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Williams sisters survive scares, Querrey has Djokovic on brink

Sam Querrey plays a backhand during his third-round match against Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon.
July 1, 2016 06:42 PM

By Sally Milano, USTA.com

Rain once again caused several delays in play at the All England Club Friday, but it was another strong day for American tennis, as the Williams sisters and John Isner advanced on Day 5, and Sam Querrey has world No. 1 Novak Djokovic on the brink of defeat.

Six-time Wimbledon singles champion Serena Williams survived a tough test from fellow American Christina McHale in the second round, needing two-and-a-half hours to defeat the No. 65-ranked American, 6-7, 6-2, 6-4, for her 299th major match win.

Serena, who is just one major championship away from tying Steff Graf's Open era record of 22 Grand Slam titles, moves on to the third round, where she will face Annika Beck of Germany.

Venus Williams, the oldest player in the women's draw, pulled out a nailbiter of her own against Daria Kasatkina, the youngest player still alive in the women's field, with 36-year-old Venus defeating the 19-year-old Russian, 7-5, 4-6, 10-8, to advance.

Their third-round match was delayed three times by rain, with the final stoppage in play coming at match point for Venus at 7-6 in the third set. When play resumed, Kasatkina won three straight points to hold her serve and even the set at 7-all, but a few games later the five-time women's singles champion closed out the match, which lasted nearly three hours.

With her win, Venus moves on to the Wimbledon fourth round for the 14th time in her career. She will take on Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain next.

On the men's side, Querrey (pictured above) is one set away from pulling off one of the biggest men's upsets in recent memory, as the Californian took a two-sets-to-love lead over men's top seed Novak Djokovic, 7-6 (6), 6-1, in their third-round match before rain suspended play.

Querrey, ranked No. 41 in the world and seeded 28th at Wimbledon, dominated with his serve in the first set and won the second set in just 22 minutes before the match was called.

The American, who has posted back-to-back wins for the first time at a Slam since the US Open in 2014, has defeated Djokovic one time in nine career meetings, at the Paris Open in 2012. Djokovic currently holds all four major titles and is chasing the first men's calendar-year Grand Slam since Rod Laver achieved the feat in 1969.

In other action, No. 18 seed John Isner won three tiebreak sets, 7-6 (8), 7-6 (3), 7-6 (8), against Matthew Barton of Australia to reach the third round at Wimbledon for the third straight year. On Saturday, he will take on No. 12 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga for a spot in the round of 16.

Play will continue Saturday for rain-suspended matches involving No. 18 seed Sloane Stephens and Steve Johnson. Stephens was in a tight battle against Luxembourg's Mandy Minella when their second-round match was called at 3-6, 7-6 (6), 3-3. Johnson will pick up his third-round match against Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria, with the American leading 4-3 in the first set.

Matches featuring No. 27 Jack Sock vs. No. 6 Milos Raonic of Canada and No. 9 Madison Keys vs. Alize Cornet of France were canceled Friday and are scheduled to be played Saturday.

 

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