WOMEN’S DAY 3
15-year-old qualifier Coco Gauff has continued her amazing run at Wimbledon.
Summoned to play under the new Court 1 roof after a late court change, due to the lengthy court two match between Kevin Anderson and Jarko Tipsarevic, Gauff started confidently confidently and cooly dismissed 2017 semifinalist Madgalena Rybarikova 6-3, 6-3.
Gauff showcased her immense power losing just five points on first serve — and her speed in backing up her Monday win over Venus Williams.
The 15-year-old has now won all five matches this week at Wimbledon (3 qualifying, 2 main draw) and all 10 sets.
“I think it wasn’t so much that my tennis improved, it was more my mindset,” Gauff said.
“Because my mindset improved, my tennis definitely changed. I don’t think it was so much how many balls I hit in practice. It was more off court thinking how can I improve myself and improve the way I act on the court.
“It’s definitely been a challenge. I think I’ve kind of reached basically almost the best mentality I can get to. You always can improve.
“Right now I feel like the way I’m acting and the way I kind of feel inside… You can kind of fake it till you make it – but I’m not faking it, at least right now.”
Her next match was due to be Madison Keys but the American lost her way, perhaps looking ahead to Gauff — to Slovenian Polona Hercog who returned to the Wimbledon third round after a quick 6-2, 6-4 win.
Karolina Pliskova maintained her grass form, nailing down a seventh straight victory on the surface to reach the third round at Wimbledon on Wednesday.
The third-seeded weekend Eastbourne champion eliminated Rio Olympic champion Monica Puig with a comprehensive 6-0, 6-4 scoreline.
The Czech needed just an hour to advance in the Centre Court mauling.
“I started pretty well, hitting the ball quite cleanly,” the winner said. “It was much better than the first round.
“I had a little bit trouble in the end, but that’s normal. I felt my best here in Wimbledon today.
Pliskova won with nine aces, 23 winners and six unforced errors against puerto Rican opponent who suffered 21 miscues.
Pliskova will next face Hsieh Su-wei, who she lost to in Dubai in February after the Taiwan player fought back from 5-1 down in the final set to take victory.
Yulia Putintseva, who stunned second seed Naomi Osaka in the opening round, found herself on the losing end as she lost to 81st-ranked Swiss Victorija Golubic 6-4, 7-6(3).
Former No. 1 Simona Halep defeated Romanian compatriot Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-3, 4-6, 6-2.
“It was a good match for both of us, a tough one, as I expected before,” Halep said.
“I think I’m playing OK, it’s always tough on grass. I had difficult moments during this match.
“I lost the second set when I was leading, then I just had to fight till the end and for every ball, which I’m really happy that I did.”
Ukrainian eighth seed Elina Svitolina advanced 5-7, 6-5, when Russian Margarita Gasparyan had to retire with cramps.
The Russian had a match point in the second set, which she was unable to convert prior to her retirement.
“I was a little bit shocked, it’s never nice to get this when someone is injured like that. It puts you a little bit off,” Svitolina said.
“We’d expected that she would go and play. It happened that way and really unfortunate for her.”
Unseeded double Australian Open winner Victoria Azarenka – another ex No. 1 player – defeated Australian Ajla Tomljanovic with the loss of just two games and will next play Halep.
Challenger Denis Kudla gave Novak Djokovic a nudge as the Wimbledon top seed completed a 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 win on Wednesday in 93 minutes.
The top seed was broken while serving for the first set and saved three match points in the third, the only hiccups of a straightforward victory on Centre Court as Kudla drove a forehand into the net.
Djokovic, defending his 2018 title, set up a next-round encounter with Pole Hubert Hurkacz as the ATP No. 1 reached the third round here for the 14th time and the 11th consecutive year.
Djokovic, who holds four Wimbledon titles among his 15 Grand Slam honours, is playing without a grass warm-up, taking three weeks off after losing a Roland Garros semi-final to Dominic Thiem.
“I’m pleased with my game overall, there wee some moments where I could have done better,” Djokovic said.
“I lost serve a couple of times, but it was a solid performance. I’m realy glad I overcame this challenge.
“Ambitions are high here, I’ve ben fortunate to do well at the Slams, I have to think only about the next challenge.”
Tournament debutant Reilly Opelka sent three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka to a third loss in the second round here from the five previous editions.
The 63rd-ranked American youngster who stands a tree-topping 2.11 metres, handed the Swiss a 7-5, 3-6, 4-6, 6-4, 8-6 defeat punctuated by 23 aces; it leaves Wawrinka 1-5 in Wimbledon five-setters dating to 2006.
The 21-year-old winner was playing in only the fourth major of his career, but already owns an ATP title from February on Long Island. he showed his dominance on the day against Wawrinka by saving 10 of a dozen break points.
“I had some chances, but I started a little bit slow,” Wawrinka said after going down in three and a quarter hours. “I was a bit hesitating, not really moving well enough.
“I had some chance in the fourth set. At the end he went for it. He went bigger than me and he deserve to win.”
Though he won three Grand Slam titles at the other events from 2-14-2016, Wawrinka came to Wimbledon without any big dreams of completing a matched trophy set.
“I never said I was ready to win Wimbledon – I said that was my goal.
“I arrive every year with the challenge to play the best I can. I’ve played two times quarter-finals… if not, I lost first round, second round. I know how tough it is to win a Grand Slam.
“I’m really happy with everything I’ve achieved all my career by winning three Grand Slam in the same era of the big four.
“Today I’m disappointed to have lost that match, but it is what it is.”
Canadian Milos Raonic, finalist in 2016, reached the third round for a sixth consecutive year as he beat Dutchman Robin Haase 7-6(5), 7-5, 7-6(4), with the winner putting on a 32-ace performance.
The 28-year-old will pit his huge serve against that of Opelka in a battle of tennis giants.
Raonic’s compatriot Felix Auger-Aliassime, 18, won a battle of youth as he put out 20-year-old French qualifier Corentin Moutet 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.
Another massive presence, Croatian Ivo Karlovic, tumbled to Italy’s Thomas Fabbiano, a player who stands almost 40 centimeters (well over a foot) below the Croatian’s towering 2.11-metre height.
Fabbino scored the win 6-3, 6-7(6), 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-4 as he won his second five-set struggle of the week after putting out sixth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas on Monday.
Russian 10th seed Karen Khachanov advanced over Queen’s champion Feliciano Lopez 4-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 to next take on Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut, a winner when Belgian Steve Darcis retired injured in their match to hand over a 6-3, 6-2, 4-2 win.
Khachanov needed four match points in a 12-minute final game to end the six-match grass win streak of his veteran Spanish opponent.
France’s Benoit Paire got another Wednesday injury win over Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia 7-6(5), 6-4.
Fernando Verdasco worked for nearly four hours before staging his second comeback this year over Kyle Edmund, winning 4-6, 4-6, 7-6(3), 6-3, 6-4.
Verdasco claimed the 25th five-set win of his career as Edmund was seen by the physio several times for a knee problem.