Bri­tain’s Konta moves to third round

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - CHRIS LE­HOURITES

LON­DON — Bri­tain’s big­gest hope for a women’s cham­pion at Wim­ble­don worked her way into the third round on Wed­nes­day.

Jo­hanna Konta trailed early but man­aged to come back and hang on for a 7-6 (4), 4-6, 10-8 ten­nis vic­tory over Donna Ve­kic on Cen­tre Court.

“It’s a nice feel­ing not to have to keep go­ing out there,” Konta said. “We were out there a long time and both of us bat­tled in­cred­i­bly hard.

“Who­ever was go­ing to draw the short straw was go­ing to be hurt­ing.”

Konta, seeded sixth, is in the third round at the All Eng­land Club for the first time in six ap­pear­ances.

She reached the fi­nal at a grass-court warm-up tour­na­ment in the English city of Birm­ing­ham last month, but lost to Ve­kic.

“I think I over­all trusted my game a bit more this time,” said Konta, who is try­ing to be­come the first Bri­tish woman to win the Wim­ble­don ti­tle since Vir­ginia Wade in 1977. “I’m def­i­nitely here with the in­ten­tion of want­ing to be a part of the event for the full two weeks.”

Stan Wawrinka, a three-time Grand Slam cham­pion who lost in the first round at Wim­ble­don, is dat­ing Ve­kic and was at Cen­tre Court watch­ing the ten­nis match.

On Court 16, Daniil Medvedev ex­pressed his anger af­ter los­ing his match by throw­ing some coins at the foot of the chair um­pire’s chair.

Medvedev, an un­seeded Rus­sian who beat Stan Wawrinka in the first round, lost to Ruben Bemel­mans, 6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 2-6, 6-3, in the sec­ond round.

Af­ter the match ended, both play­ers shook hands with chair um­pire Mar­i­ana Alves. Medvedev then grabbed his wal­let and pulled out some coins and tossed them to­ward the chair.

“In the heat of the mo­ment I did a bad thing and I apol­o­gize for this,” said Medvedev, who de­nied he was im­ply­ing the chair um­pire was paid off. “I was just frus­trated. It had no mean­ing.”

When the Wim­ble­don gates opened Wed­nes­day morn­ing, the race was on to get the best spot on Mount Mur­ray. The hill next to No. 1 Court at Wim­ble­don, for­merly known as Hen­man Hill and also re­ferred to as Mur­ray Mound, was a cov­eted spot for Day 3 at the All Eng­land Club be­cause Konta and Andy Mur­ray were sched­uled to play their sec­ond-round matches on Cen­tre Court. Thou­sands of fans on the grounds and with­out tick­ets to the main sta­dium of­ten gather on the hill to watch the ac­tion on a gi­ant TV screen.

The area was named Hen­man Hill in hon­our of Tim Hen­man, an­other Bri­tish player but one who never was able to win the ti­tle. The nick­name shifted to Mur­ray when he came on the scene and even­tu­ally ended the coun­try’s 77-year wait for a home­grown men’s win­ner when he won the ti­tle in 2013.

Fol­low­ing Konta’s vic­tory, Mur­ray beat Dustin Brown of Ger­many, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.

Rafael Nadal, a two-time Wim­ble­don cham­pion, fol­lowed Mur­ray on Cen­tre Court against Don­ald Young. The Spa­niard beat Young, 6-4, 6-2, 7-5.

Other women’s win­ners on Wed­nes­day in­clude five-time cham­pion Venus Wil­liams, for­mer No. 1 Vic­to­ria Azarenka and eighth­seeded Do­minika Cibulkova.

For the men, sev­enth-seeded Marin Cilic, ninth-seeded Kei Nishikori, 12th-seeded Jo-Wil­fried Tsonga, 16th-seeded Gilles Muller and 24th-seeded Sam Quer­rey ad­vanced to the next round.

CLIVE BRUNSKILL, GETTY IMAGES

While Jo­hanna Konta ad­vanced for Bri­tain on the women’s side, on the men’s side, Andy Mur­ray ad­vanced af­ter de­feat­ing Dustin Brown, pic­tured, of Ger­many.

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