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PICS: Hurkacz sets up Federer date; Barty, Kerber cruise

Last updated on: July 06, 2021 23:25 IST

Images from Day 8 of The Championships - Wimbledon 2021, in London, on Tuesday.

Poland's Hubert Hurkacz celebrates victory over Russia's Daniil Medvedev during Day 8 of The Championships - Wimbledon 2021

IMAGE: Poland's Hubert Hurkacz celebrates victory over Russia's Daniil Medvedev during Day 8 of The Championships - Wimbledon 2021, at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in London, on Tuesday. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Poland's Hubert Hurkacz ousted second seed Daniil Medvedev after the pair returned on Tuesday to finish their rain-hit match at Wimbledon and reached his maiden major quarter-final, where he will meet eight-time winner Roger Federer.

 

World No. 2 Medvedev was leading Hurkacz by two sets to one on Monday with the fourth set on serve when play was cancelled for the day because of rain after the players had spent two hours and 25 minutes on Court Two.

But the 24-year-old Hurkacz, seeded 14th, looked a completely different player when the match restarted under the closed roof of Centre Court, triumphing 2-6, 7-6(2), 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.

"Playing on this unbelievable court, probably the best in the world, with an amazing crowd is really special," Hurkacz said in his on-court interview. 

"Daniil is an unbelievable player. We battled so hard on Number Two Court. So to win is incredible... I knew I needed to get off to a strong start today and I think I did a pretty good job."

Russia's Daniil Medvedev stretches to make a forehand return during his fourth round match against Poland's Hubert Hurkacz.

IMAGE: Russia's Daniil Medvedev stretches to make a forehand return during his fourth round match against Poland's Hubert Hurkacz. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Hurkacz could not have hoped for a better start as he broke Medvedev immediately after the resumption with the Russian double-faulting on break point. The Pole then held serve to level the match at two sets each.

Medvedev took a comfort break at the end of the fourth set having just played two games but things did not change when he returned to court.

The Pole broke the Russian's serve to love at the start of the deciding set to continue his ascendancy before a second break sealed the fate of the contest with Medvedev finding the net with a low forehand volley on match point.

Next up for the world number 18 will be the 39-year-old Federer, the 20-time major winner, who defeated him in their only previous meeting in 2019 at Indian Wells.

"Roger, what he does, the titles he has won, is a real inspiration," Hurkacz said about the Swiss great.

"I will be hoping to get a little bit of support tomorrow."

Former champion Kerber eases past Muchova into semi-finals

Germany's Angelique Kerber stretches to make a forehand return during her women's singles quarter-final against Karolina Muchova of The Czech Republic.

IMAGE: Germany's Angelique Kerber stretches to make a forehand return during her women's singles quarter-final against Karolina Muchova of The Czech Republic. Photograph: AELTC/Edward Whitaker/Getty Images

Former Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber of Germany put in a strong show to beat an error-prone Karolina Muchova 6-2, 6-3 later in the day to reach the semi-finals of the grasscourt Grand Slam.

The 2018 champion, seeded 25th at the All England Club this year, arrived for the contest having defeated Czech Muchova both times in their two meetings in two weeks in 2019 and never lost control of the match under the closed roof of Court One.

Former No.1 Kerber, who also won the Australian Open and the U.S. Open in 2016, used her forehand immaculately against 19th seed Muchova and also mixed her drop shots expertly to set up chances for winners.

Muchova, who had her left thigh strapped, did not help her cause by committing 27 unforced errors against the nine winners she managed during the 75-minute contest.

The 19th-seeded Czech was also guilty of failing to take her chances, managing to convert only one of the eight break-point opportunities she had on the left-hander's serve.

The 33-year-old Kerber, who arrived at Wimbledon with a title from Bad Homburg in the lead-up and is the only former champion left in the draw, broke Muchova twice in each set.

The German sealed the contest when Muchova sent a forehand long on her second match point.

Kerber will meet top-ranked Ash Barty, who beat unseeded Ajla Tomljanovic 6-1, 6-3 in an all-Australian clash, for a place in Saturday's final.

Barty wins Aussie battle to reach semis

Australia's Ashleigh Barty reacts after victory over Ajla Tomljanovic in the quarter-finals.

IMAGE: Australia's Ashleigh Barty reacts after victory over Ajla Tomljanovic in the quarter-finals. Photograph: Peter Nicholls/Reuters

World number one Ash Barty outclassed compatriot Ajla Tomljanovic 6-1, 6-3 to set up a meeting with 2018 champion Angelique Kerber reach Friday's semi-finals.

In the first all-Australian women's Grand Slam quarter-final since the 1980 Wimbledon championships, the 25-year-old Barty produced a calm and composed display on Centre Court.

Tomljanovic had battled past British wildcard Emma Raducanu the night before to reach her first Grand Slam quarter-final, but was nowhere to be seen in a one-sided first set.

But the 28-year-old did make more of a match of it in the second, breaking the Barty serve twice.

Barty always had another level though and ended Tomljanovic's resistance in little over an hour.

Barty has made no secret of her desire to win her first Wimbledon title, 50 years after Evonne Goolagong, who also has indigenous Australian heritage, won her first title.

She wears an elegant FILA trailblazer outfit modelled on Goolagong's and her stylish all-court game would not have looked out of place in any era.

Barty won the French Open in 2019, becoming the first Australian to do so since Margaret Court in 1973.

But despite winning the Wimbledon girls title in 2011, she has not always produced her best on the London lawns.

There is a growing confidence about Barty this time, however, although 33-year-old left-hander Kerber represents a daunting semi-final obstacle.

Barty was in cruise control in the opening set as her variety of spins and angles flummoxed the world number 75.

To her credit Tomljanovic managed to make some inroads in the second set, breaking in the first game and then again to drag herself back from 4-1 down.

But Barty was not in the mood for overtime and got the job done in efficient fashion without needing top gear, serving a couple of aces as she held for victory.

Sabalenka outguns Jabeur to reach semis

Belarus's Aryna Sabalenka plays a forehand during her women's singles quarter-final against Tunisia's Ons Jabeur.

IMAGE: Belarus's Aryna Sabalenka plays a forehand during her women's singles quarter-final against Tunisia's Ons Jabeur. Photograph: AELTC/Jonathan Nackstrand/Getty Images

Second seed Aryna Sabalenka proved too powerful for Tunisian Ons Jabeur as she stormed into the Wimbledon semi-finals with a 6-4, 6-3 victory under the Centre Court roof.

The 23-old Belarusian, playing in her first Grand Slam quarter-final, played aggressively throughout to keep 21st seed Jabeur on the back foot.

She will take on Czech Karolina Pliskova in the last four.

Jabeur, who had made history by becoming the first Arab woman to rach the Wimbledon quarter-finals, boasts one of the most versatile styles in the women's game.

But Sabalenka played the match on her own terms to nullify Jabeur's weapons, gaining the first break of serve in the match in the 10th game to move into a one-set lead.

Sabalenka struck first in the second set and although Jabeur hung on gamely she was unable to resist the power coming from the other side of the net.

Jabeur had a break point when Sabalenka served for the match at 5-3 but could not convert it and the Belarusian finished it off with her 27th winner of the match, a backhand down the line.

Pliskova finally reaches Wimbledon semi-finals

The Czech Republic's Karolina Pliskova celebrates victory over Switzerland's Viktorija Golubic.

IMAGE: The Czech Republic's Karolina Pliskova celebrates victory over Switzerland's Viktorija Golubic. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images

It took Karolina Pliskova almost a decade of trying before she finally reached the Wimbledon semi-finals with a rapid-fire 6-2, 6-2 win over little-known Swiss Viktorija Golubic.

Neither player had even made it to the last eight of the grasscourt major before this week but it was Czech Pliskova, a former worl,d number one, who made her greater big-stage experience count on a floodlit Court One.

"Super happy to be through. It's my first semi-final. First time on this court this year. I had to work really hard to get to this court," said the 29-year-old, who can now look forward to a Centre Court date with either Tunisia's Ons Jabeur or Belarusian second seed Aryna Sabalenka.

"I am going to enjoy this moment, because it has never happened for me."

It was a very noisy affair on Court One, but not because the players were creating a racket.

The torrential downpour that kept hitting the translucent roof often drowned out the sound of the shots being exchanged by the players and after Golubic saved a break point to draw level at 2-2 in the first set her game unravelled spectacularly.

Eighth seed Pliskova romped through the next seven games, dropping only four points on serve en route to taking the first set, as she steamed ahead 6-2 3-0.

Golubic owns a glorious one-handed backhand but there were only fleeting sightings of her trademark shot as Pliskova's greater firepower proved decisive.

In their only previous meeting 66th-ranked Golubic had staged a spectacular comeback to beat the Czech after being a set and 4-2 down.

If Harry Potter fan Golubic harboured hopes of conjuring another great escape on Tuesday so that she could become the first Swiss to reach the women's semi-finals since Martina Hingis in 1998, Pliskova swiftly snuffed out those plans.

Standing 6-foot-1, Pliskova kept firing down 116 mph missiles that whistled past Golubic's racket.

That serve got her out of trouble when she faced three break points at 4-2 up in the second set and, although she squandered her first three match points in the next game, a forehand into the tramlines from Golubic handed victory to the Czech.

Source: REUTERS
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