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Serena Williams advances, John Isner falls to Roger Federer

August 02, 2012|By Bill Dwyre
  • Serena Williams returns a shot against Caroline Wozniacki in the Olympics quarterfinals Thursday at Wimbledon.
Serena Williams returns a shot against Caroline Wozniacki in the Olympics… (Andy Rain / EPA )

Serena Williams remained the last U.S. singles tennis player standing Thursday in the London Olympics at Wimbledon. But John Isner gave it a great try, losing to yet another Roger Federer magic moment.

Williams coasted past former No. 1-ranked Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark, 6-0, 6-3, continuing her dominance of the women’s bracket. She hit 30 winners, including six aces, and will face off in the semifinals against current No. 1 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus. Azarenka beat Germany’s Angelique Kerber, 6-4, 7-5.

Isner, the 6-foot-9 rising U.S. men’s star, stretched No. 1 Federer to a second-set tiebreaker, but lost, 6-4, 7-6 (5). The final point of the tiebreaker might be an omen for what lies ahead. Isner served on the first match point and Federer hit a clean backhand that clipped the net cord and fell over for the winning point.

“I felt bad, but relieved,” Federer said of the lucky shot. “The whole big serving thing [of Isner] was over.”

It was Isner’s first match on Wimbledon’s Centre Court, but certainly not his first experience at Wimbledon. In 2010, he and Nicolas Mahut of France played a record three-day marathon, on Court 18, that ended with a 70-68 fifth-set victory for Isner.

Also on Thursday, Serbia’s Novak Djokovic made his way into the men’s semifinal opposite Britain’s Andy Murray, and Argentinian Juan Martin del Potro drew the next straw against Federer in the other semifinals.

Maria Sharapova outlasted Belgium’s Kim Clijsters for the other women’s semifinal spot opposite Maria Kirilenko. Both Sharapova and Kirilenko are Russian.

The U.S. remained medal contenders in doubles. In the men’s, top-ranked Bob and Mike Bryan advanced to the semifinals, as did Venus and Serena Williams as well as Lisa Raymond and Liezel Huber in the women’s division. In mixed doubles, Raymond and Mike Bryan are still alive.

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