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Manic Monday just got more manic

The covers are put on No.1 Court during the match between Serena Williams and Alize Cornet
by Dan Imhoff
Saturday 28 June 2014

It promises to be Manic Monday after Soaked Saturday and a race against fading light created a backlog of matches at the All England Club on Day 6.

The likely trio of Nadal, Sharapova and Federer avoided the waiting games before a star-studded line-up of sports royalty under the roof of Centre Court. Play only kicked off outside at 1.20pm, but it was a cruel tease for the fans outside as umbrellas popped up again on Henman Hill and the covers were hauled back over only 15 minutes later.

The officials’ “cautious optimism” finally paid off when the covers were deflated at 5.20pm and blue skies even dared make a fleeting appearance.

The call came to cancel No.5 seed Stan Wawrinka’s match with Denis Istomin on No.1 Court and No.9 seed John Isner’s showdown with No.19 seed Feliciano Lopez on No.3 Court, yet despite murmurs of play on Sunday, it never happened. Play on Middle Sunday has only every happened three times – in 1991, 1997 and 2004 – and never since Centre Court got its roof.

Following the Alize Cornet v Serena Williams boilover on No.1 Court, Serbian No.11 seed Ana Ivanovic had dropped the opening set against last year’s finalist Sabine Lisicki, with the pair locked at 1-1 in the second set before the decision to abandon play until Monday, while Japan’s No.10 seed Kei Nishikori was all square with Italian lucky loser Simone Bolelli at 3-3 in the fifth set, having four times stood only a couple of points from defeat in the fourth set on Court 8.

The two-time Grand Slam-winning partnership of Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek cut it fine in holding out Santiago Gonzalez and Scott Lipsky 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, 11-9; the No.5 seeds edging through in near darkness to book a third-round spot. Theirs would be the only men’s doubles match played for the day, while Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Lucie Safarova sprung the upset in the only women’s doubles match of the day, beating No.4 seeds Cara Black and Sania Mirza 2-6, 7-6(7), 6-4.

American teenager Madison Keys and Kazakhstan’s Yaroslava Shvedova had the honour of being the last match on court. Keys served to level the match at a set apiece, but was broken with players to return for the second-set tie-break on Monday.

Canadians Milos Raonic and Eugenie Bouchard negotiated their passage into the fourth round in their respective straight-sets triumphs. No.3 seed Simona Halep, No.9 seed Angelique Kerber and 20-year-old Kazakhstani Zarina Diyas were the only other women to progress.

Australian teenager Nick Kyrios backed up his stunning comeback victory over Richard Gasquet with an impressive four-sets result over fellow wildcard Jiri Vesely, while Spanish veteran Tommy Robredo held on in five to down last year’s semi-finalist Jerzy Janowicz.

In the Junior event, Brit Joshua Sapwell upset Brazilian No.3 seed Orlando Luz in three sets and Cypriot Petros Chrysochos sent French No.5 seed Quentin Halys packing. American Logan Smith and Romanian Nicolae Frunza also progressed. In the girls event, American Dasha Ivanova and China’s Shilan Xu won their opening matches.

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