Bryan Armen Graham

Author's details

Name: Bryan Armen Graham
Date registered: January 21, 2015
URL: http://www.theguardian.com/sport/boxing

Latest posts

  1. Venus Williams’ glorious reinvention undaunted by Wimbledon final defeat — July 15, 2017
  2. Marin Cilic overcomes Sam Querrey to reach Wimbledon final – as it happened — July 14, 2017
  3. Andy Roddick threw away nearly all his trophies during cleaning spree, wife says — July 13, 2017
  4. Venus Williams beats Jelena Ostapenko: Wimbledon quarter-final – as it happened — July 11, 2017
  5. John McEnroe: ‘A knack for creating controversy where there is none’ — July 1, 2017

Author's posts listings

Jul 15

Venus Williams’ glorious reinvention undaunted by Wimbledon final defeat

Late-career revival is certainly not over yet and remarkable tennis odyssey now sets sights on US Open, which she won in 2000 and 2001

Venus Williams’ preposterous longevity in a sport notorious for burnout cases is impressive enough, not even accounting for the incurable autoimmune disease that has compromised her tennis for most of the past decade. The 37-year-old American’s road to the Wimbledon final included three straight victories against opponents born in 1997, the year Williams made her Wimbledon debut. But she came up short against the imperious Garbiñe Muguruza, a star-in-waiting who did what young lions do to older champions.

Yet Williams’ runner-up finish is the type of accomplishment that will strain the credulity among future generations. The oldest player in the top 300 – the third-oldest in the top 1,000 – came within one win of becoming the oldest Wimbledon ladies’ singles champion since 1908. This was a big deal.

Related: Garbiñe Muguruza crowned Wimbledon champion after beating Venus Williams

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jul/15/venus-williams-reinvention-undaunted-by-wimbledon-final-defeat

Jul 14

Marin Cilic overcomes Sam Querrey to reach Wimbledon final – as it happened

4.28pm BST

That’s all for now. Thanks as always for following along with us and do check back later for Kevin Mitchell’s full match report.

4.24pm BST

Cilic makes the Wimbledon final for the first time in his 11th attempt. #Persistence. That’s a record for the Open era. The 6ft 6in Croat is also the tallest finalist at the All England Club since the majors allowed professionals to compete with amateurs in 1968.

By reaching the final on his 11th appearance @cilic_marin is top of the Open Era list for most attempts before reaching the #Wimbledon final pic.twitter.com/EKOVbvQwfl

4.20pm BST

Related: Marin Cilic reaches first Wimbledon final with win over Sam Querrey

4.15pm BST

Marin Cilic is through to his second major final and first at Wimbledon after a 6-7 (6), 6-4, 7-6 (3), 7-5 win over Sam Querrey. He will face the winner of today’s second semi-final between Roger Federer and Tomas Berdych. Good on Cilic to keep his cool in a closely fought match against a cool, confident opponent. The difference came on their second serves, where Querrey won less than half of the points (26 of 54) compared to two-thirds for Cilic (28 of 42).

4.08pm BST

Fourth set: Querrey 7-6, 4-6, 6-7, 5-7 Cilic

Querrey double-faults, only his third of the day. Not ideal. He wins the next point but then sends a cross-court forehand long and wide, challenging it unsuccessfully. Cilic two points from the final at 15-30. Then Querrey sends another backhand sailing past the baseline and Cilic has a pair of match points. He squanders the first by dumping a backhand into the net, but then crushes a forehand winner down the baseline for the break and the match!

4.05pm BST

Fourth set: *Querrey 7-6, 4-6, 6-7, 5-6 Cilic (*denotes next server)

Another love hold for Querrey, including his 24th and 25th aces followed by a backhand winner. He’s a perfect 17-for-17 on first-serve points won this set. Do-or-die service game ahead for Querrey to try and force a fourth-set tiebreaker.

4.02pm BST

Fourth set: Querrey 7-6, 4-6, 6-7, 5-5 Cilic* (*denotes next server)

Querrey opens with an ace but makes an unforced error on the backhand side for 15-all and now Cilic is three points from the final. But Querrey steadies himself and wins the next three points to hold for five-all.

3.59pm BST

Fourth set: *Querrey 7-6, 4-6, 6-7, 4-5 Cilic (*denotes next server)

Cilic falls behind love-15 when Querrey hits a backhand volley winner. The umpire asks the crowd to turn off the cell phone. Pretty embarrssing moment for someone. Hope it wasn’t Barry Gibb. Now Cilic rattles off three quick points to fight back to 40-15. An unforced error by Cilic makes it 40-30, but Querrey can’t return another blistering Cilic serve into the court and the Croat holds. Querrey will now serve to stay in the tournament.

3.56pm BST

Fourth set: Querrey 7-6, 4-6, 6-7, 4-4 Cilic* (*denotes next server)

Querrey wins the first two points and it looks like just another routine service games, but Cilic responds with a pair of clean winners for 30-all then a drop-shot winner for 30-40. All of a sudden, Cilic has a chance for a break point to get back on serve in the fourth. And he capitalizes! Cilic pounces on a 79mph second serve and forces Querrey into an error on the backhand side. Querrey’s vulnerability on the second serve laid bare there: he’s 23 of 49 (47%) and just two for nine in this set.

3.52pm BST

Fourth set: *Querrey 7-6, 4-6, 6-7, 4-3 Cilic (*denotes next server)

Another love hold for Cilic punctuated by an ace. Both times Cilic’s been broken today, he’s responded with eight straight points across his next two service games.

3.50pm BST

Fourth set: Querrey 7-6, 4-6, 6-7, 4-2 Cilic* (*denotes next server)

Querrey races out to 40-love, but dumps a volley into the net followed by a double fault, only his second of the day. But before it can get uncomfortable, the American calmly uncorks an ace to hold serve.

3.45pm BST

Fourth set: *Querrey 7-6, 4-6, 6-7, 3-2 Cilic (*denotes next server)

Cilic fires in his 20th and 21st aces, then sees Querrey make an unforced error on the backhand side for 40-love. A forehand winner then gives the Croat yet another love hold, but he’s still down a break in the fourth.

3.43pm BST

Fourth set: Querrey 7-6, 4-6, 6-7, 3-1 Cilic* (*denotes next server)

Uh-oh. Querrey in danger of giving it right back as he falls behind 15-40 on a botch overhand smash. But he saves the first with a forehand winner, then the second when Cilic makes an unforced error on the forehand side for deuce. Querrey than crushes an ace and forces Cilic into a forehand error to escape with the hold from double break point down. Wow!

3.39pm BST

Fourth set: *Querrey 7-6, 4-6, 6-7, 2-1 Cilic (*denotes next server)

Querrey hasn’t even come within touching distance of a break very often today, but he’s forced Cilic into an error for 30-all. He then jumps on a second serve and forces Cilic into another error on the forehand side for 30-40. One break-point chance and he makes the most of it, forcing Cilic into another error for the precious service break!

3.35pm BST

Fourth set: Querrey 7-6, 4-6, 6-7, 1-1 Cilic* (*denotes next server)

Cilic gets it to 30-all on Querrey’s serve, but the American responds with his ninth and 10th aces of the day for the hold.

3.33pm BST

Fourth set: *Querrey 7-6, 4-6, 6-7, 0-1 Cilic (*denotes next server)

Quick love hold for Cilic, who is just dialed in on his serve.

3.30pm BST

Third set: Querrey 7-6, 4-6, 6-7 Cilic

Querrey wins a point on his serve to start and Cilic follows by winning both on his. Two more for Querrey on his serve, then an unreturnable smash by Cilic and they’re knotted at 3-all at the changeover. Cilic wins the next point and they’re still on serve as Querrey serves at 3-4. And, oh dear! Just as back-to-back unforced errors cost Cilic dearly in the business end of the first-set tiebreaker, now Querrey mixes in a pair of unforced errors at the worst possible time. Cilic now serving at 6-3 with a pair of set points. He needs only the first, crushing a cross-court forehand winner out of Querrey’s reach and he’s now one set from his first Wimbledon final.

3.23pm BST

Third set: Querrey 7-6, 4-6, 6-6 Cilic

An easy hold for Cilic capped by a 134mph ace, his biggest serve of the match. Massive tiebreaker afoot.

3.17pm BST

Third set: Querrey 7-6, 4-6, 6-5 Cilic* (*denotes next server)

Querrey holds at love in two shakes of a lamb’s tail and the pressure is back on Cilic, who must hold to force a third-set breaker.

3.16pm BST

Third set: *Querrey 7-6, 4-6, 5-5 Cilic (*denotes next server)

Querrey pounces on a second serve, pounds Cilic back on the baseline and takes him up the line for an easy forehand winner. The No24 seed is three points from the set. But Cilic steels himself and rattles off four quick points, punctuated by a 115mph ace out wide, for the critical hold. That’s Cilic’s 48th winner of the match against only 14 unforced errors.

3.10pm BST

Third set: Querrey 7-6, 4-6, 5-4 Cilic* (*denotes next server)

A whiff of pressure on Querrey and Cilic rips a forehand winner for love-15, but the American strings together a few winners for 40-15. An unforced error by Querrey makes it 40-30, but Cilic returns in kind to gift Querrey the hold. Now Cilic will serve to stay in the third set.

3.07pm BST

Third set: *Querrey 7-6, 4-6, 4-4 Cilic (*denotes next server)

Cilic holds at love once more, this time in a scant 72 seconds, and he’s won eight straight points on his serve since getting broken.

3.05pm BST

Third set: Querrey 7-6, 4-6, 4-3 Cilic* (*denotes next server)

Querrey races out to a 40-love edge. Cilic pulls one back with a forehand winner but Querrey closes out the hold with an ace.

3.04pm BST

Third set: *Querrey 7-6, 4-6, 3-3 Cilic (*denotes next server)

Cilic rebounds from his first and only broken service game of the day with another love hold, including his 14th ace (to Querrey’s seven).

2.57pm BST

Third set: Querrey 7-6, 4-6, 3-2 Cilic* (*denotes next server)

Querrey backs up the break with an easy hold, capped by a forehand smash winner. A promising turn in the narrative for the American.

2.56pm BST

Third set: *Querrey 7-6, 4-6, 2-2 Cilic (*denotes next server)

A huge opportunity for the American here as Cilic plays a couple of loose points to fall behind 15-40, giving Querrey his first look at a break point all afternoon. Cilic saves the first, but Querrey pounds a screaming backhand winner for the crucial break! That came out of nowhere and not a moment too soon for Querrey.

2.51pm BST

Third set: Querrey 7-6, 4-6, 1-2 Cilic* (*denotes next server)

Querrey double-faults to open his service game then falls behind 15-30. Now a gutting unforced error on a forehand volley and suddently the American is staring down a double break point. He saves the first with a thudding ace, but there will be no escape this time as a missed forehand (upheld by a desperate challenge) gives Cilic the break of serve.

2.48pm BST

Third set: *Querrey 7-6, 4-6, 1-1 Cilic (*denotes next server)

Another elementary hold for Cilic at love. He’s won 24 of his last 28 service points (and 52 of 63 on the afternoon).

2.43pm BST

Third set: Querrey 7-6, 4-6, 1-0 Cilic* (*denotes next server)

Uh-oh. Querrey loses the first three points on his serve, the latter at the end of a lengthy rally. Now Cilic will have three break-point chances. He saves the first two on a pair of Cilic errors and the third on a forehand volley winner. Deuce. Cilic errs on the backhand side, but responds with a forehand winner for deuce once more. After trading points Querrey finally strings together back-to-back forehand winners to escape with the hold.

2.37pm BST

Second set: Querrey 7-6, 4-6 Cilic

Querrey nets a couple of returns and Cilic is two points from the set. Now Cilic thuds a 115mph ace and he’ll have three looks at a set point. He needs only one, depositing an elementary open court winner after Querrey could barely get back a serve out wide.

2.33pm BST

Second set: Querrey 7-6, 4-5 Cilic* (*denotes next server)

Cilic making more headway on Querrey’s serve now and fighting back from 30-love for 30-all, but Querrey serves his way out of it and now Cilic will serve to level the match at one set apiece.

2.30pm BST

Second set: *Querrey 7-6, 3-5 Cilic (*denotes next server)

Cilic backs up the break with brio, holding at love. Just like that, Querrey will serve to stay in the second set. Margins.

2.27pm BST

Second set: Querrey 7-6, 3-4 Cilic* (*denotes next server)

Another opportinity for Cilic as Querrey quickly falls behind love-30. And now a missed backhand by Querrey gives Cilic three looks at a break point. The American saves the first, but Cilic crushes a backhand winner to pass an approaching Querrey easily for the first break of the match.

2.24pm BST

Second set: *Querrey 7-6, 3-3 Cilic (*denotes next server)

Another quick service hold for Cilic, who closes out the game with a 128mph ace.

2.21pm BST

Second set: Querrey 7-6, 3-2 Cilic* (*denotes next server)

An opportunity here for Cilic, who wins the first two points to put Querrey in a love-30 hole. Querrey wins the next two points, the latter on an ace, for 30-all. But he blinks on a baseline rally and Cilic will have another break-point chance. Now Querrey mixes in a serve-and-volley for the first time all match (and on a second serve!) and CIlic nets the return for deuce. That’s followed by back-to-back winners by Querrey, who escapes with the hold.

2.18pm BST

Second set: *Querrey 7-6, 2-2 Cilic (*denotes next server)

Another elementary hold for Cilic, who’s picked up right where he left off with his serve in the first.

2.12pm BST

Second set: Querrey 7-6, 2-1 Cilic* (*denotes next server)

An easy hold for Querrey. Says Guardian US contributor Greg Couch:

Querrey is relentlessly attacking Cilic. Playing unbelievably great. Always had this skill but never looked like a champion b4 now

2.10pm BST

Second set: *Querrey 7-6, 1-1 Cilic (*denotes next server)

An easy hold for Cilic, who needed one after cracking at the end of that tiebreaker. He finishes off the game with a forehand volley winner and Querrey will serve at 1-all.

2.08pm BST

Second set: Querrey 7-6, 1-0 Cilic* (*denotes next server)

Only 10 unforced errors combined in the first set, but those last two made all the difference. Querrey serving to open the second and falls behind love-15 on a Cilic winner. He wins the next two points, but Cilic scratches back with a pair of winners and forces deuce for the first time all afternoon. Now Querrey misses on a forehand and it’s the first break-point chance either player has had today. But Querrey rattles off the next three points to escape with the hold.

2.01pm BST

First set: Querrey 7-6 (6) Cilic

Cilic wins the opening point on his serve. Querrey wins his first but then Cilic crushes a forehand winner to move ahead a mini-break. Cilic now serving at 2-1, dialing in an ace and forcing Querrey into an error. Querrey, serving at 1-4, wins both points but he’s still behind a mini-break. Cilic serving at 4-3: Querrey wins a point on a backhand volley winner, then the next point on a backhand error by Cilic. Now it’s Querrey ahead a break, serving at 5-4. Querrey misses on a forehand and they’re back on serve at 5-all. Now Cilic misses on a backhand and Querrey has a set point with Cilic serving at 5-6. A Cilic service winner makes it 6-all. Cilic misses on a first serve and then nearly misses on a second, but a challenge will give him a second serve again. Oh dear. The stewards are moving in the crowd toward someone in the crowd who appears to need medical assistance. We hope they’re OK. But due to the interruption, it’s possible the umpire will give Cilic a first serve. More than three minutes have passed since the last point by the time Cilic steps to the line again. And, yes, Cilic is given a first serve. Interesting wrinkle, that. And Cilic makes a bad error on a backhand, spraying it wide. Now Querrey will be serving for the set at 7-6! And as the clouds break on Centre Court, Cilic misses on a backhand again and Querrey takes the first set, 8-6 in the tiebreaker!

1.48pm BST

First set: Querrey 6-6 Cilic

Clinical hold for Querrey and we’re headed to a tiebreak. Only seven combined unforced errors in the set.

1.44pm BST

First set: *Querrey 5-6 Cilic (*denotes next server)

Another easy hold for Cilic, including his sixth ace. And now Querrey will serve to force a first-set tiebreak.

1.41pm BST

First set: Querrey 5-5 Cilic* (*denotes next server)

Another easy hold for Querrey. Very few opportunities today for the returner, who’s only managed more than one point in a game so far (when Cilic had 15-30 in Querrey’s first service game).

1.39pm BST

First set: *Querrey 4-5 Cilic (*denotes next server)

Cilic holds at love, capping the game with a 125mph ace down the T. Only seven lost points combined on serve.

1.35pm BST

First set: Querrey 4-4 Cilic* (*denotes next server)

Querrey falls behind love-15 when Cilic smashes an angled backhand winner from the baseline. But Querrey brushes aside the threat by rattling off the next four points, including the last on a 107mph ace out wide.

1.32pm BST

First set: *Querrey 3-4 Cilic (*denotes next server)

Another drama-free service hold for Cilic, who’s now won 16 of 19 points on his serve (84%), compared to 12 of 15 for Querrey (80%).

1.28pm BST

First set: Querrey 3-3 Cilic* (*denotes next server)

Querrey races out to a 40-love advantage before Cilic pulls one back on a forehand winner. But the American responds with a forehand winner of his own to lock down the stress-free hold. Both guys dealing on their serve and working very quickly.

1.26pm BST

First set: *Querrey 2-3 Cilic (*denotes next server)

Another easy hold for Cilic, who’s now won 12 of 14 points on his server. With both players serving like this, it likely this entire match will come down to a few crucial points here and there.

1.23pm BST

First set: Querrey 2-2 Cilic* (*denotes next server)

Querrey answers Cilic’s love hold in kind. Barry Gibb and Jude Law in the Royal Box today.

Barry Gibb ready to belt out “You Win Again” for King Roger later I suppose @BryanAGraham?

1.21pm BST

First set: *Querrey 1-2 Cilic (*denotes next server)

Cilic punctuates the love hold with a 133mph ace. He’s won eight of nine points on his serve. Ominous start.

1.19pm BST

First set: Querrey 1-1 Cilic* (*denotes next server)

Querrey hits a forehand winner but loses the next two points to fall behind 15-30 and immediately feel a hint of pressure on his serve. But it’s quickly brushed aside with a pair of forehand winners at the net, then he takes the game when Cilic misses on a forehand. Querrey serving the hell out of the ball with an average speed of 129mph in that game, a high of 135mph.

1.15pm BST

First set: *Querrey 0-1 Cilic (*denotes next server)

A clincial hold for Cilic to open proceedings: forehand winner, service winner and a forced Querrey error to race to a 40-love lead. Querrey scratches back for a point but Cilic finishes it off when the American misses on a backhand.

1.08pm BST

Reader Chris Page checks in with an update from the gentlemen’s wheelchair singles:

Stefan Olsson just obliterated former world #1 Shingo Kunieda in the Men’s Wheelchair Singles semis. It was clinical and ruthless – like Muguruza’s dismissal of Rybarikova. Here’s hoping Britain’s Alfie Hewett fares better against Argentina’s Gustavo Fernandez, who Hewett recently beat to win the French Open.

1.06pm BST

The players are on the court going through their warm-ups. The winner of today’s semi-final will top the list for the most attempts before reaching the final at Wimbledon in the Open era, surpassing of Pat Rafter, who reached the final on his eighth appearance here. This is Cilic’s 11th Wimbledon appearance and Querrey’s 10th. Should Querrey win today and reach his first Grand Slam final on his 42nd appearance at a major, he would also join David Ferrer at the top of the list for most attempts before reaching a major final in the Open era.

1.00pm BST

Hi all and welcome to today’s first men’s semi-final between Sam Querrey and Marin Cilic. It’s the fifth career meeting between the pair including their third at Wimbledon and if history is any indicator, we should settle in for a long ride. Both of their past encounters at the All England Club have gone five sets. In fact their third-round meeting here in 2012 is the second-longest men’s singles match in tournament history, with Cilic winning a 17-15 final set in a match that lasted five hours and 31 minutes.

10.11pm BST

Bryan will be here shortly. In the meantime why not check out Kevin Mitchell’s report on Sam Querrey’s quarter-final upset of Andy Murray.

Related: Andy Murray hobbles out of Wimbledon to Sam Querrey in last eight

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2017/jul/14/sam-querrey-v-marin-cilic-wimbledon-semi-final-live

Jul 13

Andy Roddick threw away nearly all his trophies during cleaning spree, wife says

  • Roddick’s wife says former world No1 trashed nearly all his trophies
  • Texas native retired with 32 titles in 2012 after a 12-year pro career
  • Roddick, 36, kept trophy from his breakthrough 2003 US Open win

Andy Roddick may have been the most decorated American tennis player of his generation, but good luck finding the silverware to show for it.

Roddick’s wife, Brooklyn Decker, said the former world No1 decided to throw away nearly all of his trophies during a recent cleaning spree at the couple’s home in Austin, Texas.

Related: Of all the dumb traditions of Wimbledon, its sexism is the worst | Greg Jericho

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jul/13/andy-roddick-throws-away-trophies

Jul 11

Venus Williams beats Jelena Ostapenko: Wimbledon quarter-final – as it happened

4.16pm BST

Related: Venus Williams ends Jelena Ostapenko’s dream run in Wimbledon quarter-finals

4.12pm BST

Thanks all for now. Thanks for following along with us and be sure to check back later for a full match report!

4.06pm BST

Today’s win will propel Williams back into the top 10 in next week’s rankings (at No9). If she wins the title, the 37-year-old will climb back into the top five. Not bad for the oldest woman in the top 300.

4.03pm BST

Williams advances to face the winner of the Jo Konta-Simona Halep, which is next on Centre Court. Williams, who has defeated three consecutive opponents nearly half her age, is the oldest women to make it this far at a grand slam since Martina Navratilova’s runner-up finish at Wimbledon in 1994. She’s one of only two people remaining in the ladies’ draw, along with Muguruza, to have won a major title.

3.59pm BST

Second set: Williams 6-3, 7-5 Ostapenko

Williams not letting up one bit with the serve, flummoxing Ostapenko with well-disguised offerings and even causing her to lose her footing on one occasion. She races out to a 40-love advantage to set up three match points. But she needs only one as Ostapenko can’t return her final serve into the court. They meet at the net for the handshake and Williams waves to the crowd beneath the closed roof on Centre Court.

3.56pm BST

Second set: *Williams 6-3, 6-5 Ostapenko (*denotes next server)

And Ostapenko blinks! She mixes in a few errors to fall behind 15-40, then nets a forehand from the baseline to surrender the break. Oh dear! Williams will now serve for a place in the semi-finals.

3.54pm BST

Second set: Williams 6-3, 5-5 Ostapenko* (*denotes next server)

Another easy hold for Williams, who mixes in her eighth ace of the day. These two are playing with great efficency with only 67 minutes have passed so far.

3.49pm BST

Second set: *Williams 6-3, 4-5 Ostapenko (*denotes next server)

Ostapenko races ahead to a 40-15 advantage but mixes in a double fault to make it 40-30. Then she forces Williams into an error to secure the hold. Venus will now serve to stay in the second set. Ostapenko has won 75% of her first-serve points (21 of 28) compared to 76% for Williams (26 of 34).

3.45pm BST

Second set: Williams 6-3, 4-4 Ostapenko* (*denotes next server)

Just what Williams needed: an easy hold. The American is really dialing up on the serve now and keeping Ostapenko on the back foot. A decisive advantage for Ostapenko on the longer points, but there have been so few of them. Only four points have gone longer than eight shots today. Ostapenko has won 11 of the 17 points have gone longer than four shots. Yet an incredible 76 rallies have been shorter than four shots.

3.41pm BST

Second set: *Williams 6-3, 3-4 Ostapenko (*denotes next server)

Ostapenko double-faults to open the seventh game and the crowd murmurs in concern. But she responds with three straight winners and punctuates the easy hold with an ace. Wow! The young Latvian backs up the break with a purpose and all of a sudden it feels like Williams, who was just chugging along toward the finish line moments ago, could have a fight on her hands.

3.38pm BST

Second set: Williams 6-3, 3-3 Ostapenko* (*denotes next server)

Williams nets a volley but responds with a booming ace, her seventh of the day (to Ostapenko’s zero). Now Ostapenko crushes a forehand winner and Williams contributes a backhand error and all of a sudden the 20-year-old has two break-point chances. She needs only one and doesn’t even need to step off her line: Williams double-faults to gift the break and they’re back on serve in the second.

3.34pm BST

Second set: *Williams 6-3, 3-2 Ostapenko (*denotes next server)

Ostapenko tries for a backhand winner from the baseline but misses by inches, but wins the next three points for 40-15. She mixes in an error for 40-30, but Williams nets a return and Ostapenko keeps pace with the hold. Alas, the $64,000 question persists: Can Ostapenko make headway on Williams’ serve? She’s had but one look at a break point all afternoon and that feels like hours ago.

3.29pm BST

Second set: Williams 6-3, 3-1 Ostapenko* (*denotes next server)

A forehand volley winner by Williams, a backhand error by Ostapenko, a booming ace by Venus. Just like that the American is ahead 40-love. She mixes in a double fault then a backhand error, but Ostapenko is forced into a backhand error and Williams consolidates the break.

3.28pm BST

Second set: *Williams 6-3, 2-1 Ostapenko (*denotes next server)

Oh dear. A nightmarish service game for Ostapenko, who’s broken at love. Errors galore off the backhand side. Could that be the opening Williams needs?

3.26pm BST

Second set: Williams 6-3, 1-1 Ostapenko* (*denotes next server)

Another stress-free hold for Williams, who is getting 25 of 36 first serves in (69%) and has won 19 of 25 of her first-serve points (76%). On we go.

3.20pm BST

Second set: *Williams 6-3, 0-1 Ostapenko (*denotes next server)

Ostapenko, unbowed, races to a 40-love advantage. Williams wins one back, but Ostapenko chases down a cross-court return to deposit a forehand winner on the run. Very nice!

3.17pm BST

(Elsewhere on the grounds, the first women’s quarter-final is in the books as Garbiñe Muguruza wins 6-3, 6-4 over two-times major champion Svetlana Kuznetsova. She’ll face the Rybarikova-Vandeweghe winner in Thursday’s semis for a place in Saturday’s final.)

3.15pm BST

First set: Williams 6-3 Ostapenko

Williams opens with an error off the backhand side but rattles off three straight points to set up double set point. Ostapenko saves the first with a forehand winner, but Williams closes the show with a service winner and she’s halfway home.

3.12pm BST

First set: *Williams 5-3 Ostapenko (*denotes next server)

Three quick points for Ostapenko, but Venus scratches back for deuce. It’s as close as Williams has been to a break since Ostapenko’s opening service game. But the Latvian fights off a big return and finishes a long rally with a backhand winner, then finishes off the hold by forcing Williams into an error. Now Williams will serve for the first set.

3.08pm BST

First set: Williams 5-2 Ostapenko* (*denotes next server)

Williams drops the first point on a double fault but rattles off the next four for an easy hold. Her average serve speed is 104mph, compared to 85mph for Ostapenko. Now the French Open champ will serve to stay in the first set.

3.04pm BST

First set: *Williams 4-2 Ostapenko (*denotes next server)

Ostapenko showing power off both wings in this game, cracking winners off the forehand and backhand sides for 30-love. Williams answers with a backhand winner, but mixes in a couple of errors to hand Ostapenko the stress-free hold.

3.03pm BST

First set: Williams 4-1 Ostapenko* (*denotes next server)

Williams continuing to play terrific first-strike tennis, keeping Ostapenko on the back foot with her booming serve and shortening the points wherever possible. Three quick points to make it 40-love, then a double-fault from Williams, which is only the fourth point she’s lost on her serve today. Then an unforced error from Williams makes it 40-30, but she pounds an ace for the hold. Camera pans to the stands where thesps Ian McKellen and Ruth Wilson appear deep in conversation. They still haven’t apologized for that lousy Prisoner remake, but we’ll forgive them.

2.58pm BST

First set: *Williams 3-1 Ostapenko (*denotes next server)

Three quick points for Ostapenko, who appears undeterred by the early deficit. Williams wins a point with a forehand volley at the net and Ostapenko follows with a forced error on the forehand side for 40-30, but she locks down the hold with a forehand winner and Venus will serve at 3-1.

2.54pm BST

First set: Williams 3-0 Ostapenko* (*denotes next server)

Williams dictating points with her big first serve, which is dialed in early today. She forces Ostapenko into errors on the first three points, zooming to a 40-love lead. Ostapenko fights back with a forehand winner, but Williams gets the best of a lengthy rally when Ostapenko overcooks a baseline forehand. A drama-free hold for the five-times Wimbledon champ.

2.52pm BST

First set: *Williams 2-0 Ostapenko (*denotes next server)

Ostapenko crushes a forehand winner but mixes in a pair of unforced errors to fall behind 30-40 and gives Williams her first look at a break point. Another error off the backhand side dooms the French Open champ and gifts the American the early break.

2.47pm BST

First set: Williams 1-0 Ostapenko* (*denotes next server)

Venus opens with a 111mph ace, then forces Ostapenko into an error after a short rally for 30-love. Ostapenko wins the next two points, the second on a forehand winner. But Venus polishes off the easy hold with a pair of aces. Short, sweet points, just how the American wants it.

2.44pm BST

Venus is making her 20th Wimbledon appearance. Ostapenko turned 20 a month ago. They’ve just finished their warm-ups on court and we should be under way in the next few minutes.

2.38pm BST

Hello and welcome to today’s women’s quarter-final between Venus Williams and Jeļena Ostapenko. The opening match on Centre Court between Novak Djokovic and Adrian Mannarino has just ended with Djokovic winning in straight sets, which means we should be under way in less than a half hour.

What awaits is a delicious matchup between the five-times Wimbledon champion and the newly minted French Open title-holder: the oldest player to advance to the last eight of a grand slam since Martina Navratilova in 1994 against the youngest player remaining in the ladies’ singles draw. And age is only where the contrasts between these two begin.

10.53pm BST

Bryan will be here shortly, in the meantime here’s how Venus fared in the last 16:

The five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams has returned to the quarter-finals at the All England Club with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over 19-year-old Ana Konjuh of Croatia. She is joined in the last eight by her compatriot CoCo Vandeweghe, who beat the No5 seed Caroline Wozniacki. There was more success for the US in the men’s draw as Sam Querrey beat Kevin Anderson in five sets to set up a meeting with the reigning champion, Andy Murray. Querrey also reached the last eight last year after his upset victory over Novak Djokovic.

Related: Wimbledon: Venus Williams, Sam Querrey and CoCo Vandeweghe lead US charge

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2017/jul/11/venus-williams-jelena-ostapenko-wimbledon-2017-live

Jul 01

John McEnroe: ‘A knack for creating controversy where there is none’

New Yorker arrives at Wimbledon one of tennis’s most popular figure despite comments such as those appearing to denigrate Serena Williams

You would have been forgiven if you double-checked the calendar this week on hearing John McEnroe was in the headlines for a spot of controversy. This time, in an interview with National Public Radio, it was for positing Serena Williams would “be like 700 in the world” if she played on the men’s tour.

For the past four decades the 58-year-old New Yorker has been known for his combustible persona and taste for the fight as much as the heavenly talent that carried him to 77 career singles titles, including three at Wimbledon and four at the US Open. Once derided as a brat and pox on a sport with an aura of stuffy conservatism, McEnroe today is regarded as a top broadcaster on two continents and a national treasure – even if the next lapse in tact is never too far away.

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jul/01/john-mcenroe-a-knack-for-creating-controversy-where-there-is-none

Jun 16

Sergey Kovalev out for revenge against Andre Ward in hostile rematch

• Russian lost controversial unanimous decision in first fight against Ward
• Kovalev has hired new strength coach in attempt to regain lost titles

Sergey Kovalev is convinced he did enough to defeat Andre Ward when they met for the unified light heavyweight championship in the autumn but this time he is determined to sprint through the tape.

The Russian nicknamed Krusher dumped Ward to the canvas early on and dominated the first half of their November fight but he faded just enough to allow the Olympic champion from Oakland to escape with a narrow, controversial unanimous decision. All three judges scored it 114-113 for Ward.

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jun/16/sergy-kovalev-andre-ward-rematch

Jun 15

The Mayweather-McGregor farce is the event our idiocracy deserves

The much-ballyhooed showdown between the boxer and the UFC star is the latest in a long line of one-off publicity stunts foisted on the gullible masses

On Wednesday it was announced the finest boxer of his generation, unbeaten in 49 paying fights and 26 world championship contests with titles in five weight classes, will fight a scheduled 12-round boxing match against an opponent with no professional boxing experience. It doesn’t take an expert to know how this one will play out.

But we groundlings love a sideshow and always have, making us susceptible to promotional stunts like these for as as long as anyone can remember. There was Muhammad Ali’s risible fight with the Japanese pro wrestler Antonio Inoki in 1976, widely regarded as the most embarrassing moment of the Greatest’s career. There were Jesse Owens’ lamentable match races against thoroughbred horses, a humiliating comedown for the Olympic hero who had stared down Hitler in Berlin. There was the much-ballyhooed 150m race between Donovan Bailey and Michael Johnson at Toronto’s SkyDome to determine the title of world’s fastest man, a made-for-TV event that went down 20 years ago this month.

Related: Mayweather-McGregor would be mismatch, so why is everyone talking about it? | Sean Ingle

Related: Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor fight agreed for 26 August

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jun/15/conor-mcgregor-floyd-mayweather-fight-ufc-boxing

May 27

Errol Spence stops Kell Brook to take IBF welterweight title – as it happened

  • Former US Olympian stops Brook in 11th round to take IBF title
  • George Groves wins vacant WBA super middleweight title in co-main
  • Tweet Bryan at @BryanAGraham or email him

12.54am BST

Here’s Sachin Nakrani’s report from Bramall Lane:

Related: Errol Spence Jr stops Kell Brook in 11th round to win IBF welterweight title

12.02am BST

That’s all for now. Thanks as always to following along with us and check back later our a full report from Sheffield.

11.53pm BST

Spence is only the seventh American to win a world title in the UK, according to Showtime. He’s just reasserted to the US cable network that he wants a unification bout with Keith Thurman, who is coming off a split-decision win over Danny Garcia that unified the WBA and WBC titles at 147lbs.

Related: Keith Thurman’s split-decision win over Danny Garcia unifies welterweight titles

11.44pm BST

Spence led on all three official scorecards at the time of the stoppage: 97-92, 96-93 and 95-94. (The Guardian had it 96-93 to the American.)

11.42pm BST

Brook says he took a shot to the left eye in the seventh round that compromised his vision. Then he was caught there again in the 11th and the double vision didn’t go away.

“I couldn’t see, I had to stop,” Brook says. “When you can’t see, there’s nothing you can do.”

11.37pm BST

“He’s a tricky fighter,” Spence says afterward. “He’s awkward. He’s very strong and he can punch. I proved today I have a chin and I have true grit.”

Spence, who gives himself a “D-minus” for his performance, says he wants to fight Keith Thurman and then Manny Pacquiao next to unify the undisputed welterweight championship of the world.

11.33pm BST

The official time of the stoppage is 1min 47sec of the 11th round. Errol Spence is your new IBF welterweight champion. Brook a warrior to the last, likely smart to acquiesce when he did.

11.31pm BST

Spence swarming and pressuring as they exchange jabs early. A good combo by Brook, but now Spence fires back to the body and head. A devastating left to the body for Spence. Brook looks in trouble, his left eye nearly closed. And Brook has taken a knee. Oh dear. He might be finished. And that’s going to be it.

11.28pm BST

Spence all over Brook from the bell and Brook goes down early in the 10th. Brook beats the count and showing incredible heart to stay in this fight. A big left uppercut by Brook! And another! Brook is coming back in the round as Spence misses wildly. Brook is back from the brink of a stoppage to claw his way back into the fight.

Guardian’s unofficial score: Brook 8-10 Spence Jr (Brook 93-96 Spence Jr)

11.24pm BST

Brook’s left eye is swelling, not the surgically repaired one. Early on the action is stopped so the ringside doctor can take a look. Spence is now dominating the action with Brook fighting off the back foot for the first time all night. Brook, now looking exhausted, backing Spence up against the ropes and opening up with educated combinations. Brook raises his fist to the crowd after the bell rings but that was the best round of the fight for Spence, who takes it easily.

Guardian’s unofficial score: Brook 9-10 Spence Jr (Brook 85-86 Spence Jr)

11.20pm BST

What was thought to be a major step up in class for Spence is turning out to be just that. Brook comes alive and rocks Spence with an uppercut. Spencemay be hurt! Brook opens up and rocks his opponent backwards. Spence survives and then smacks Brook flush with a counter left with moving backwards. A beautiful feat of athleticism, that. Now Spence rallying, putting together one inside combination after another. The round is up for grabs with 30 seconds left. Brook connects over the top but Spence finishes strong and I believe he’s nicked it.

Guardian’s unofficial score: Brook 9-10 Spence Jr (Brook 76-76 Spence Jr)

11.15pm BST

We’re past the midway point and both men still operating with blinding hand speed. The pace has slowed a bit here, both man possibly catching a breather for the championship rounds ahead. Spence scoring with the left, but Brook landing the bigger shots. And by the end it’s turned into an easy round for Brook, but Spence is taking these punches well.

Guardian’s unofficial score: Brook 10-9 Spence Jr (Brook 67-66 Spence Jr)

11.11pm BST

A big right hand by Brook early in the round sends Spence staggering backward into the ropes. Was he off-balance or hurt? Looks like the former as Spence fires back with a good combo to the body. Spence doing great work to the body here. Brook comes back with a hook but Spence is giving no quarter and has an answer for everything. Spence came back nicely from that early shot. So little to separate the fighters in these rounds. Another narrow one to Spence.

Guardian’s unofficial score: Brook 9-10 Spence Jr (Brook 57-57 Spence Jr)

11.07pm BST

The chess match continues into the fifth. Brook doing nice work to the body, following it up with a sharp right cross to the chin. Spence connects with a lunging left hand lead. Lots of feints and counters. Brook winning the round on activity but Spence comes alive over the last 30 seconds to steal it: two lefts to the body followed by a four-punch combo upstairs that sends Brook back into the ropes. Another close one to Spence.

Guardian’s unofficial score: Brook 9-10 Spence Jr (Brook 48-47 Spence Jr)

11.03pm BST

Spence staying dedicated to the body attack and doing a bit better defensively early in the fourth. A good combination by Spence but Brook responds with an uppercut. Both men showing off a high level of skill. A good counter left by Brook but now Spence comes back. So little to separate these two. Another closely contested round, this one to Spence.

Guardian’s unofficial score: Brook 9-10 Spence Jr (Brook 39-37 Spence Jr)

11.00pm BST

Spence using the jab to keep the pressure on Brook. He’s starting to put his punches together. Brook holding on a bit here. A great start for the Texan. But Brook he snaps Spence’s head back with a straight right. That might have hurt Spence! Brook coming back nicely in this round. Brook finding his range with that right. The clearest round yet for Brook, who’s up three-nil on my card (albeit the first two were very narrow).

Guardian’s unofficial score: Brook 10-9 Spence Jr (Brook 30-27 Spence Jr)

10.56pm BST

Both fighters trading lead hands. A faster pace this round. Brook staying busy and troubling Spence with directness and accuracy. Lands a sharp right-hand lead followed by a hook to the stomach. Both fighters are connecting but neither guy has landed a telling blow just yet. Another close one to Brook but Spence heating up.

Guardian’s unofficial score: Brook 10-9 Spence Jr (Brook 20-18 Spence Jr)

10.51pm BST

And they’re off! Spence wearing white and gold trunks, Brook in red and white shorts with a black stripe, Sheffield United colors. Brook the more aggressive fighter from the jump, coming over the top Spence’s jab. A battle of jabs throughout the first two minutes with neither fighter making too much headway. Spence coming on later in the frame, landing a few good shots to the body. A close round that could have gone either way. I’ll tip it to Brook.

Guardian’s unofficial score: Brook 10-9 Spence Jr

10.46pm BST

Now it’s Michael Buffer making the final introductions. Not much longer now. We’ll pick it up with round-by-round updates from here.

10.42pm BST

Anthem time in Sheffield. First the Star-Spangled Banner for Spence. Then God Save the Queen for Brook. Just a touch more crowd participation for the latter.

10.39pm BST

The fighters are making their entrances. First it’s the undefeated American challenger, who makes the long way from the tunnel to the ring amid a cascade of boos and jeers. And now it’s the homestanding champion, who emerges to the strains of Kanye’s All of the Lights. Somehow this crowd feels even bigger and louder than 27,000.

10.29pm BST

Watching tonight’s fight from ringside: Sheffield’s own Prince Naseem Hamed. The featherweight great, who earlier visited Brook’s locker room to pass along his best wishes, was just announced to a raucous reception from the estimated 27,000 spectators on hand.

Former and current world champions… ‘Prince’ Naseem Hamed and @specialkellbrook embrace before the fight
BOOK: https://t.co/cLSKRdqRtL pic.twitter.com/DysK8CylQJ

10.21pm BST

Here’s a look at how my colleague Sachin Nakrani sees tonight’s main event. (For the record, I’ve got Spence on points.)

Spence Jr arrives in England with a reputation as one of the most exciting fighters around at 147lb. The 27-year-old Texan has won all 21 of his contests after having excelled as an amateur, reaching the quarter-finals at the 2012 Olympics and going on to align his skills from those days with a level of vicious accuracy that has seen him stop his seven most recent opponents. He is the mandatory challenger for Brook’s title for a reason and it says a lot when Sugar Ray Leonard is among those who describe the softly-spoken father of two as “the real deal”.

Spence Jr, who weighed in at 146lb 5oz and also looked in excellent condition, will cause Brook problems, particularly given he is a southpaw. For the champion comes the benefit of the most emphatic home advantage possible – a sellout crowd at Bramall Lane, the home of his boyhood football club, Sheffield United, and what is sure to be the scene of fevered and frantic noise; 27,000-plus voices willing the champion to victory from first bell to last.

10.08pm BST

George Groves has finally become a world champion! He began to dominate Chudinov in the sixth with a series of big punches thrown in combination and the Russian’s inability or unwillingness to throw back forced the referee’s intervention. A good stoppage. Now the 29-year-old from Hammersmith has picked up the vacant WBA super middleweight title.

9.58pm BST

Hello and welcome to tonight’s IBF welterweight title fight between Kell Brook and Errol Spence Jr. Brook (36-1, 25 KO) is making the fourth defense of his 147lb strap against Spence (21-0, 18 KO) at Bramall Lane Football Ground in Sheffield. It’s a delicious matchup between two of the division’s best.

That fight should go off in about a half hour. Right now George Groves and Fedor Chudinov are in the sixth round of their fight for the vacant WBA super middleweight title, a fight that Showtime is streaming here.

9.27pm BST

Bryan will be here shortly. In the meantime, here’s Sachin Nakrani’s look ahead to tonight’s main event.

Related: Kell Brook returns streamlined and ready for testing Texan Spence Jr

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2017/may/27/kell-brook-v-errol-spence-fight-live

Apr 19

Serena Williams confirms pregnancy and expects her first child ‘this fall’

Serena Williams is pregnant with her first child, her spokesperson has confirmed.

The tennis star hinted at the good news when she posted a photo of herself on Snapchat wearing a swimsuit and revealing what appeared to be a large baby bump with the caption “20 weeks” on Wednesday. The snap was deleted less than a half hour later.

Serena’s snap suggests that she won the Australian Open without dropping a set while pregnant. pic.twitter.com/ltPndJRJBq

Related: Serena Williams insists: ‘I would be nothing without my sister Venus’ | Bryan Armen Graham

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/apr/19/serena-williams-pregnant-snapchat-20-weeks