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Bite-sized highlights from day 6 at the Olympic tennis

Andy Murray roars to the heavens
by Alexandra Willis
Thursday 2 August 2012

Medals just over the horizon
For Andy Murray. The British No.1 breezed past Nicolas Almagro, 6-4, 6-1 to reach the semi-finals, and thus give him a very real shot at Olympic gold, silver, or bronze.

His opponent for a place in the final will be Novak Djokovic, who made the most of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga’s record-breaking-induced fatigue, winning 6-1, 7-5. Djokovic lost to Rafael Nadal in the Olympic semi-final in Beijing four years ago, so he’ll be extremely motivated.

Two to go…
For Roger Federer. Singles gold is just about the only thing the Swiss hasn’t accomplished, and he was sufficiently clinical to see off John Isner in two sets, 6-4, 7-6(5).

He will face Juan Martin Del Potro after the Argentine saw off Kei Nishikori in straight sets, 6-4, 7-6(3).

Screeching through
Serena Williams. The Wimbledon champion completed her 11th straight win at the All England Club, trouncing Caroline Wozniacki 6-1, 6-3 to reach the Olympic semi-finals. She even produced a left-handed forehand in the process.

Standing in Serena’s way of the final is Victoria Azarenka, who was imperious in her 6-4, 7-5 defeat of Angelique Kerber. The match will be a re-match of their semi-final at The Championships a month ago. Hold onto your hats.

The upset
It’s easy to forget that Maria Kirilenko was a fingertip away from a place in the Wimbledon semi-finals, a narrow loser to Agnieszka Radwanska, 5-7, 6-4, 5-7. She’s made up for it now though, beating 2011 Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova  7-6, 6-3 to reach the semi-finals.

Kirilenko’s opponent will be her fellow Russian Maria Sharapova, who successfully held off a brave fight from Kim Clijsters, playing her last match on the Wimbledon grass.

Mixed magic
There were three mixed matches on the billing today, Kas and Lisicki, Mirza and Paes, and finally Robson and Murray the victorious ones, and in thrilling fashion too.

The Bryan brothers reached the men’s doubles semi-finals with a 7-6(4), 7-6(10) win over Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram, who had earlier vanquished defending champions Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka.

Feliciano Lopez and David Ferrer meanwhile continued their wonder-run for Spain with a 6-4 6-4 win over Marin Cilic and Ivan Dodig of Croatia to reach the semi-finals.

Surprisingly, Julien Benneteau and Richard Gasquet upset the third seeds and fancied medal prospects, Janko Tipsarevic and Nenad Zimonjic, 6-4, 7-6(3), but second seeds Michael Llodra and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga stayed on top, winning 6-4 6-2 over Brazil’s Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares.

Serena and Venus Williams remain an unstoppable force at Wimbledon, totally demolishing the multi-title winning Italians Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci, 6-1, 6-1.

Famous faces
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge made their third visit to Wimbledon today, but this time they weren’t in the comfort of the Royal Box. Instead, in their role as Team GB ambassadors, the duo sat on No.1 Court in support of Andy Murray as the British No.1 advanced to the semi-finals, within touching distance of an Olympic medal.  They even took part in a Mexican wave, before having a chat with Murray afterwards, and then hot-footing it to the velodrome. Tough life.

Take pity on…
The courts. They are looking very much past their bedtime now. Only to be expected.

Moment of the day
The collision between Serena and Venus. Both screaming ‘Mine!’, the two ladies with 15 Wimbledon titles between them bumped straight into each other on a short ball. They still won the point. 

The London 2012 Olympic tennis is taking place at Wimbledon. Visit the ITF Olympics site for full scores, draws and the London 2012 site for video content, venue and schedule information.

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