Wimbledon Day 5: Women’s Championship

Serena Williams stayed alive into the second week of Wimbledon with a 7-5, 7-6(2) defeat of Kristina Mladenovic while elder sister Venus was ambushed 6-2, 6-7(5), 8-6 to exit at the hands of Kiki Bertens on Friday.

Serena, the 25th seed, is recovering her game nicely after becoming a mother last year, and remains on track for a possible eighth title at the All England club. Venus, a five-time champion, suffered her earliest defeat since 2014.

Serena backed up her 2016 Paris victory over her French opponent as she advanced on a second match point with an ace after one and three-quarter hours.

The loss left France without a woman in the singles draw.

[quote] “I’m really, really happy, I was broken early in the second set, so we have to see what was going on there,” Williams said. [/quote]

“Otherwise, it’s going pretty well.

“I’ve worked hard, it’s been an ardous road. I always expect to come out and do my best, that’s what I can continue to hope for.

“Technically I’m not a top player,” said the current No. 181. “But I have the wins (a record 23 Grand Slam singles titles). I’m ready to play anyone.”

US Open runner-up Madison Keys blamed a lack of concentration and focus against a No. 120 qualifier, with the American 10th seed crashing out 7-5, 5-7, 6-4 to Russian Evgeniya Rodina, next opponent for Williams.

Keys had been tipped as a possible outside title favourite in a women’s draw where she had been one of only four Top 10 seeds remaining after a run of upsets.

But Keys tossed it all away, going down to her 29-year-old opponent as Rodina reached her best showing at a Grand Slam to advance on the back of nearly 50 unforced errors from the seed.

Keys fell behind early, but showed signs of life with a run of eight consecutive winning games after trailing 5-3 in the opening set, levelling at 4-all in the second.

But after squaring the contest, her form dipped again to allow Rodina to run out the victory with just 20 winners and 38 unforced errors.

[quote] “Today was a massive mishandle of nerves,” Keys said. [/quote]

” I’ve gotten so good at playing the one match in front of me. I don’t think I did a good job of keeping in the moment and playing, you know, the person who was in front of me.”

German 13th seed Julia Goerges will play Donna Vekic aftre both moved through to the. Goerges needed the full distance to defeat Barboa Strycova 7-6(3), 3-6, 10-8 while Vekic stopped Belgian Yanina Wickmayer 7-6(2), 6-1.

Russian Ekaterina Makarova showed that her upset this week of second seed Caroline Wozniacki was no fluke with a defeat of Czech Lucie Safarova 4-6, 6-4, 6-1. Italy’s Camilla Giorgi also managed a comeback win after dropping the first set, putting out Katerina Siniakova 3-6, 7-6(6), 6-2.

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