2022 Wimbledon: Anisimova, Gauff to face off in Round 3; most men through since 1996
Two of the most talented young players on the WTA tour will face off for a fourth-round berth at Wimbledon. The kicker? They're two of ours: Amanda Anisimova and Coco Gauff each won their Round 2 matches at the All-England Club on Thursday to set up the tantalizing Round 3 match, the second time they'll play as professionals.
At 16, Anisimova beat Gauff, then just 13, to win the junior US Open, but Gauff won their first meeting as pros last year on clay in Parma. Gauff, who came from a set down to win her Round 1 against Elena-Gabriela Ruse and looked much steadier in a straight-sets Round 2 win over Mihaela Buzarnescu, is looking to reach the last 16 at Wimbledon for the third straight year, while Anisimova's looking to break new ground after rallying from a set down to beat Lauren Davis in an all-American Round 2.
The two are part of a group 12 Americans—four women and eight men—who've reached Round 3 in singles. The Round 2 match between Jack Sock and Maxime Cressy was halted due to rain on Thursday, but either winner will round out the U.S. dozen.
Eight is the most American men to reach the third round at a Grand Slam since the 1996 US Open.
Read on for more second-round highlights for Team USA:
Jessica Pegula doubles up, rallies for Round 3
Jessica Pegula had a delayed start to her grass-court season and Wimbledon campaign, but now, she's through to Round 3 for a second time. The 28-year-old wasn't sure she'd play Wimbledon after her mother, Kim, experienced health issues shortly after Pegula returned home from Roland Garros; with assurances from her family, and Kim on the mend, the Pegula headed back to Europe just days before Wimbledon began for her first event as a Top 10 player.
After rain disrupted the schedule of play somewhat over the first two days, Pegula's first round was one of four women's matches that were played on Wednesday; after being Croatia's Donna Vekic, a tough grass-court assignment, in straight sets, she was back on court on Thursday for Round 2 and rallied from a set down to see off Great Britain's Harriet Dart, 4-6, 6-3, 6-1.
"She's been in-form this grass season and I didn't play any warm-up tournaments ... I was definitely nervous playing someone who I think plays really well on grass and can be really dangerous," Pegula said of the home favorite. "A lot of people tell me that grass should be my best surface ... I'm learning how to slice a lot better, learning how to come in and use all those intangible shots; that's improved on every surface, so I felt really comfortable about coming onto the grass this year."
After quarterfinal showings at the Australian Open and Roland Garros, Pegula's now matched her best-ever Wimbledon result; for a spot in the fourth round, she will next face Croatia's Petra Martic.
On Centre Court, John Isner beats Andy Murray for the first time
Nobody beats John Isner nine times in a row. Well, that at least rings true for Andy Murray. For the first time in his career, Isner, now 37, defeated the former world No. 1 in four sets to reach Round 3 at Wimbledon for the first time since he played in the 2018 semifinals.
"I am most definitely not a better tennis player than Andy Murray. I might just have been a little better today," Isner said on-court after the 6-4, 7-6(4), 6-7(3), 6-4 victory.
"At the age I'm at now, I need to relish these moments. This was one of the biggest wins of my career just given the atmosphere. It was fantastic. ... To play as well as I did against one of our greatest players, Andy Murray, was a huge accomplishment for me. He's a massive inspiration to each one of us in the locker room and we're so lucky to still have him around."
Whatever his result next against No. 10 seed Jannik Sinner, Isner's likely to break another record at Wimbledon; he needs just four aces to pass Ivo Karlovic for the most aces (13,728) in ATP tour history. He hit 54 in Round 1 and 36 against Murray.
Brandon Nakashima upsets 2021 semifinalist Denis Shapovalov
Brandon Nakashima's breakthrough 2022 took another step Thursday; after reaching the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time last month in Paris, he matched that feat on grass by beating 2021 semifinalist and No.13 seed Denis Shapovalov.
The 6-2, 4-6, 6-1, 7-6(8) win over the Canadian left-hander is Nakashima's first win against a Top 20 player. Opportunity knocks next to reach the last 16 as he faces unseeded Colombian, Daniel Elahi Galan.
“It felt amazing out there. To play against such a high-level player on one of the biggest stages, it doesn’t get much better than that,” Nakashima said. “The crowd was great out there today. I am happy with the way I played and I am looking forward to the next match.”
In men's doubles, top-seeded Rajeev Ram and his British partner Joe Salisbury are through to Round 2, as are Jack Sock and Denis Kudla, who upset No. 4 seeds and Roland Garros champions Marcelo Arevalo and Jean-Julien Rojer in the opening round. The last-minute pairing of Frances Tiafoe and Nick Monroe, alternates in the main draw, will look to upset No. 2 seeds Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic in Round 2. On the women's side, No. 5-seeded Asia Muhammad and her Japanese partner Ena Shibahara are through to Round 2, as are No. 10 seeds Nicole Melichar-Martinez and Aussie Ellen Perez; two all-American pairs, Alison Riske-Amritraj and CoCo Vandeweghe, and Danielle Collins and Desirae Krawczyk, also won their openers.
Mixed doubles play begins Friday, and that draw notably sees Venus Williams' return to competition; she's partnering Jamie Murray.
TEAM USA SINGLES RESULTS | 2022 WIMBLEDON CHAMPIONSHIPS, ROUND TWO
(8) Jessica Pegula def. Harriet Dart (GBR) 4-6, 6-3, 6-1
(11) Coco Gauff def. Mihaela Buzarnescu (ROU) 6-2, 6-3
(20) Amanda Anisimova def. Lauren Davis 2-6, 6-3, 6-4
(28) Alison Riske-Amritraj def. (Q) Maja Chwalinska (POL) 3-6, 6-1, 6-0
Alizé Cornet (FRA) def. Claire Liu 6-3, 6-3
Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) def. (Q) Catherine Harrison 6-2, 6-2
Marie Bouzkova (CZE) def. Ann Li 6-0, 6-3
(11) Taylor Fritz def. (WC) Alastair Gray (GBR) 6-3, 7-6(3), 6-3
(WC) Tim van Rijthoven (NED) def. (15) Reilly Opelka 6-4, 6-7(8), 7-6(7), 7-6(4)
(20) John Isner def. Andy Murray (GBR) 6-4, 7-6(4), 6-7(3), 6-4
(23) Frances Tiafoe def. Maximilian Marterer (GER) 6-2, 6-2, 7-6(3)
(29) Jenson Brooksby def. Benjamin Bonzi (FRA) 7-6(3), 7-5, 6-3
(30) Tommy Paul def. Adrian Mannarino (FRA) 6-2, 6-4, 61
(32) Oscar Otte (GER) def. (Q) Christian Harrison 3-1, ret.
Steve Johnson def. (WC) Ryan Peniston (GBR) 6-3, 6-2, 6-4
Brandon Nakashima def. (13) Denis Shapovalov (CAN) 6-2, 4-6, 6-1, 7-6(8)
(Q) Jack Sock vs. Maxime Cressy 6-4, 6-4, 0-0 -- to finish Friday
Alex Molcan (SVK) def. Marcos Giron 6-3, 6-2, 6-4
Richard Gasquet (FRA) def. Mackenzie McDonald 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3
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