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Sports Shorts: Vardhan-Balaji pair and Jeevan qualify for Wimbledon

Last updated on: June 28, 2018 14:35 IST

Ankita out of Wimbledon qualifiers, Vardhan-Balaji pair and Jeevan qualify

Sriram Balaji

IMAGE: Sriram Balaji returns a shot. Photograph: PTI

Ankita Raina's hopes of a maiden Grand Slam main draw appearance ended in a heartbreaking defeat but the Indian pair of Vishnu Vardhan and N Sriram Balaji succeeded in their effort and qualified for the main draw alongside Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan, who partnered Austin Krajicek in the Wimbledon qualifiers.


Ankita lost 2-6, 7-5, 4-6 to the Russian world number 132 against Vitalia Diatchenko after a brave two-hour-23-minute battle in the second round of the grass court major.

India has not seen a female singles player competing in the singles Grand Slams since Sania Mirza's first round loss at the 2012 Australian Open.

It was a second meeting between the two players with the Russian emerging victorious way back in 2014, also in an ITF event in Egypt.

However, there were cheers for the Indian fans with Vardhan and Balaji booking their berth in the men's doubles draw following a 6-3, 6-4 win over top seeds Denys Molchanov and Igor Zelenay in the second round.

It will be a maiden Grand Slam main draw appearance for Vardhan and Balaji.

Moments later, Jeevan and his American partner Krajicek prevailed over the local team of Edward Corrie and Llyod Glasspool 7-6(5), 6-3 in the final round.

It will be the second time that Jeevan will play at Wimbledon. He had played last year with Jared Donaldson but lost a tough five-setter against Jay Clarke and Marcus Willis.

"We played a solid match from the beginning, we kept the rhythm going on our serves. There was lot of energy from the crowd. We held serves and played with lead, played a very good tie-breaker. The key was taking care of our serves because we both were feeling great on returns," Jeevan said.

"We are in good rhythm now and definitely excited to play. The tournament is just starting now. I don't want to get too excited in my mind," the Chennai boy put things in perspective.

Jeevan and Krajicek have had a great run since joining forces recently. They reached the final of Nottingham Challenger and lifted the Ilkley trophy before coming to Wimbledon.

The doubles draw will feature at least six Indians. Rohan Bopanna, Divij Sharan and Purav Raja will play with their respective partners.

Edmund sends Murray packing, Wozniacki wins

Kyle Edmund

IMAGE: Britain's Kyle Edmund. Photograph: Edgar Su/Reuters

Kyle Edmund lived up to his billing as Britain's new top dog as he cut short Andy Murray's comeback with a 6-4, 6-4 win to reach the quarter-finals of the Eastbourne championships on Wednesday.

Edmund's rise to 18th in the rankings has coincided with compatriot Murray's year out with a hip injury which has seen him drop to 156th in the world.

The 23-year-old Edmund admitted that it had been a 'weird' feeling taking on his Davis Cup teammate and the man who had mentored him in his early days on the ATP Tour.

Murray, playing only his third match back as he tries to prove his fitness for Wimbledon, made things awkward and fought tenaciously but had no answer to Edmund's ferocious forehand.

A service break in the opening game proved enough for Edmund in the first set and he broke twice to race into a 5-2 in the second before a late wobble.

But he held steady at 5-4 to claim his first career win against the three-times Grand Slam champion and become the first British player to beat Murray for 12 years.

"It was a bit of a tough match, mentally, playing Andy but I had to try to view it as another match," second seed Edmund, who will play Kazakhstan's Mikhail Kukushkin next, said on court.

"I've looked up to Andy so much and he's looked after me and really been good for me so it's a bit of a weird feeling. I was a bit nervous towards the end."

Murray moved well but could make little impression on Edmund's serve having squandered break points in the second game of the match and he was frequently sent scampering trying to return Edmund's venomous forehand.

He was given a standing ovation as he left the court and will now go away and make a decision about whether to play at Wimbledon where he won the title in 2013 and 2016.

In the women's tournament the top seeds flourished in the seaside sunshine with number one Caroline Wozniacki recovering from a slow start to oust local favourite Johanna Konta 4-6, 6-1 6-4 on a packed centre court.

Fourth seed Angelique Kerber thrashed American Danielle Collins 6-1, 6-1 to set up a clash with seventh seed Daria Kasatkina who defeated Anastasija Sevastova 6-4, 6-4.

Fifth seed Jelena Ostapenko overpowered Romanian Mihaela Buzanescu 6-1, 6-2 and will face Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska who was given a walkover by former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova after the third seed withdrew with a hamstring injury.

Wozniacki will face Australian eight seed Ashleigh Barty for a place in the semi-finals.

While Wozniacki will get at least one more outing at Wimbledon warm-up event, men's top seed Diego Schwartzman lost 4-6 6-4 7-5 to Slovakian Lukas Lacko but there were wins for third seed Denis Shapovalov and fourth seed Marco Cecchinato.

Cycling: Olympic champion Vogel stable after operation

Germany's Olympic and world sprint cycling champion Kristina Vogel is stable but continues to remain in intensive care following a serious crash in training, the country's cycling federation has said.

Vogel suffered serious spinal injuries after colliding with another cyclist while training at the Cottbus Sport Centre Velodrome on Tuesday.

"This operation went well. Kristina continues to receive intensive medical care. Her condition is stable," the German Cycling Federation said in a statement.

Vogel won an Olympic gold in the team sprint at London in 2012 and individual sprint gold at Rio de Janeiro four years later.

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