Wimbledon: Emma Raducanu, Andy Murray ousted on Centre Court

Emma Raducanu
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Emma Raducanu and Andy Murray lost back-to-back Wimbledon second round matches on Centre Court, stifling the momentum after 10 British players reached the second round for the first time since 1984.

Raducanu’s follow-up to her fairytale Wimbledon fourth round run last year ended at the hands of French veteran Caroline Garcia.

Garcia, the former world No. 4 now ranked 55th, took out the No. 10 seed 6-3, 6-3 in the third top-10 upset of the day.

WIMBLEDON DRAWS: Women | Men

Raducanu, who also won the 2021 U.S. Open after going through qualifying, had tempered expectations for her Wimbledon return. Her grass-court lead-up was stunted by a side strain. She had multiple coaching changes in the last year. She is just 19.

“It’s OK because coming into this I didn’t really have many expectations of myself,” Raducanu said. “Yes, I have had attention. But I’m a Slam champion, so no one’s going to take that away from me. If anything, the pressure is on those who haven’t done that.

“I’ve played seven hours of tennis in a month. To even compete with these girls at this level and win a round I think is a pretty good achievement.”

Later, Murray played admirably, but American John Isner was overpowering in a 6-4, 7-6 (4), 6-7 (3), 6-4 victory. Isner fired 36 aces among his 82 winners to 32 unforced errors to beat Murray for the first time in nine meetings.

In his next match, Isner will likely break the ATP record for most career aces (since the stat started being fully recorded in 1991). He has 13,724 aces. Croat Ivo Karlovic holds the record with 13,728.

Murray, the 2013 and 2016 Wimbledon champ, had 39 winners and 13 unforced errors but just two break points, which he lost.

In his last eight majors dating to 2018, Murray hasn’t made it past the third round. He nearly retired in 2019, his career saved by successful hip surgery.

“It’s extremely difficult with the problems I’ve had with my body in the last few years to make long-term predictions about how I’m going to be even in a few weeks’ time, never mind in a year’s time,” said the 35-year-old Murray, who couldn’t serve for 10 days earlier this month after picking up an abdominal injury. “If physically I’m in a good place, yeah, I will continue to play. But it’s not easy to keep my body in optimal condition to compete at the highest level.”

Also Wednesday, No. 2 women’s seed Anett Kontaveit of Estonia and No. 3 men’s seed Casper Ruud of Norway lost in not-so upsets.

German Jule Niemeier took out Kontaveit 6-4, 6-0. Kontaveit reached the finals of five tournaments between October and February, but has just one match win since the end of April while dealing with fatiguing effects of COVID. She took two weeks off after the French Open.

Frenchman Ugo Humbert eliminated the French Open runner-up Ruud 3-6, 6-2, 7-5, 6-4. Ruud has three career match wins on grass and lost in the first round of Wimbledon in his previous two appearances.

Ruud’s exit means that a first-time major semifinalist is guaranteed in the men’s draw. No. 7 seed Hubert Hurkacz, No. 16 Pablo Carreno Busta and No. 18 Grigor Dimitrov were previously ousted from Ruud’s quarter in the first round. No. 9 Cameron Norrie of Great Britain is the lone top-20 seed left in that quarter.

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Aleksander Aamodt Kilde wins Beaver Creek downhill

Aleksander Aamodt Kilde
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BEAVER CREEK, Colo. — Norway’s Aleksander Aamodt Kilde won his second straight World Cup downhill race to start the season, despite feeling under the weather.

Although dealing with an illness all week in training, Kilde powered through the challenging Birds of Prey course Saturday in a time of 1 minute, 42.09 seconds. It was enough to hold off Marco Odermatt of Switzerland by 0.06 seconds. James Crawford of Canada was third to earn his second career World Cup podium finish.

Kilde also won the opening downhill last weekend in Lake Louise, Alberta.

“It’s been a tough week,” Kilde said after the race. “I caught the flu in Lake Louise after a very, very nice weekend. It really hit me hard. Then I got a couple of days to rest and take it easy. … I felt OK. Still feeling it a little bit in my system.”

The Beaver Creek crew members had the course in solid shape a day after a downhill race was canceled due to high wind and snowfall.

ALPINE SKIING: Results | Broadcast Schedule

Kilde reached speeds around 75 mph in picking up his eighth World Cup downhill victory. That tied him with Kjetil Jansrud for the third-most downhill wins in the World Cup discipline among Norwegian men. The total trails only Aksel Lund Svindal (14) and Lasse Kjus (10).

“I found a really, really good set-up with my equipment and also with my skiing,” Kilde explained. “I believe in myself. I trust in myself. I have a good game plan. When I stand on the start, I don’t dwell on anything. I know that this plan is what I do and when I do that it’s going to be fast.”

Odermatt has been on the podium in all four World Cup races this season as he tries to defend his overall World Cup title. The 25-year-old finished third in the opening downhill of the season last weekend. He’s also won a giant slalom race and a super-G.

Ryan Cochran-Siegle wound up in seventh place for the top American finish. He was ninth in the downhill in Lake Louise.

“It’s been solid,” Cochran-Siegle said of his strides in the discipline. “A couple of little things here and there that pushed me off that top three. You have to ski with a lot of intensity and ski without abandon, in a sense. Today was a good step.”

Switzerland’s Beat Feuz, who won the Olympic downhill gold medal at the Beijing Games last February, tied for ninth.

The Beaver Creek stop on the circuit comes to a close Sunday with a super-G race. Odermatt will be the favorite after holding off Kilde in the opening super-G last weekend.

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Summer McIntosh, Canadian teen swimmer, caps record year with another historic time

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Summer McIntosh swam the fourth-fastest 400m individual medley in history on Friday, capping a year that already included world titles, Commonwealth Games titles and a victory over Katie Ledecky.

McIntosh, a 16-year-old Canadian whose mom swam at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, won the 400m IM in 4 minutes, 28.61 seconds at the U.S. Open in Greensboro, N.C. She prevailed by a Ledecky-like 13.24 seconds, breaking her own national record that was previously the fourth-fastest time in history.

“It’s still pretty early in the season, so I didn’t really know what to expect going into it,” she said on Peacock.

The only two women who ever went faster in the event known as the decathlon of swimming are Olympic gold medalists: Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu (world record 4:26.36 and 4:28.58) and China’s Ye Shiwen (4:28.43).

McIntosh has come a long way in a short time. Three years ago, she put all her eggs in the 1500m freestyle basket, thinking it was her best shot to merely qualify for the Tokyo Games in 2020. The one-year Olympic postponement was a blessing.

The rapidly improving McIntosh swam three individual events in Tokyo with a top finish of fourth in the 400m free, just missing becoming the youngest swimming medalist since 1996. She then told her coach she wanted to become an IMer.

At this past June’s world championships, McIntosh won two of the most grueling events — 400m IM and 200m butterfly — to become the youngest individual world champion since 2011. She also took silver to Ledecky in the 400m free, an event in which she later beat Ledecky in a short-course meet (25-meter pool rather than the 50-meter pool used for the Olympics).

A month after worlds, McIntosh swept the IMs at the Commonwealth Games, where she broke more world junior records and again took second in the 400m free (this time to Olympic champ and world record holder Ariarne Titmus of Australia).

McIntosh, who turned professional last year, now trains full-time in Sarasota, Florida, where she rents a house with her mom, Jill Horstead, who was ninth in the 200m fly at the 1984 Olympics (McIntosh, whose passions include the Kardashians and plants from Target, has seen video of her mom winning the B final at those Games). They’re a three-hour drive down Interstate 75 from Ledecky’s base in Gainesville.

Also Friday, Erin Gemmell celebrated her 18th birthday by nearly becoming the first American to beat Ledecky in a 200m freestyle in nearly nine years. Ledecky won by 42 hundredths of a second in 1:56.74 and said she had an off-day while also praising Gemmell, the daughter of her former coach.

NBC airs U.S. Open highlights on Dec. 10 at 4:30 p.m. ET.

U.S. OPEN SWIMMING: Full Results

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