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Bite-sized highlights from Day 9

by Courtney Nguyen
Wednesday 4 July 2012

Sisterly duties: No rest for the weary, especially when you can't let your sister down. Serena Williams should have had an off-day on Tuesday to rest, recuperate, and prepare for her semi-final showdown with Victoria Azarenka on Thursday. Instead, she spent her entire day at the courts, playing doubles with her sister Venus and winning. The pair took to No.2 Court to resume their match against the team of Nadia Petrova and Maria Kirilenko, a match that began on Saturday but has been held over due to rain and light. The sisters finished off that match with a win and then came back later in the day to take on Sania Mirza and Bethanie Mattek-Sands, winning again. Will the doubles affect Serena's performance in the semi-finals? We'll see tomorrow.

Late bloomers: You have to give Andy Murray a lot of credit for how openly he is willing to talk about the pressure and expectations incumbent with being No.1. Murray admitted that he related quite a bit to NBA basketball player LeBron James, a high profile acquisition by the Miami Heat that created an unfathomable amount of pressure on James to win a title. He finally did so this year, but not without setting an example for Murray. "There's a lot of people out there that didn't want him to win," Murray said. "There's a lot of people that said he would never win. There's a lot of people who said he never played his best in finals. In the fourth quarter of games he never steps up. Then you see how he played the whole of the Finals, the whole of the Playoffs. Sometimes it takes guys a bit longer than others." Well, you can't say Andy isn't self-aware.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times: Mikhail Youzhny was handed his 14th straight loss to Roger Federer on Centre Court, which probably didn't make him feel too great. But how about this: his wife Yulia gave birth to a healthy baby boy the night before he was to take the court for his quarter-final. Can't blame the Russian if he had a lot on his mind.

No. 1 up for grabs: A semi-final of Wimbledon brings enough pressure on its own, but what about the players who are also in the hunt for the No.1 ranking? Roger Federer can ascend to the top spot if he beats Novak Djokovic on Friday and goes on to win the title. Meanwhile, Victoria Azarenka and Agnieszka Radwanska are vying for the ladies' top spot. If Azarenka beats Serena Williams on Thursday, she assures herself the No.1 ranking. If she loses, then Radwanska can leave Wimbledon with the No.1 ranking if she wins the title. Exciting times.

Stat of the day:

32 - Slam semi-finals for Roger Federer, giving him the all-time record for most Slam semi-finals reached.

He said:

"Yeah, there's obviously pressure there. But something that, you know, providing I think if you think too much about it, you know, and you read the newspapers and you watch the stuff on TV that's said about you, I think it would become far too much. But if you kind of shield yourself from it all and kind of just get into your own little bubble, only listen to the people that are around you, then it's something you can deal with." - Andy Murray, on the pressure he feels as he attempts to become the first British man to win Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936.


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