For the first time during this Wimbledon, the drama was ratcheted up to 10 thanks to who was on the courts, an injury scare and a marathon match featuring one of the biggest stars in the history of women's tennis.
Basically, Day 5 at the All England Club provided enough headlines that would make the back page of the New York Post green with envy. Novak Djokovic survived a shoulder scare to keep his title hopes alive, Venus Williams said goodbye to England in style and Li Na became the highest-seeded male or female to fall.
The action never stopped from the first serve until Tomas Berdych and Marin Cilic closed out the day. It had a little bit of everything from brilliant dominance to five-set barn burners, so we are going to give you a look at all the scores and top stories from Friday's matches.
|No. 1 Novak Djokovic def. Gilles Simon||6-4, 6-2, 6-4|
|No. 3 Andy Murray def. No. 27 Roberto Bautista Agut||6-2, 6-3, 6-2|
|No. 26 Marin Cilic def. No. 6 Tomas Berdych||7-6, 6-4, 7-6 (8-6)|
|No. 11 Grigor Dimitrov def. No. 21 Alexandr Dolgopolov||6-7 (3-7), 6-4, 2-6, 6-4, 6-1|
|No. 14 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga def. Jimmy Wang||6-2, 6-2, 7-5|
|No. 15 Jerzy Janowicz def. Lleyton Hewitt||7-5, 6-4, 6-7 (7-9), 4-6, 6-3|
|No. 20 Kevin Anderson def. No. 16 Fabio Fognini||4-6, 6-4, 2-6, 6-2, 6-1|
|No. 19 Feliciano Lopez def. Ante Pavic||6-4, 7-6 (7-4), 7-5|
|Santiago Giraldo def. No. 30 Marcel Granollers||4-6, 7-6 (7-2), 1-6, 6-1, 7-5|
|Jeremy Chardy def. Sergiy Stakhovsky||6-3, 6-7 (4-7), 6-3, 6-0|
|Leonardo Mayer def. Andrey Kuznetsov||6-4, 7-6 (7-1), 6-3|
|Barbora Zahlavova-Strycova def. No. 2 Li Na||7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-5)|
|No. 3 Simona Halep def. Lesya Tsurenko||6-3, 4-6, 6-4|
|No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska def. Michelle Larche De Brito||6-2, 6-0|
|No. 6 Petra Kvitova def. No. 30 Venus Williams||5-7, 7-6 (7-2), 7-5|
|No. 23 Lucie Safarova def. No. 10 Dominika Cibulkova||6-4, 6-2|
|No. 16 Caroline Wozniacki def. Ana Konjuh||6-3, 6-0|
|No. 22 Ekaterina Makarova def. Caroline Garcia||7-5, 6-3|
|Peng Shuai def. Lauren Davis||0-6, 6-3, 6-3|
|Tereza Smitkova def. Bojana Jovanovski||4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 10-8|
|Belinda Bencic def. Victoria Duval||6-4, 7-5|
Full results from Day 5, including singles and doubles action, can be found here.
Novak Djokovic Goes Willis Reed On Gilles Simon
There was almost a disaster for No. 1 seed Djokovic in his third round matchup with Gilles Simon. He won the match in straight sets, but he suffered a scare in the third set when he fell awkwardly on his shoulder and needed a timeout, via Ben Rothenberg of the New York Times.
VIDEO: Novak Djokovic falls on Centre Court, hurting his left shoulder. http://t.co/gF0c1Lt2r0— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) June 27, 2014
Any concerns about lingering effects were alleviated, at least temporarily, when Djokovic told reporters after the match that his ultrasound went fine, via Sports Illustrated's Tennis Twitter account.
Novak Djokovic already got an ultrasound on his shoulder. “It’s all looking good."— SI Tennis (@SI_Tennis) June 27, 2014
The good news for Djokovic is this was his most complete performance through three rounds at Wimbledon. He scuffled against Radek Stepanek in the second round before winning in four sets, but things only get harder with a matchup against No. 14 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Sunday.
Venus Williams Bids London Adieu
What was the top story from Day 5 at Wimbledon?
In one of the most emotional matches on Friday, Williams saw her best run at the All England Club since 2011 end in dramatic fashion with a three-set loss to No. 6 Petra Kvitova.
The expectations were understandably muted for Williams when Wimbledon started. She hasn't won here since 2008 and hasn't advanced past the fourth round at a Grand Slam event since the 2010 U.S. Open.
However, when Williams won the first set against Kvitova, you could feel something in the air. ESPN tennis analyst Pam Shriver noted on Twitter how well the serve was working in this match:
Eventually Kvitova would right the ship, but not without a fight from the five-time Wimbledon champion. There were some inevitable retirement questions following the loss, but Williams did her best to squash them quickly, via Sports Illustrated's Tennis Twitter account:
Venus Williams shuts down repeated attempts to ask her if she’s going to be back at Wimbledon. "No need for a follow‑up on that [question]."— SI Tennis (@SI_Tennis) June 27, 2014
Kvitova caught another break after her win with second-seed Na falling in straight sets to Barbora Zahlavova-Strycova. The 2011 Wimbledon champion is now the second-highest seed remaining in the bottom half of the bracket, trailing only No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska.
Andy Murray Continues Hot Streak
Last year, Andy Murray ended Great Britain's wait for a first Wimbledon champion in 77 years with a thrilling victory over Djokovic in the finals. If his performance through three rounds this year is any indication, Britain won't have to wait long for another celebration.
Murray disposed of No. 27 Roberto Bautista Agut in straight sets on center court, as you can see in the highlights courtesy of Wimbledon's official Twitter account.
It was a near-flawless performance for Murray, who had 44 winners and 11 aces compared to 18 winners and one ace for Agut. The defending champion has not lost a set through three matches so far.
The competition on the men's side has been spotty thus far, to say the least. Djokovic has had his problems, while Rafael Nadal isn't setting the world on fire. Murray and Roger Federer are the only top-five seeds who have yet to drop a set, though Federer has only played two matches so far.
Last year proved Murray can handle the pressure that comes with being the hometown favorite. This year is his chance to make a statement that the sport's biggest event belongs to the 27-year-old.
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