BAUTISTA AGUT TOPS PELLA AT WIMBLEDON FOR MAIDEN GRAND SLAM SEMIFINAL

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Both ranked outside the Top 20, Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut and Argentina’s Guido Pella are two names you wouldn’t expect to see at the business end of a Grand Slam, let alone Wimbledon. But on Wednesday, the two surprise quarterfinalists battled for a spot in their first major semifinal, with Bautista Agut emerging the victor, 7-5, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.

Pella had upset former Wimbledon finalists Kevin Anderson and Milos Raonic en route to the elite eight, while Bautista Agut defeated 10th-seeded Karen Khachanov in the third round. The Spaniard and the Argentine had played twice before, with Bautista Agut winning both matches—in the opening round of the 2017 Australian Open and in the 2019 Munich quarterfinals.

Contesting his first-ever major quarterfinal, Pella showed signs of nerves, dropping his very first service game. He slowly settled in, and on his sixth break point of an eighth game that lasted over 10 minutes, converted to tie the set at 4-4. Another long 10-minute tug of war ensued, with Pella eventually holding to move up 5-4. However, he was broken again in the following game, and not long after, Bautista Agut was a set up.

The beginning of the second set echoed the first, Bautista Agut earned an early break. Continuing to do a lot of damage with his forehand, he began to take Pella out of his comfort zone, and soon claimed a two-set lead.

Pella took a quick 3-0 lead in the third set, and would end Bautista Agut’s spotless performance in the fortnight in terms of sets won. Despite spending over 12 hours on court in his previous four rounds—six hours more than Bautista Agut, the 29-year-old Argentine showed no signs of fatigue. Unfortunately for Pella, Bautista Agut’s forehand resumed its dominance, ending the No. 26 seed’s dream run.

With the win, the world No. 22 became the fourth male Spaniard to reach the semifinals at the All England Club. He will aim to continue his best major run when he faces Novak Djokovic. He has had success against the world No. 1, having won their last two encounters. In both meetings, contested on hard courts in 2019, Bautisa Agut had to claw back from a set down to win.

The United States' Megan Rapinoe (left) celebrates after scoring their second goal during the women's World Cup match against Spain in Reims, France, on June 24, 2019.

REIMS, FRANCE (NYTIMES) – Megan Rapinoe scored penalty kicks in each half, and the United States overcame its toughest test yet at this year’s World Cup, beating Spain, 2-1, on a scorching afternoon filled with rough fouls and tense moments.

The game was a physical, sweaty, back-and-forth affair in which Spain, a rising power in women’s football appearing in the knockout stages for the first time, gave the United States, a three-time champion, fits with its physical play and surprised the Americans by producing more dangerous chances than the Americans saw in their previous three games combined. Spain also did something else no other team had done thus far in France against the Americans: It scored a goal. The problem was it needed two.

The Americans advanced to a highly anticipated quarterfinal against host France on Friday in Paris, but not before tempting fate – and elimination.

Rapinoe scored the opening goal in the seventh minute, driving a penalty kick low and hard to the left corner after Tobin Heath was tripped as she cut into the penalty area from the right wing. But Spain answered only two minutes later.

The Spanish chance came out of nothing: US goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher played a too-short ball out of the back to Becky Sauerbrunn, and Spain forward Lucia Garcia sensed an opening and sprinted forward, closing down Sauerbrunn. The ball kicked into the center, where Spain’s Jenni Hermoso was standing alone. Controlling it and catching Naeher, trapped in no man’s land, off her line, Hermoso drove an inch-perfect shot over her gloved hand and into the top right corner of the goal.

Stunned by allowing their first goal after scoring 19 without conceding in the group stage, the Americans went back to work and controlled possession for long stretches. But Spain’s physical defense – Alex Morgan was a prime target, taking a beating all day – and opportunistic long balls created danger repeatedly. Sadly for Spain, its finishing did not match its endeavor.

As legs faded but the temperature did not, the game seemed destined for 20 more minutes of caution and then extra time when Rose Lavelle converged with Morgan chasing a loose ball at the top of Spain’s penalty area in the 71st minute. Lavelle got to the ball first, and just as she tipped it ahead, Spain’s Virginia Torrecilla stuck out a foot that caught Lavelle in midair. The midfielder went down, and the game’s Hungarian referee, Katalin Kulcsar, pointed immediately for a penalty.

Spain’s players tried to stall, knocking the ball off the penalty spot and hoping for a video review. But the review, when it came, merely confirmed the original decision. Rapinoe calmly stepped up and, in the 75th minute, stroked another low shot into the left corner.

Spain tossed a few more punches, and Naeher – rallying to save the day after her error had imperiled it – blunted any last gasps.

  • Australian doubles specialist reached world No 7 in 1983
  • He also enjoyed success in coaching post-playing career
Peter McNamara
 Peter McNamara had prostate cancer and died at his home in Germany on Saturday night. Photograph: Tom Dulat/Getty Images

The former Australian Davis Cup tennis player, Peter McNamara, has died from cancer aged 64.

McNamara, who reached a career-high No 7 in the world in 1983, beat all-time greats Jimmy Connors and Ivan Lendl to win two of his five singles titles.

But he is perhaps best remembered for his successful doubles partnership with Paul McNamee, the duo twice winning Wimbledon, in 1980 and 1982 as well as the 1979 Australian Open.

Melbourne-born McNamara also reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open singles in 1980, the quarter-finals of Wimbledon in 1981 and the French Open last eight in 1982.

“Hard to believe that after 50 years of friendship Macca is gone … you lived life to the full mate and will be missed by your loved ones and many more,” McNamee posted on Twitter.

Other Australian greats took to social media platforms to pay tribute to McNamara, who after retiring in 1987 enjoyed a successful coaching career.

“As a young guy growing up in Melbourne you were an inspiration … That backhand was one of the greatest tennis has seen,” Pat Cash posted on Instagram.

“You were always encouraging to me, a great team mate and always up for a laugh. A true no nonsense Aussie right to the end.”

Todd Woodbridge described McNamara on Twitter as an inspiration, as did Darren Cahill.

“A great player, great coach that improved every player he worked with, and gun of a person,” Cahill tweeted.

Boris Becker said McNamara was “one of the good guys in tennis” – a common theme from those reacting to his death.

After retiring in 1987, McNamara enjoyed a successful coaching career.

He coached Mark Philippoussis, guided Grigor Dimitrov in his formative years and more recently Matt Ebden and Wang Qiang.

McNamara worked with Wang Qiang until February, helping her reach the world’s top 20 during their four-year union.

McNamara died peacefully at his home in Germany on Saturday night.

According to family friend and commentator David Law, McNamara continued to play exhibition matches and coach throughout his illness with few people ever knowing about it.

He is survived by wife Petra, his children and grandchildren.