Serena rises, Venus sinks in singles; Federer drops doubles
Williams squandered a lead in each set Wednesday and lost her third-round match to No. 7-seeded Angelique Kerber of Germany, 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-5).
Seeking a record fourth gold medal in Olympic tennis, Williams still has a shot in doubles with sister Serena, who nearly shut out her opponent earlier in the day. They play in the quarterfinals Thursday.
In the first set Williams failed to convert three set points, then blew a 5-1 lead in the tiebreaker. She was up, 3-1, in the second set, but Kerber again charged back.
‘‘I made a few errors and she hit a few winners, and things can go quickly in tennis,’’ Williams said.
Kerber, a semifinalist at Wimbledon last month and at the US Open last year, is ranked a career-high No. 7. She advanced to the quarterfinals against top-seeded Victoria Azarenka, who also advanced Wednesday.
Earlier Wednesday, Serena Williams hit 12 aces and repeatedly rocketed her groundstrokes past No. 13-seeded Vera Zvonareva to win, 6-1, 6-0. No. 4-seed Serena hit 32 winners to three for the Russian in a rematch of the 2010 Wimbledon final.
The younger Williams swept the final 10 games and was done in only 51 minutes.
Like Venus Williams, Roger Federer is also down to one shot at a medal. He advanced to the quarterfinals in singles but lost with Swiss teammate Stanislas Wawrinka in doubles.
No. 2 Novak Djokovic hit 16 aces and came from behind to beat Lleyton Hewitt, 4-6, 7-5, 6-1. Djokovic next plays No. 5 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who beat Feliciano Lopez less than 24 hours after winning a 48-game third set.
No. 3 Andy Murray of host Britain and American John Isner, seeded No. 10, advanced as well. Fourth-seeded David Ferrer fell.
Four-time Grand Slam champion Kim Clijsters, playing in her first Olympics weeks before she retires, beat former No. 1 Ana Ivanovic. Her opponent Thursday will be first-time Olympian Maria Sharapova, who rallied past No. 15-seeded Sabine Lisicki, 6-7 (8-6), 6-4, 6-3.
Hewitt and Samantha Stosur won the first Olympic mixed doubles match since 1924. The US team of Mike Bryan and Lisa Raymond later won their opening match.
Destinee Hooker scored 22 points and the US women improved to 3-0 with a three-set preliminary round victory over China, securing its spot in the quarterfinals.
Megan Hodge added 18 points for the top-ranked US in the 26-24, 25-16, 31-29 win.
In the late match, South Korea upset the No. 2 Brazilians (1-2) in three sets.
The unbeaten streak continues for two-time defending Olympic beach volleyball gold medalists Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor.
The Americans lost the first set of their preliminary round match against Austria’s Stefanie and Doris Schwaiger — the first time they've lost a set in three Olympics. But after the 21-17 loss in the first, they came back to win the second by a dominating 21-8 and took the third, 15-10.
Despite the blemish on their record, the Americans won their pool and advance to the knockout round as a No. 1 seed.
Earlier Wednesday, Americans Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal beat Latvia to bounce back from their only loss of the tournament and advance. The No. 2 US men’s team finished atop their pool; they were in danger of being eliminated after losing to Poland and falling to 1-1.
Maica Garcia scored her second goal of the night with under a minute to play as the Spain women’s team earned a 9-9 draw against the United States.
Spain, making its Olympic debut in women’s water polo, trailed, 9-6, with three minutes to play. Undaunted, Spain roared back with captain Jennifer Pareja’s fourth goal of the contest and then two from Garcia to earn the draw.
With the draw, both teams remain tied for first in Group A with three points from two games.
Top-seeded bantamweight Lazaro Alvarez of Cuba beat American Joseph Diaz Jr., 21-15, and US heavyweight Michael Hunter tired badly in the third round of a narrow loss to Artur Beterbiev before US super heavyweight Dominic Breazeale dropped a 19-8 decision to Magomed Omarov.
Iran heavyweight Ali Mazaheri left the ring without shaking hands and later cried conspiracy after a German referee disqualified him from his bout with Cuba’s Jose Larduet, apparently for an accumulation of holding fouls. Japan’s Satoshi Shimizu also filed a protest after he lost a 22-17 decision to second-seeded Magomed Abdulhamidov despite sending him to the canvas five times in the third round in what appeared to be an exhausted fighter’s attempt to maintain a narrow lead.
Britain beat Uruguay, 1-0, in its final group game to join fellow medal contenders Brazil and Mexico in the quarterfinals.
Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge scored the winner just before halftime in front of 70,000 fans. The team, which won Group A, is the country’s first in the Olympics since 1960.
Oribe Peralta scored a second-half goal as Mexico topped Switzerland, 1-0, and Honduras continued its surprise run by drawing, 0-0, with Group D winner Japan to take a place in the last eight.
Egypt, Senegal, and South Korea also reached the quarters.
The only remaining American is Khatuna Lorig, who dropped Denmark’s Louise Laursen, 6-4, in the Round of 32. Fellow US women Miranda Leek and Jennifer Nichols and men Brady Ellison and Taylor Worth were bounced.
Lin Dan advanced to the quarterfinals in his badminton title defense, beating Taufik Hidayat, 21-9, 21-12, in a matchup of Olympic champions.
Brazil is the only 3-0 team after powering past Britain, 30-17. Croatia beat Russia, 30-28, and Spain, France, and Montenegro also won.
Australia overwhelmed Spain, 5-0, in the men’s tournament, turning what was expected to be a close preliminary match into a rout.
Defending champion Germany beat South Korea, 1-0.
In the quarterfinals, China’s Zhang Jike, the No. 1 seed, and Wang Hao, the two-time defending silver medalist, both won handily to set up a gold-medal final match.