Friday, July 20, 2018

The Latest: British hopes alive in Wimbledon mixed doubles

LONDON (AP) — The Latest from Wimbledon (all times local):

8:20 p.m.

Despite Andy Murray's absence and the failure of any British singles players to make it to the second week, the host nation will be represented right until the end of Wimbledon.

Playing on Centre Court for the first time, young British wild cards Harriet Dart and Jay Clarke defeated 10th-seeded Juan Sebastian Cabal and Abigail Spears 7-6 (10), 7-5 to advance to the mixed doubles semifinals.

They will face fellow-Brit Jamie Murray and Victoria Azarenka, who defeated fourth-seeded Dutch duo Jean-Julien Rojer and Demi Schuurs 4-6, 7-5, 7-5.

"It's nice that the (British) fans have got that interest all the way through the tournament," said Murray, who won the mixed doubles title a year ago alongside Martina Hingis.

Clarke, 19, and Dart, 21, were asked if they could expect to have the crowd on their side on Friday, due to being a fully British team.

"Jamie's got a bit of a bigger following than we have," said Clarke, but he hopes the crowd will find another reason to get behind him and Dart. "Brits like the underdogs."

In the other semifinal, 11th-seeded Alexander Peya and Nicole Melichar will take on ninth-seeded Michael Venus and Katarina Srebotnik.

Melichar and Peya received a walkover, while Venus and Srebotnik came through against third-seeded pair Ivan Dodig and Latisha Chan 7-5, 3-6, 6-0.


6:20 p.m.

In her 10th Wimbledon final, Serena Williams is likely to have the support of the royal box.

Just hours after seven-time champion Williams booked her place in Saturday's final, Kensington Palace confirmed via Twitter the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, will be attending.

Williams, a guest at Markle's wedding to Prince Harry in May, has been quizzed throughout the tournament on whether her friend would be making an appearance and finally relented when informed during her news conference that a royal presence had been confirmed.

"Every year for a couple years she comes out to Wimbledon," Williams said. "Now she's supporting me in a different role. But our friendship is still exactly the same."

Markle will be accompanied by the Duchess of Cambridge, who will also attend the men's final on Sunday with her husband Prince William.


5:45 p.m.

Former Wimbledon men's doubles champions Mike Bryan and Jack Sock are into another All England Club final at their first Grand Slam playing together.

The American duo saw off a comeback attempt from 15th-seeded Dominic Inglot and Franko Skugor to win 6-3, 6-1, 6-7 (11), 6-7 (4), 6-4.

Sock and Bryan had six match points in the third set, but were taken the distance.

They will face Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus in Saturday's final after the 13th-seeded South Africa-New Zealand duo defeated Frederik Nielsen and Joe Salisbury 7-6 (6), 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Bryan has won three Wimbledon titles with his brother Bob, who is absent with a hip injury. Sock won the title in 2014 playing alongside Canadian Vasek Pospisil.

By advancing to the semifinals, the 40-year-old Bryan ensured he will become the oldest player to top the ATP doubles rankings, when they are updated on Monday.


4:15 p.m.

Serena Williams overcame a late stutter to advance to her 10th Wimbledon singles final with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Julia Goerges.

Seven-time champion Williams dropped her serve for the first time in the match when attempting to close out victory at 5-3 in the second, but quickly regained her composure to win the following game.

Williams had been dominant on serve to that point and hadn't faced a break point until her final service game against her German opponent on Centre Court.

In Saturday's final, the 36-year-old Williams will face the same opponent she defeated to win the title in 2016, Angelique Kerber, who earlier defeated Jelena Ostapenko 6-3, 6-3.


3:35 p.m.

Serena Williams is one set away from a 10th Wimbledon final.

The seven-time champion won the opening set of her semifinal, 6-2, against 13th-seeded Julia Goerges.

Goerges saved a break point in her opening service game but was unable to keep Williams at bay as the American broke for a 4-2 lead and then once more to seal the set.

The winner will face two-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber in the final.


3 p.m.

The 11th Wimbledon semifinal for Serena Williams is underway on Centre Court.

Seven-time champion Williams is up against 13th-seeded Julia Goerges of Germany, who has reached the last four at a Grand Slam for the first time.

Williams has a commanding 9-1 record in Wimbledon semifinals, with her only defeat against her sister Venus in 2000.

The winner will face Angelique Kerber on Saturday, after the two-time Grand Slam champion advanced to her second Wimbledon final with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Jelena Ostapenko.


2:15 p.m.

Angelique Kerber advanced to her second Wimbledon final with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Jelena Ostapenko.

Two-time Grand Slam champion Kerber made just seven unforced errors as she saw off an early barrage of Ostapenko winners to break twice in the first set.

The pattern continued in the second set as 2017 French Open champion Ostapenko's unforced errors — which totaled 35 by the end of the match — gave Kerber two more breaks of serve for a 5-1 lead.

Playing her first Wimbledon semifinal, 21-year-old Ostapenko rallied to save a match point and break Kerber's serve for the first time, but the German saved a break point as she served out the match at the second attempt.

Kerber lost to Serena Williams in the 2016 final and could face a rematch with the seven-time champion, who is due next on Centre Court against 13th-seeded Julia Goerges.


1:45 p.m.

Angelique Kerber has won the opening set of her Wimbledon semifinal, 6-3, against Jelena Ostapenko.

Two-time Grand Slam champion Kerber remained solid amid an onslaught of winners and unforced errors from the more aggressive Ostapenko.

The 11th-seeded Kerber, who was the Wimbledon runner-up in 2016, twice broke 2017 French Open champion Ostapenko's serve.


1:10 p.m.

Jelena Ostapenko has started her first Wimbledon semifinal.

The 2017 French Open champion hasn't lost a set en route to her last-four meeting with two-time Grand Slam winner Angelique Kerber.

The youngest remaining player in the draw, 21-year-old Ostapenko was a junior champion at Wimbledon in 2014 and has gone one step further than when she reached the quarterfinals at the All England club a year ago.

The 11th-seeded Kerber is seeking a return to the Wimbledon final and a possible rematch with Serena Williams, who beat the German in the 2016 final.

Seven-time champion Williams will be second on Centre Court when she faces Kerber's compatriot, Julia Goerges, who will be playing in her first Grand Slam semifinal.


12:45 p.m.

Serena Williams will attempt to reach a Grand Slam final for the 12th straight season as she faces Julia Goerges in the Wimbledon semifinals on Thursday.

When Williams took a leave of absence to have her first child soon after claiming her 23rd Grand Slam at the 2017 Australian Open, it appeared her streak might be under threat.

However, the 36-year-old American has quickly found a level of form that has carried her to within two wins of an eighth Wimbledon title.

Williams has every reason to be confident against 13th-seeded Goerges of Germany, who is playing in her first Grand Slam semifinal. Williams has won all three of their previous encounters, with the most recent coming at the French Open last month.

The other semifinal sees two-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber take on 2017 French Open winner Jelena Ostapenko.

Victories for Williams and Kerber would see a repeat of the 2016 Wimbledon final, which Williams won in straight sets.


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