One day after the gentlemen's and ladies' bracket each lost a top-10 player, this year's Wimbledon provided even more drama on Day 4.
Thursday's action featured the conclusion of a marathon match from the day before, another marathon match that resulted in No. 13 seed Richard Gasquet going home, another challenging victory for Rafael Nadal, Maria Sharapova steamrolling her opponent and Serena Williams cruising into the third round.
In other words, it was a typical day at the All England Club.
This has been one of the most fascinating Wimbledon tournaments in recent memory, and there's still nine days left. Here's a look at the scores from Thursday, as well as a recap of the biggest stories.
|No. 2 Rafael Nadal def. Lukas Rosol||4-6, 7-6 (8-6), 6-4, 6-4|
|No. 4 Roger Federer def. Gilles Muller||6-3, 7-5, 6-3|
|No. 5 Stan Wawrinka def. Yen-Hsun Lu||7-6 (8-6), 6-3, 3-6, 7-5|
|No. 8 Milos Raonic def. Jack Sock||6-3, 6-4, 6-4|
|No. 9 John Isner def. Jarkko Nieminen||7-6 (19-17), 7-6 (7-3), 7-5|
|No. 10 Kei Nishikori def. Denis Kudla||6-3, 6-2, 6-1|
|Nick Kyrgios def. No. 13 Richard Gasquet||3-6, 6-7 (4-7), 6-4, 7-5, 10-8|
|No. 14 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga def. Sam Querrey*||4-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-7 (4-7), 6-3, 14-12|
|No. 15 Jerzy Janowicz vs. Lleyton Hewitt**||7-5, 4-4|
|Simone Bolelli def. No. 22 Philipp Kohlschreiber||4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 2-6, 7-5|
|No. 23 Tommy Robredo def. Adrian Mannarino||6-4, 6-1, 7-6 (7-5)|
|Jiri Vesely def. No. 24 Gael Monfils||7-6 (7-3), 6-3, 6-7 (1-7), 6-7 (3-7), 6-4|
|No. 30 Marcel Granollers vs. Santiago Giraldo**||6-4, 6-7 (2-7), 6-1, 1-6, 2-1|
|Denis Istomin def. Julian Reister||7-6 (9-7), 6-4, 6-4|
|Mikhail Kukushkin def. Frank Dancevic||6-3, 6-3, 6-2|
|Lukasz Kubot def. Dusan Lajovic||6-7 (4-7), 7-6 (7-4), 6-3, 7-6 (7-3)|
*Match resumed from Wednesday
**Suspended match will resume on Friday
|No. 1 Serena Williams def. Chanelle Scheepers||6-1, 6-1|
|No. 5 Maria Sharapova def. Timea Bacsinszky||6-2, 6-1|
|No. 9 Angelique Kerber def. Heather Watson||6-2, 5-7, 6-1|
|No. 11 Ana Ivanovic def. Jie Zheng||6-4, 6-0|
|No. 13 Eugenie Bouchard def. Silvia Soler Espinosa||7-5, 6-1|
|Zarina Diyas def. No. 15 Carla Suarez-Navarro||7-6 (14-12), 5-7, 6-2|
|No. 19 Sabine Lisicki def. Karolina Pliskova||6-3, 7-5|
|No. 20 Andrea Petkovic def. Irina Begu||6-4, 3-6, 6-1|
|No. 24 Kirsten Flipkens def. Lourdes Dominguez Lino||6-2, 6-1|
|No. 25 Alize Cornet def. Petra Cetkovska||6-4, 5-7, 6-3|
|Madison Keys def. No. 31 Klara Koukalova||7-5, 6-7 (3-7), 6-2|
|Yaroslava Shvedova def. Kaia Kanepi||6-3, 6-7 (4-7), 6-2|
|Alison Riske def. Camila Giorgi||7-5, 6-2|
|Vera Zvonareva def. Donna Vekic||6-4, 6-4|
Full results from Day 4's Singles and Doubles action can be found at Wimbledon.com
Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova Barely Break a Sweat
Remember when we were wondering about Williams' focus heading into Wimbledon after early exits at the Australian Open and French Open?
It turns out the top-ranked player on the ladies' side wants to remind us why she holds that crown, defeating Chanelle Scheepers in straight sets and losing just two games along the way.
But how impressive was Williams' victory? Glad you asked, because Sports Illustrated's Tennis Twitter account has the answer:
Blink and you missed it: Serena Williams through 61 61 over Chanelle Scheepers in 49 MINUTES. 8 aces, 0 DFs, 26 winners, 7 UFE. Sharp.— SI Tennis (@SI_Tennis) June 26, 2014
In other words, it took Williams less time to complete her match than it would for you to watch an episode of Game of Thrones. Ironically, her massacre of Scheepers would fit in nicely with certain moments on that show.
Another top contender who had little problems in the second round was Sharapova, who took Timea Bacsinszky to school with a 6-2, 6-1 win. Her victory wasn't as thrifty as Williams', taking nearly a full hour to complete.
ESPN's Tennis Twitter feed noted that Sharapova has been quite economical through two rounds at Wimbledon:
The only unfortunate part of their respective Wimbledon runs is they are in the same bracket, meaning they will meet in the quarterfinals if things hold up. Given how well Sharapova is playing, and Williams' desire to make a statement following disappointing efforts earlier this year, a battle in the finals would be huge for the sport.
We are getting ahead of ourselves, of course, but with these two needing less combined time than most Hollywood movies to win matches, do you expect them to lose soon?
Rafael Nadal Keeps Playing "Survive and Advance"
Which potential matchup would you rather see?
On the heels of a four-set victory over Martin Klizan in the first round, Rafael Nadal once again looked vulnerable against an inferior opponent. This time it was Lukas Rosol, who defeated Nadal at this event in 2012, providing the challenge.
Rafa dropped the first set 4-6 and nearly fell into a hole the size of a grave before eking out the second set 7-6 (8-6). He won the next two sets to make it to the third round, but it's looking more and more likely that someone will trip up the No. 2 seed before long.
Even Wimbledon's Twitter feed pondered whether we were in for a repeat of 2012 after Rosol took the first set:
After the match, Nadal told reporters his goal was just to survive against Rosol long enough to win, via ESPN.com's Greg Garber:
Just try to keep fighting, to wait for my moment, find my moment. I saved set point in the tiebreak, [which] was very important. If not, a player like Rosol, big server, two sets down is big, big danger.
Nadal will get a day off before taking on Mikhail Kukushkin, who defeated Frank Dancevic on Thursday, in the third round on Saturday. This is already Rafa's longest run at the All England Club since 2011, but there's a long way to go for this to be a successful event.
Roger Federer Overcomes First Test
When the draw for Wimbledon was announced and after the first round, Ben Rothenberg of The New York Times pointed to Roger Federer's potential second-round opponent Gilles Muller as an upset waiting to happen.
Roger Federer easily past clay-loving Paolo Lorenzi 6-1, 6-1, 6-3. Next round, especially if against Gilles Muller, MUCH harder. #Wimbledon— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) June 24, 2014
Muller did, in fact, meet Federer in the second round, but the seven-time Wimbledon champion secured a spot in the third round with a straight-sets victory, as you can see in the highlight from Wimbledon's Twitter feed:
More impressive than just the three sets it took Federer to secure his spot in the third round for the 12th time since 2001 is the way he did it. The 32-year-old was dominant on the grass Thursday, via Wimbledon's Twitter:
With Nadal looking vulnerable on grass and Novak Djokovic playing a marathon match against Radek Stepanek in the second round, Federer looks as good as anyone on the men's side to make a deep run.
It would also be an excellent reminder that Federer, who is getting old by tennis standards, can still shine at the event where he built his legacy.
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