Wimbledon: Clinical Kerber returns to last four at All England Club

By Sports Desk July 06, 2021

The in-form Angelique Kerber excelled again at Wimbledon, defeating Karolina Muchova in straight sets to return to a major semi-final for the first time since her 2018 All England Club title.

Kerber is a three-time grand slam champion but had been badly out of sorts before returning to the grass courts this season.

First-round exits at both the Australian Open and the French Open were quickly forgotten as she claimed silverware on the WTA Tour for the first time in almost three years at the Bad Homburg Open, however.

And Kerber's latest victory in SW19 – 6-2 6-3 against Muchova in an hour and 15 minutes – extended her winning run to 10 matches, now within two of a second Wimbledon crown.

The German's experience had told as she outclassed Coco Gauff on Monday and she started in the same fashion, swiftly breaking to seize control of the opener.

Kerber was comfortable thereafter until a miscued volley teed up Muchova's first break-point opportunity. She recovered, though, a gorgeous dropshot securing a vital hold.

Muchova appeared to lose confidence at that point and the set was wrapped up as she was broken to love, her double fault followed by an effort that clipped the net and bounced wide.

Kerber's first setback followed early in the second – a backhand wide after saving the first of three break points – yet Muchova then again bowed to pressure, firing long as she attempted to accelerate a tense rally.

As the momentum swung back in Kerber's favour, she showed no signs of relenting, preying on another wild Muchova error as she outmanoeuvred the 24-year-old to create an open court and break once more.

Muchova fought to forge an opening as Kerber served for the match but could not capitalise and paid again for an aggressive approach, stepping forward and blazing wide to settle the result.

Data Slam: Kerber calm and in command

Kerber's early break piled the pressure on Muchova and her attempts to battle back only did more damage. The Czech attempted four approach shots – to Kerber's none – as she sought to go on the offensive, but all four missed the target.

Consider her only double fault in the entire match teed up set point in the opener and Muchova might wonder if this was just not her day.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Kerber – 15/21
Muchova – 9/27

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Kerber – 1/4
Muchova – 1/1

BREAK POINTS WON

Kerber – 4/6
Muchova – 1/8

Related items

  • Mbappe disappointed to miss out on Real Madrid move Mbappe disappointed to miss out on Real Madrid move

    Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe admitted he was "disappointed" not to join LaLiga powerhouse Real Madrid after his failed off-season transfer.

    With his contract expiring at the end of the 2021-22 campaign, Mbappe was heavily tipped to swap PSG for Madrid, who have made no secret of their admiration.

    However, a transfer did not materialise as Ligue 1 giants PSG – still determined to re-sign the France international – refused to part with Mbappe.

    Madrid are expected to sign Mbappe as a free agent at the end of the current campaign but the 22-year-old was asked about his frustration at the failed swich to the Santiago Bernabeu.

    "Disappointed with not leaving? A little," Mbappe told Amazon while speaking to France great Thierry Henry.

    "It's not easy, but whatever happened, I was going to play for a great club. I'm Parisian, I feel great, but I wanted to discover something else."

    Speculation had mounted about Mbappe's future at Euro 2020, when the forward missed the decisive spot-kick in France's last-16 penalty shoot-out defeat to Switzerland.

    Mbappe failed to score at the Euros and provided one assist as world champions France fell well short.

    "During the Euros they asked me a lot of questions. I talked a lot with my parents, I knew I wanted to go out," Mbappe said. "My parents told me to concentrate on the pitch. Maybe I was putting too much energy into other things."

    Mbappe, who joined PSG from French rivals Monaco initially on loan in 2017, has won three Ligue 1 titles with the capital club.

    PSG top Ligue 1 this season, boasting an 11-point advantage over Rennes after 17 rounds.

    Despite PSG's lead, Mbappe, Neymar and off-season signing Lionel Messi are yet to fully play a cohesive attacking brand of football.

    "We are aware that the three of us must do more, we cannot hide, we assume it," Mbappe said.

    "If I am the boss? It is difficult when you are in a team with Neymar and Messi, it would be audacious to say it, although it matters little."

    Mbappe has been involved in 15 goals this season in Ligue 1 (seven goals, eight assists), with only Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski (17), Madrid forward Karim Benzema (19) and Liverpool star Mohamed Salah (22) doing better in the top five European league.

    In the 1-1 draw against Lens, Mbappe was decisive in coming off the bench for the first time in the top flight since 5 December 2020 (goal against Montpellier).

  • Roethlisberger's Steelers hold off Ravens in wild AFC North battle Roethlisberger's Steelers hold off Ravens in wild AFC North battle

    The Pittsburgh Steelers survived a wild finish as Ben Roethlisberger's team held on to edge Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens 20-19 in the NFL.

    Baltimore went for the two-point conversion and the win after the Ravens scored a touchdown with 12 seconds remaining on Sunday, but Jackson's pass went agonisingly off Mark Andrews' fingertips with the endzone in sight.

    The Steelers prevailed in another thrilling AFC North battle to snap a two-game skid after Roethlisberger (21-of-31 passing for 236 yards and two TDs) threw two fourth-down touchdowns to fuel Pittsburgh.

    After a scoreless opening period, Devonta Freeman rushed for a TD as the Ravens (8-4) took a 10-3 lead into the final quarter away to the Steelers (6-5-1).

    The fourth period came to life, veteran quarterback Roethlisberger started the comeback with an early 29-yard touchdown pass to Diontae Johnson before the pair combined against less than two minutes from the end.

    Trailing 20-13, former MVP Jackson (23-of-37 passing for 253 yards and a touchdown) led an eight-play, 60-yard drive for his only touchdown of the game but Baltimore were unable to complete the two-point conversion at the death.

    Since the 2016 season, six of Pittsburgh's seven wins against Baltimore have come by seven points or less, per Stats Perform.

     

    Seahawks snap skid by sinking Niners

    The Seattle Seahawks needed a victory and they got it after powering past the San Francisco 49ers 30-23.

    In a mistake-filled contest, the Seahawks ended their run of three consecutive losses behind Russell Wilson's two-touchdown display in Seattle.

    Future Hall of Famer Adrian Peterson made his debut for the Seahawks and scored his 126th career touchdown on a one-yard rush. It broke a tie with Hall of Famer Walter Payton and moved the 36-year-old into a tie with Jim Brown for 10th in NFL history.

    Jimmy Garoppolo threw two interceptions for the beaten 49ers.

    The Los Angeles Rams also snapped a three-game skid, rolling over the Jacksonville Jaguars 37-7 after Odell Beckham Jr., Cooper Kupp and Van Jefferson all caught TD passes from Matthew Stafford.

  • Ibrahimovic wants to 'stay at Milan for life' as Zlatan jokes about playing with third gen of Maldini family Ibrahimovic wants to 'stay at Milan for life' as Zlatan jokes about playing with third gen of Maldini family

    Zlatan Ibrahimovic wants to stay at Milan for "life" as the evergreen superstar eyes a Rossoneri contract extension.

    Ibrahimovic celebrated his 40th birthday in October but the veteran forward has shown no signs of slowing down amid Milan's Serie A title bid.

    Out of contract at the end of the season, Ibrahimovic has scored six goals in nine league appearances to help Scudetto-chasing Milan to the top of the table through 16 rounds.

    Ibrahimovic has been a revelation since re-joining Milan for a second spell in January 2020 and as the Swede continues to defy 'Father Time', he has no plans to leave San Siro.

    "I want to play as long as possible, and as long as I have that adrenaline, I will continue," Ibrahimovic – who was part of the last Milan team to win Serie A in 2010-11 – told Rai Tre's Che Tempo Che Fa.

    "Let's put pressure on Milan here to give me an extension and I hope to stay at Milan for life.

    "I still have objectives that I can achieve and I want to win another Scudetto."

    Ibrahimovic added: "I don't know what will happen after football, so I am a little scared to stop. We'll see, but I want to continue playing so that I don't have any regrets."

    Milan defeated Salernitana 2-0 on Saturday, with Ibrahimovic watching from the bench.

    In Milan's previous victory – a 3-0 win over Genoa on Wednesday – Ibrahimovic scored his 153rd Serie A goal, drawing level with Stefano Nyers and Hernan Crespo in 26th place among the top scorers in the Italian competition.

    His 73 league goals for Milan also took Swedish forward Ibrahimovic to 10th in Milan's standings, alongside Filippo Inzaghi.

    Ibrahimovic has played alongside Milan great and current Rossoneri technical director Paolo Maldini, and his son Daniel – spanning two generations.

    "It's wonderful, we'll see if the adrenaline continues and I can play with Daniel's son as well!" Ibrahimovic joked.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.