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TENNIS

Kerber defeat dashes hopes of Wimbledon final

Whispered German hopes of a place in the Wimbledon tennis final for the first time since Steffi Graf got there in 1999 were dashed on Thursday when Angelique Kerber lost the semi-final.

Kerber defeat dashes hopes of Wimbledon final
Photo: DPA

The 24-year-old’s winning streak came to an abrupt end at the hands of world number three Agnieszka Radwanska. Her 6-3, 6-4 victory against the German makes Radwanska Poland’s first grand slam singles finalist since 1968.

“We were both a bit nervous,” said Radwanska, who will now face either defending four-time Wimbledon champion Serena Williams or Australian Open winner Victoria Asarenka from Belarus in Saturday’s final.

“We’ve known each other since we were small. My family also comes from Poland. We talk Polish together and are good friends,” said Kerber before the match.

After a strong start, Kerber was ahead 3:1, but became inconsistent as the match wore on. Radwanska’s error-free play secured her the first set. In the end, Kerber was unable to recreate the aggression and drama of her quarter final performance against fellow German Sabine Lisicki.

Fed-Cup Team leader Barbara Rittner said Radwanska played a “perfect match” and was “a good touch better than Angie.”

Kerner met her idol Graf on Wednesday as the former champ dropped into Wimbledon briefly. But her star power did not rub off and Kerner failed to follow in her footsteps.

Had she won on Thursday, Kerner would have been the first German player to reach the Wimbledon final since Graf’s defeat against American Lindsay Davenport in 1999.

DPA/The Local/jlb/

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TENNIS

Nadal beats Zverev to set Spain up for Davis Cup decider with Germany

Rafael Nadal kept Spain's Davis Cup hopes alive by beating Alexander Zverez on Sunday in the fourth rubber of their quarter-final against Germany.

Nadal beats Zverev to set Spain up for Davis Cup decider with Germany
Germany's Alexander Zverev walks on the pitch during the Davis Cup quarter-final tennis match against Spain's Rafa Nadal at the bullring of Valencia, on Sunday. JOSE JORDAN / AFP
Nadal's 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 win in Valencia draws the tie level at 2-2, with Spanish world number 33 David Ferrer up against Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber in the fifth and decisive match.
 
Two breaks in each set were enough for Nadal to seal an impressively comfortable victory over Zverev in what was only the 31-year-old's second outing since returning from a hip injury.
 
Nadal was forced to retire at the Australian Open in January but, back on his favoured clay, the 16-time grand slam champion showed little sign of rust against Zverev, whom he has now beaten four times out of four.
 
It was also the 24th consecutive match Nadal has won in Davis Cup.
 
He beat Kohlschreiber in straight sets on Friday after Zverev had overcome Ferrer. Germany then took a 2-1 lead when Tim Puetz and Jan-Lennard Struff won the doubles rubber against Spain's Feliciano and Marc Lopez.