for us Brits to raise a toast to Andy Murray and Fred Perry. British sporting legends both.

20:19It was the wackiest of Wimbledons with the most unlikely of headline-makers: Sergiy Stakhovsky, Steve Darcis, Michelle Larcher de Brito, Kimiko-Date Krumm, Jerzy Janowicz, Sabine Lisicki, Marion Bartoli...

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