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October 31, 2014

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Magic Monday’ produces upset at Wimbledon

LONDON — It’s dubbed ‘Magic Monday’ and it’s the hottest sporting ticket in town. It’s the day when all the remaining 16 players in both singles events play their fourth round matches.

To give you an idea, when Andy Roddick was asked which ticket he would buy: US Open’s ‘Super Saturday’ or Wimbledon’s ‘Magic Monday’?

“Maybe Monday because there are more matches,” he said. “You can see more players.”

Venus Williams also picked the green lawns. “Because it’s Wimbledon,” she said. “The U.S. Open’s amazing, but Wimbledon’s where it all started.”

The eagerly awaited clash between Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova was a re-run of the 2004 final when Sharapova overthrew the Serena. Since then Serena had beaten her in four of their five encounters.

Serena added to her dominance with a 7-6 (9), 6-4 victory.

The other big talking point today was the match between the two Belgians, Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters. Clijsters fought back from a set down for a 2-6, 6-2, 6-3 victory to reach the quarterfinals.

On the men’s side, it was the first time since 2001 that all of the top six seeds made the round of 16. No. 1 seed Roger Federer was first up, and after having had to go nine sets in his first two matches to get this far, no one could predict what sort of opposition the Austrian left-hander Jurgen Melzer might pose.

But Federer made short work of his opponent in a 6-3 6-2 6-3 win. Rafael Nadal equally was in a hurry to secure his three set win over Paul-Henri Mathieu.

American Sam Querry was up against Britain’s lone hope, Andy Murray, who he had lost to in all three previous meetings.

Querry, the hard-serving former Las Vegas resident, came into the tournament with impressive credentials. He was the surprise winner of the prestigious pre-Wimbledon Queen’s Club championships, defeating fellow American Mardy Fish.

But Murray ended his hot streak with a 7-5 6-3 6-4 victory to reach quarterfinals for a third straight year.

No ‘Magic Monday’ could be complete without an upset.

Andy Roddick, last year’s runner-up, put spectators, commentators, the press and an anxious wife through a five-set thriller.

Aiming to reach a second successive final, few people would have put money on his path being blocked by the unseeded Yen-Hsun Lu from Taiwan.

But Lu pulled of a shocking 6-4 6-7 (3) 6-7 (4) 9-7 upset to become Asia’s first Grand Slam quarter finalist in 15 years.

James Borg has reported on the Wimbledon Championships over the last 30 years. He has worked in Las Vegas and regularly writes travel articles about the area. He lives in London

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