WOMEN’S DAY 6 HIGHLIGHTS
Ash Barty stepped onto Centre Court for the first time as world No. 1 and stuck it to British wild card Harriet Dart 6-1, 6-1 on Saturday to wrap up her Wimbledon week 1 with a career-first place in the fourth round.
Barty, who won the Roland Garros title last month and followed up on grass with the Birmingham Classic title is the first Australian woman to get this far here since Jarmila Gajdosova nine years ago.
An uproar had been brewing all week, with the top player in the women’s game scheduled on lesser Wimbledon venues until finally getting her chance on showcase main grass in her third match of the week.
“It’s the most beautiful court in the world, I promised myself when I walked out there that I’d smile and try and take it all in,” Barty said.
“It’s changed a little bit since I played on there with Casey (Dellacqua, 2013 women’s doubles final).
“A beautiful court, very lucky to be able to play on it.”
Barty stretched her 2019 winning streak to 15 matches, dropping only one set during the entire run of form. She ended with 11 aces and just six unforced errors.
The winner said her desire to succeed remains undiminished after reaching the top of the WTA tree last month.
“No matter whether I win a match or lose a match, I’m still extremely hungry and driven to try to do well, to try and grow and develop as a player and a person.
“I try to take as much as I can from every single match, learn from every single match, then keep going forward and keep striving to be better.”
Her 52-minute success propelled Barty to her best Wimbledon showing in singles and set up a Monday date with Alison Riske.
The American upset 13th seed Belinda Bencic of Switzerland 4-6, 6-4, 6-4; Riske has won 13 of her 14 grass matches this season while Barty is undefeated on the surface.
“This is new new territory for me,” Barty said. “I’m excited to be into the second week in singles for the first time.
“It felt really good out there, I served well when I needed to. I tried my best for a quick start and continued from there.
“I overpowered her just a touch, but a lot of games could have gone either way.”
Belgium’s Elise Mertens stopped China’s No. 15 seed Wang Qiang, 6-2, 6-7(9), 6-4 and is into the fourth round for the first time in a win which took almost three hours.
Czech Barbora Strycova upset Dutch fourth seed Kiki Bertens 7-5, 6-1, ending the possibility of a Bertens-Mertens match in the next round.
Strycova has suddenly come alive at the Grand Slams, winning her first 2019 matches at the majors only this week.
“Today was not a good match from my side,” Bertens said. “I was not able to play more aggressive.
“Nothing was really working. The serve was not really there. My strokes were not really there. Had some opportunities, but didn’t take them.”With that, it’s tough to win. I was not able to step up my game.”
Two-time champion Petra Kvitova, who was unable to train prior to the start due to an arm injury, continued to progress as she defeated Poland’s Magda Linette 6-3, 6-2.
The Czech winner is now into the second week at the All England Club for the first time since winning the 2014 trophy, her second.
Kvitova has not lost a set in her first three matches and advanced with 23 winners 15 unforced errors.
“I played the best tennis here today,” Kvitova said. “She was serving much better than I was expecting, it was really difficult.
“I played pretty aggressive – that was the key. From the first point, I felt great.
“I’m really taking it very positive that I finished the match with the win, That’s really important for me. I’m not really looking too ahead.
“I’m really glad that I can play my game without any pain.”
British No. 1 Jo Konta kept a perfect 4-0 slate in 2019 matches against one-time US Open winner Sloane Stephens, beating the American 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 in two hours.
Konta also defeated Stephens this season at Brisbane, Rome and Roland Garros. She now faces Kvitova.
“I just had to keep plugging away,” Konta said. “She was playing incredibly well.
“It was hard to think about coming back when I trailed in the second set. I was pleased to keep battling and finding a way to win.
“I got her out of her zone, it was an tough match, when she’s at her best she’s very very tough.
“I had to work hard to get myself into the match and get my level up.”
Seven-time winner Serena Williams continued to progress, beating German Julia Goerges 6-3, 6-4 in a re-run of a 2018 semi-final also won by the 37-year-old American.
“I just need to keep it up,” she said after the win. “Each match for me really counts.
“I haven’t had a tremendous amount (of them) – it’s just keep going, doing what I’m doing in practice hopefully.”
Williams next plays Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro, whom she has beaten in all six of their matches.
Suarez Navarro dominated lucky loser Lauren Davis 6-3, 6-3, with the American looking nothing like the player who upset defending champion Angelique Kerber in the second round.
MENS DAY 6 HIGHLIGHTS
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal barrelled into the second week of Wimbledon as both dispatched French opponents in third-round Centre Court routs on Saturday.
No. 2 seed Federer, chasing a ninth title here and a 21st overall, got a handle on the game of Lucas Pouille late in the opening set and then wasted no time collecting his 350th victory at a Grand Slam, 7-5, 6-2, 7-6(4).
Pouille drilled a forehand wide to give Federer a match point, but saved it with an ace ion the 12th game. Federer need a tiebreak to wrap up the victory.
Nadal met Jo-Wilfried Tsonga for the first time since 2015 and re-established an acquaintance with his 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 victory.
Federer will be playing in the fourth-round for the 17th time here after beating an opponent who reached the Australian Open semis in January but has since lost in the first round seven out of 12 times.
“it was tough and hard-fought, especially in the first set,” Federer said, “the thid set was difficult, but maybe I had a few more chances.
“It’s always a relief to win a third-set breaker, otherwise, you might be out there for another hour.”
Federer played down his 350th grand Slam victory: “The generation beofre me didn’t always play all of the Slams, this record is nice… but just a “medium.”
“I’m enjoying myself, it’s very natural for me to move on grass.
“Today gives me another opportunity in the next round.”
Nadal was also satisfied with his match. “I’m very happy, I played a great match from beginning to end,” he said. “I was returning well, I did everything well.
“Jo is a dangerous opponent that you don’t want to face. But today was my day and I enjoyed it.”
“Every match is a battle here, every match is dangerous. I’m happy with how I played in the first week.
“I’ll try and be ready for Monday, it’s important to have a positive feeling to start the second week.”
The Spaniard was back on court after winning his ill-tempered match in the previous round against volatile Australian Nick Kyrgios; he was playing Tsonga at a Grand Slam for the first time since 2008 in Melbourne.
Japan’s eighth seed Kei Nishikori advanced with his fifth victory without a loss against Steve Johnson of the US, 6-4, 6-3, 6-2.
Fabio Fognini lost to Tennys Sandgren 6-3, 7-6(12), 6-3, with the Italian complaining about being placed in”exile” on a remote venue on the outer grounds of the venue and suggesting it should be “blown up.”.
The untimely comment provoked a minor storm of controversy, with Fognini saying:
“Most of the time when you’re on court, you’re frustrated. For sure I was not happy about my performance today.
“If something happen on court, I have to say sorry. Now I have to be focused on the second half of the season.”
Fognini was booted from the US Open in 2017 for rudely insulting a female chair umpire in the heat of a match.
Matteo Berrettini got a win for Italy, beating Diego Schwartzman 6-7, 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 6-3,
American Sam Querrey defeated Aussie John Millman 7-6(3), 7-6(8), 6-3.
The match between German Jan-Lennard Stfuff and Mikhail Kukushkin was suspended in the third set when a woman fell seriously ill in the stands.
Ushers cleared many of the stands on court 12 as medical personnel moved in, resuscitating the spectator before taking her out on a stretcher.
Kukushkin eventually finished off victory 6-3, 7-6(4-6, 7-5.
Officials later explained: “A 60-year-old female collapsed while watching tennis on Court 12. She received immediate medical attention and was successfully resuscitated before being transported to a local hospital.
“Play was suspended and the court evacuated to give appropriate space for treatment.”
Serena Williams and British sports hero Andy Murray notched their first mixed doubles win at a Grand Slam, beating Alexa Guarachi and Andreas Mies, 6-4, 6-1, in front of a packed crowd.
“At some point I started feeling a lot of pressure,” Williams said. “‘Oh, my God, I have to do well because this match is so hyped that I want to see it.’ I didn’t even want to be in it — I kind of just wanted to watch it. Maybe I’ll try to get a video of it or watch it somewhere.”
About 4½ hours after getting past Goerges, Williams headed out to Centre Court for her debut as Murray’s teammate.
And other than one slip near the net when she lost her footing in the first set, Williams looked good during the win.
“Andy and I both love the competition. I know we both want to do well,” Williams said. “We’re not here just for show.”
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