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Djokovic, Sharapova restore order at Wimbledon

Last updated on: July 04, 2015 00:45 IST

Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates after winning his match against Bernard Tomic of Australia at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships. Photograph: Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters

It was job well done for Novak Djokovic as he silenced Bernard Tomic and his Australian Fanatics with an emphatic 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 victory in the Wimbledon third round on Friday.

The top seed and defending champion could not have been more pleased with his performance as he reached the second week of the grasscourt major for the seventh year running by winning all nine sets he has contested.

So commanding was Djokovic's performance that the usually vocal Fanatics -- who follow the Australian players around Wimbledon -- appeared to have lost their voices in the opening two sets.

They briefly came to life at the start of the third when Tomic earned three break points but the Serb emerged unscathed from that slight wobble and finished off the 27th seed with his 15th ace.

The world number one will next meet big-serving South African Kevin Anderson.

Sharapova breezes past Begu into last 16

Maria Sharapova of Russia serves during her match against Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships. Photograph: Toby Melville/Reuters

Fourth seed Maria Sharapova moved serenely into the Wimbledon fourth round with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu on Friday.

The 28-year-old Russian, champion at the All England Club in 2004, overpowered her 29th-seeded opponent on a sun-drenched Court One to take her place in the last 16.

Sharapova wasted a chance to close out the match when she served for victory at 5-1 in the second set but did not make the same mistake again and completed victory in one hour 23 minutes.

Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland celebrates a point in his singles third round match against Fernando Verdasco of Spain during day five of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images

Stan Wawrinka continued his stealthy progress through the Wimbledon draw with another clinical victory on Friday as the Swiss dispatched Fernando Verdasco 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 to reach the fourth round.

The French Open champion, whose searing backhand is one of tennis's most famous weapons, has not dropped a set in his three opening matches and was untroubled throughout against Verdasco.

The Spaniard, a former top 10 player, looked to be feeling the effects of two punishing five-setters in his opening rounds and came up short at key moments as Wawrinka broke once in each set to clinch victory.

The first set was evenly balanced until the decisive 10th game when Verdasco double-faulted on set point to hand the fourth seed the lead and the second set followed a familiar pattern with Wawrinka breaking for a 5-3 lead before serving out.

Verdasco bravely hung in, but the Swiss, who has never been beyond the quarter-finals at Wimbledon, broke again for a 5-4 lead in the third and finished off the match with his 14th ace.

Next up for Wawrinka will be Belgium's 16th seed David Goffin, who is also yet to drop a set in three matches and polished off Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis 7-6(3), 6-1, 6-1.

Serena survives almighty Watson scare to advance

Heather Watson of Britain applauds the fans after losing her match to Serena Williams of the U.S.A. (L) at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships. Photograph: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

World number one Serena Williams survived an almighty scare at Wimbledon on Friday, battling back to beat Britain's Heather Watson in three sets and stay on course for a 21st Grand Slam title.

Williams, who has lifted this year's Australian and French Open titles, was forced to dig deep in front of a raucous home crowd after an error-strewn showing against the superb Watson, recovering from 3-0 down in the final set to win 6-2, 4-6, 7-5.

The 33-year-old, who said it was one of her toughest matches, will face her sister Venus in the last 16 -- their 26th career meeting -- as she continues her bid for a sixth Wimbledon title.

The signs looked ominous for Watson early on after being swept aside in the first set but the 23-year-old bounced back in the second, forcing Williams into a string of wayward shots as she matched up to her more powerful opponent.

Watson reeled off six games in a row with three straight service breaks to level the match and race into a 3-0 lead in the decider.

Even after a Williams rally she was twice just two points away from an unlikely win, only for the American to show the grit and guile behind many of her successes to prevail. 

Gasquet sends poor Dimitrov home

Richard Gasquet of France hits a shot during his match against Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships. Photograph: Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters

France's Richard Gasquet eased into the last 16 at Wimbledon on Friday, comfortably winning a battle of the backhands with misfiring Bulgarian 11th seed Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets.

The no. 21 seed Gasquet, who had won his previous four matches against last year's Wimbledon semi-finalist, came through 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 on Centre Court to head into the second week at the All England Club for the first time since 2012.

Dimitrov was far from his best in front of a muted crowd, with his much admired backhand stuttering, and was too often outshone by what is also Gasquet's trademark shot, which left him rooted to the spot on several occasions.

The 24-year-old Bulgarian handed Gasquet a break in his first service game with a double fault and passed up chances to break back as the Frenchman settled into his stride quickly, punching shots into the corners to keep Dimitrov on the run.

The theme continued, with Gasquet eventually sealing the win at the fifth attempt when Dimitrov's return sank into the net.

While Dimitrov showed flashes of his talent the defeat will do little to silence critics who have questioned whether he can make the most of his potential.

He won three titles on three different surfaces in 2014 and reached the last four at Wimbledon but has drawn a blank since the turn of the year.

Gasquet, a Wimbledon semi-finalist in 2007, will next face Australia's 24th seed Nick Kyrgios who beat seventh-seeded Canadian Milos Ranoic in four sets.

Batman fan inspires hot-shot Kyrgios

Nick Kyrgios of Australia celebrates a point in his singles third round match against Milos Raonic of Canada during day five of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Nick Kyrgios was grateful for advice from a fan wearing a Batman T-shirt as he produced a brutal serving display to bludgeon his way past Canadian seventh seed Milos Raonic at Wimbledon on Friday.

Raonic beat the 26th-seeded Australian in last year's quarter-finals but there was no such repeat in a hard-hitting match on a sun-kissed Court Two, Kyrgios winning 5-7, 7-5, 7-6 (3), 6-3 in a third-round match lasting two hours and 43 minutes.

Kyrgios fired 34 aces past the Canadian and the 20-year-old acknowledged the words of wisdom from a spectator.

“He was just a fan. I thought he was key in the match,” Kyrgios told reporters. “He was actually saying some really good things at crucial moments.

“Before I was serving, he always said something like, ‘send down a bullet’, or something like that. At that stage I'm thinking,‘let's try to make it a really good first serve here’.”

Hot-head Kyrgios has courted controversy in the tournament, denying calling an official "dirty scum" during his first match before suggesting an official in the second round thought "he was a big dog".

Kyrgios lost his cool in the second set against Raonic and received a warning from the umpire after slamming his racket to the floor before retrieving it from a fan who had caught it in the crowd.

“I threw it face down, it bounced over the fence. That's what happened,” Kyrgios said. “I don't want to hurt anyone. It was a good catch by the fan anyway.”

The fiery Australian was soon punching the air with joy after taking the second set before keeping his composure to clinch the third in a tiebreak.

Krygios wore the big-serving Raonic down in the fourth set, breaking the Canadian in the eighth game before holding serve to set up a fourth-round clash with Frenchman Richard Gasquet.

Kyrgios saved nine match points before beating Gasquet in a five-set thriller that lasted three hours and 53 minutes at Wimbledon last year and the young Australian is expecting another tough encounter with the wily Frenchman.

“Serving is key,” Kyrgios said. “He's going to make a lot more returns. He's going to obviously play solid from the ground. He's a magician from back there.”

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