KEYS, QUERREY WIN
ON WIMBLEDON DAY 3
Ashley Marshall | July 4, 2018
It's Independence Day in America, but Team USA's stars made sure they brought fireworks of their own on an action-packed day for the red, white and blue at Wimbledon.
Madison Keys, Venus and Serena Williams and Sam Querrey all advanced to the third round on Day 3 in London, flying the flag for America and ensuring their names were not added to the ever-growing list of seeds outed on the first two days of the tournament.
The first U.S. player to punch her ticket to the round of 32 was No. 10 seed Keys, who needed 76 minutes to beat Luksika Kumkhum of Thailand, 6-4, 6-3.
The 23-year-old American broke serve three times and saved four of the five break points she faced in moving into the round of 32 for the fifth time in six trips to London.
The victory also helps erase memories of a dissappointing start to 2017. ADVERTISEMENT Last year, Keys was forced to miss the Australian Open while she recovered from wrist surgery, and she then lost in the second round of both the French Open and Wimbledon.
But since falling in southwest London 12 months ago, Keys has made the second week in each of the previous three majors, reaching the US Open final in 2017 and then the Australian Open quarterfinals and French Open semifinals earlier this year.
On Wednesday, Keys and Kumkhum exchanged breaks in the fifth and sixth games of the first set before Keys broke for a second time, with Kumkhum serving to stay in the set at 4-6.
The Thai world No. 91 had chances to get back into the match in the second set, but the Florida resident saved a pair of break points at 2-2 and another at 3-3 to keep the scoreboard pressure on Kumkhum. That advantage finally paid off, as Keys broke for a 5-3 lead with a forehand down-the-line pass that Kumkhum could not redirect back in play before serving out the match for a spot in round three.
Keys will play qualifier Evgeniya Rodina, ranked No. 120 in the world, for a spot in the round of 16. The 29-year-old is into the third round of a major for the second time in her career after also reaching this stage at Wimbledon in 2008.
Also advancing in the women's draw was the highest-ranked American still in the tournament, Venus Williams, and her younger sister, Serena.
Venus, a five-time champion at the All England Club, rallied from a set down to overcome Alexandra Dulgheru of Romania, 4-6, 6-0, 6-1. The No. 9 seed was broken twice in the opening set before winning 12 of the final 13 games to seal victory in one hour, 59 minutes.
Venus will play No. 20 seed Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands in the third round on Friday.
Later in the day, Serena was made to work a little less in her win over Bulgarian qualifier Viktoriya Tomova, whom she beat, 6-1, 6-4.
Serena, going in search of an all-time record-tying 24th Grand Slam women's singles title, will next play Kristina Mladenovic for a place in the last 16. The draw is slightly more favorable to Serena than it was when The Championships began, with No. 5 seed Elina Svitolina's upset by Tatjana Maria on Day 1 of play.
Leading the charge in the men's draw for Team USA on Wednesday was Querrey, who defeated Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine in straight sets, 7-6, 6-3, 6-3.
The No. 11 seed hit 17 aces and dropped just six points on his first serve in dispatching the world No. 109, whose serve-and-volley approach saw him come to the net early and often in a bid to upset the American's rhythm. But the Kiev native only won two thirds of those points at the net and failed to capitalize on the two break opportunities he created.
While the scoreline looks straightforward, margins were much tighter than the numbers suggest. Querrey did not earn a break point in the first set, instead taking advantage of winning one point against serve in the tiebreak to craft the small window he needed. In the second set, Querrey broke in Stakhovsky's first service game and never faced a break point on his own racquet, then in the third he broke for a 2-1 lead and again in the ninth game to wrap up victory.
Querrey will face Gael Monfils of France in the next round and could face eighth-seeded Kevin Anderson in the fourth round.
Elsewhere on Day 3, Mackenzie McDonald outlasted Nicolas Jarry of Chile, 7-6, 5-7, 3-6, 6-2, 11-9, in a three-and-a-half-hour thriller on Court 8.
McDonald's win moves the 23-year-old into the third round of a major for the first time in his career – he could face Marin Cilic in the next round – and pushes him closer to the Top 100 in the rankings.
In other second-round action, Madison Brengle lost to Camila Giorgi of Italy, 6-4, 6-4, and Ryan Harrison fell to French No. 22 seed Adrian Mannarino, 7-5, 7-5, 7-6.