Juan Martin del Potro stuns No. 4-seed Wawrinka on Wimbledon Day 5
A recap of the action on Day 5 on Friday at Wimbledon 2016, including results, tweets, hot shots, photos and more.
• Welcome back, Delpo! Playing in his first Grand Slam since the 2014 Australian Open, Argentina’s Juan Martin Del Potro pulled off a huge upset to start the day on Friday, knocking out No. 4-seed Stan Wawrinka 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(2), 6-3. For Wawrinka, the loss marks his first before the fourth round at a major since the 2014 French Open. For del Potro, it’s his first win against an ATP Top five player since he beat Rafael Nadal in Shanghai in 2013.
"Now I'm feeling so glad just to be playing tennis again. Of course, when you beat these guys, everything change in the good way," del Potro said after the match. "But I am still need time to feel 100% with my wrist. Sometimes I scared to hit harder with my backhand, as I did in the last game...
"I'm exciting to go far in this tournament. But anyways, I think I'm very pleased with my success at the moment."
The last time Del Potro played on Centre Court at Wimbledon was three years ago, in an epic four-hour semifinal defeat against Novak Djokovic. He returned to the Grand Slam stage this year after a three-year absence and three operations on his left wrist.
"The crowd was unbelievable with me. The atmosphere on there was amazing," del Potro said. "It's very nice just be on the Centre Court of this magnificent tournament. Is great for all the players."
“I think I was focused on my game. I knew what I wanted to do. I was playing really well from the beginning, playing aggressive, serving well, staying with him,” Wawrinka said after the match. “I start to play a little bit between. When I wanted to play aggressive, I was still hesitating a little bit. I was a little bit slow to go to the net. When I wanted to put the ball in, I wasn't clear with what I was doing….I start to think a little bit too much what to do. That make[s] the whole difference.”
Wawrinka also credited del Potro for his strong play. “Today was for sure tough to play him. He played really well. I had some chance[s]. I could have won the match,” he said. “He was serving big, doing good job with his forehand. Couldn't really do what I wanted when he was slicing his backhand.”
The meeting was the first match between two former Grand Slam champions—Wawrinka has won the French Open and Australian Open, del Potro was the 2009 U.S. Open champion—in the second round at Wimbledon since Marat Safin beat Djokovic in 2008.
In the third round, 27-year-old del Potro will face No. 32-seed Lucas Pouille, who beat American Donald Young 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 on Friday.
• After dropping the first set, No. 1 Serena Williams rallied to defeat fellow American Christina McHale 6-7(7), 6-2, 6-4 on Centre Court on Friday. In a match that started with the roof open and was suspended due to rain, McHale played a strong first set to take it in a tiebreak. After Serena won the second set, McHale didn’t back down, fighting all the way to the end, including an incredible, 25-shot rally at 4-4, 30-30 in the third set. The rally earned a standing ovation from the crowd.
But in the end, Serena fired three straight aces to close out the victory and advance.
“There were times where I was down and out. I just kept fighting,” Serena said after the match. “That's what I know I can do best. I knew that I could count on that, rely on that.”
She will next face Annika Beck in the third round.
• No. 8-seed Venus Williams fought off the rain and tough opponent in Daria Kasatkina on Friday, pulling out a 7-5, 4-6, 10-8 to advance to the fourth round.
Playing on No. 1 Court, the match was delayed four times by rain, including when Venus had match point at 7-6 in the third set.
“I can't say that I've ever had a rain delay at match point. Probably not ideal,” Venus said after the match. “She handled it well. She played smart. It was just, I guess, non‑stop action. It was like a Hollywood script.”
When they resumed, No. 29-seed Kasatkina, playing in just her fourth grass court match in her career, held serve to 7-7. But Venus finally broke the 19-year-old’s serve and closed out the win after several rain delays, an unexpected deluge on match point and 2 hours and 41 minutes.
“There was no rain. The crowd was just in an uproar. I didn't understand what was happening,” Venus said of the unexpected downpour on match point. “The rain didn't come until quite a few seconds later. She and I were both like, ‘What is going on here?’ She handled it well.”
• No. 15-seed Nick Kyrgios defeated Dustin Brown in a highly-entertaining, but short, five-setter on Friday. The 21-year-old Aussie closed out the 6-7, 6-1, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 win in only two hours and five minutes to advance to the third round.
• No. 1 Novak Djokovic left the All England Club on Friday evening finding himself in big trouble. At the end of Day 5 when the match was suspended due to rain, American Sam Querrey led the three-time champion 7-6 (6), 6-1. Djokovic has come back from 2-0 down four times and he will need to make it a fifth to stay on course for the calendar Grand Slam.
• Two top men’s seeds cruised through their second round matches on Friday. No. 10-seed Tomas Berdych beat Benjamin Becker 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 and No. 12-seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeated Juan Monaco 6-1, 6-4, 6-3 to advance.
• In the last match of the day on Centre Court, Roger Federer had no trouble—and wasted no time—dispatching of Britain’s Daniel Evans, winning 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 in one hour and 26 minutes to advance to the fourth round. The win marked Federer's 305th singles match victory at a Grand Slam tournament, only one behind the record set by Martina Navratilova.
Federer joins Venus and Carla Suarez Navarro as one of only three players that are into the Round of 16 as of Day 5.
• Scheduling notes: After several delays and stoppages since the beginning of the day on Friday, play suspended on outer courts at the end of the day, with four second round matches still to finish: Zverev-Youzhny, Stephens-Minella, Bacsinszky-Niculescu and Kvitova-Makarova.
Shortly after, the tournament announced that there will be play on Middle Sunday, the first time Wimbledon tradition has been broken since 2004. (It will be only the fourth time in Wimbledon’s history there will be tennis on Middle Sunday, previously 1991, 1997 and 2004.)
• More results: Carla Suarez Navarro d. Marina Erakovic 6-2, 6-2; Annika Beck d. Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-2, 6-1; Barbora Strycova d. Evgeniya Rodina 6-4, 6-0; Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova d. Yulia Putintseva 7-5, 6-1; Svetlana Kuznetsova d. Tara Moore 6-1, 2-6, 6-3; John Isner d. Matthew Barton 7-6, 7-6, 7-6
Tweets of the Day
Hot shots of the Day
Quote of the Day
SERENA WILLIAMS: I've cracked a number of racquets throughout my career. I've gotten fined a number of times for cracking racquets. In fact, I look at it like I didn't crack one at the French Open or Rome, so I was doing really good. I don't want to go too long without cracking a racquet.
You know, I'm on track. I try to crack a certain amount a year. I'm a little behind this year, so it was good.
The Day in Photos
Daily Data Viz
Two men have reached the third round at Wimbledon without losing serve: Roger Federer and Milos Raonic.
This post will be updated.