» Sports » Wimbledon: Kerber, Gauff in 4th round; Kyrgios forced out

Wimbledon: Kerber, Gauff in 4th round; Kyrgios forced out

Last updated on: July 03, 2021 23:03 IST
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Angelique Kerber

IMAGE: Germany’s Angelique Kerber plays a backhand against Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images

Former Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber was put through the wringer early in her third-round clash with unseeded Aliaksandra Sasnovich on Saturday but the German rallied from a set down to win 2-6, 6-0, 6-1 after a rain delay.

Kerber faced a tough test against Sara Sorribes Tormo in the previous round before overcoming the Spaniard in the longest women's match at Wimbledon since 2011 and made a sluggish start on Saturday by twice dropping serve in the opening set to give Sasnovich a 4-0 lead.


World number 100 Sasnovich, taking on a second former All England champion this week after watching Serena Williams limp off injured in their opener, wrapped up the first set in style after rain temporarily halted the action on Court Two.

Angelique Kerber

IMAGE: Angelique Kerber interacts with Aliaksandra Sasnovich after the match. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images

Kerber had warmed up for Wimbledon with her first title in three years at the inaugural Bad Homburg tournament last week and the 33-year-old showed why she cannot be written off on grass with a blistering response in the second set.

The 2018 champion shot out of the blocks, playing inspired tennis to hand her 27-year-old opponent a bagel and level the contest at one set apiece.

A wayward forehand by Sasnovich gifted Kerber the advantage at 3-1 in the decider and the only remaining Wimbledon champion in the women's singles draw further tightened her grip on the match before finishing with an ace to reach the last 16.

In the fourth round, 25th seed Kerber will face American teenager Coco Gauff.

Gauff in fourth round again, but no surprise this time

Coco Gauff

IMAGE: Coco Gauff is seen playing Kaja Juvan on Centre Court in the women’s third round at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. Photograph: Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports /Reuters

Seventeen-year-old American Coco Gauff matched her dream Wimbledon debut as she again reached the fourth round with a 6-3, 6-3 defeat of Kaja Juvan.

Gauff, the 23rd seed, stormed through the opening games with a barrage of power serves on Centre Court but was asked some awkward questions by 102nd-ranked Juvan.

As she often does, Gauff had all the answers as she reached the second week and a last-16 clash with Germany's former Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber.

"It's a good feeling to be on this court and I'm super honoured that the tournament allows me to play on it. It's not often a 17-year-old gets to play here!" Gauff, who has become a darling of the Wimbledon crowds, said on court.

"I wasn't as nervous as in my second round match -- the fans always bring the energy on Centre Court."

When Gauff reached the fourth round as a 15-year-old qualifier in 2019, beating one of her idols Venus Williams en route, it was something of a sensation.

Two years later, despite her age and playing in only her seventh Grand Slam tournament, Gauff's progress is far less of a surprise and she is now a serious title contender.

She reached her first Grand Slam quarter-final at Roland Garros last month and has played with supreme confidence and calmness to claim three straight-sets wins here so far.

Gauff raced into a 5-1 lead against Juvan in 18 minutes but briefly went off the boil as she lost the next two games with a few errors creeping in.

After winning the opening set she had to fend off break points at the start of the second before establishing a lead.

Slovenian Juvan fought tenaciously to try and throw Gauff off her stride, but it was a hopeless task against a player who already plays with the maturity of a seasoned pro.

Gauff went 40-0 ahead as she served at 5-3 and although Juvan saved a couple of match points she whacked a forehand long on the third one to hand Gauff victory.

Zverev beats Fritz for fourth-round spot

Alexander Zverev

IMAGE: Germany's Alexander Zverev celebrates winning his third round match against Taylor Fritz of the US. Photograph: Paul Childs/Reuters

Fourth seed Alexander Zverev beat American Taylor Fritz 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-3, 7-6(4) to reach the fourth round of Wimbledon and match his best performance at the grasscourt Grand Slam.

The German, who reached the round of 16 at the All England Club in 2017, kept his unforced errors low and repeatedly tested the serve of the 31st-seeded American, who underwent surgery less than a month ago after suffering a knee injury at Roland Garros.

After the first set went without a break of serve, the 23-year-old Fritz raised his game in the tie-breaker to take the lead against Zverev who had failed to convert two breakpoint opportunities.

The players traded service breaks in the second set but Zverev, 24, converted a second opportunity to level the match and then took the lead with a single break of serve in the third.

It was Zverev's turn to play solidly in the fourth set tie-breaker and despite committing his ninth double-fault he was able to close out the contest when Fritz sent a forehand long.

Zverev hit 45 winners, 19 of them aces, while keeping his unforced errors to 25.

Next up for the German will be Canadian 16th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime, who advanced to the round of 16 when Australian Nick Kyrgios retired with an injury.

Ostapenko loses to Tomljanovic after 'liar' row

Ajla Tomljanovic

IMAGE: Australia's Ajla Tomljanovic in action during her third round match against Latvia's Jelena Ostapenko. Photograph: Paul Childs/Reuters

In-form Jelena Ostapenko's Wimbledon hopes were dashed in a stormy defeat by Australia's Ajla Tomljanovic in the third round, with the players exchanging angry words at the net.

Latvian Ostapenko, winner of the Eastbourne grasscourt title and a dark horse at Wimbledon, went down 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 against the world number 75.

Things boiled over when Ostapenko asked for a medical timeout when trailing 4-0 in the deciding set - prompting a furious response by Tomljanovic who accused her opponent of feigning injury in an attempt to break her rhythm.

"You know she's lying," Tomljanovic told the umpire, demanding that the supervisor be called to court.

The war of words continued at the end of the match.

Ostapenko: "If you think I'm faking it, you can talk with the physio."

Tomljanovic: "I hope you feel better."

Ostapenko: "Your behaviour is terrible. You have zero respect."

Tomljanovic: "You are the one to talk."

Ostapenko: "What? So bad, so bad. You're the worst player on Tour."

Tomljanovic had already surpassed her best Wimbledon effort by reaching round three and will now take on British teenage wildcard sensation Emma Raducanu in the last 16.

Kyrgios forced out of Wimbledon by injury

Felix Auger-Aliassime

IMAGE: Canada's Felix Auger Aliassime in action during his third round match against Australia's Nick Kyrgios. Photograph: Peter Nicholls/Reuters

It was good while it lasted but Nick Kyrgios's return to action was cut short by injury as the Australian maverick was forced to quit after two sets against Felix Auger-Aliassime at Wimbledon.

Kyrgios looked great in the opening set as he broke the 16th seed's serve three times but needed an injury timeout to have treatment on his stomach muscles at 5-2.

Grimacing in discomfort he managed to finish off the opening set but he was clearly hampered during the second set, especially on his serve which suddenly lost all its venom.

After Auger-Aliassime had levelled the match, Kyrgios walked around the net post and shook hands, much to the disappointment of the Court One crowd who were hoping for a classic.

"I've not played at this level for a long time and when you're playing someone as good as Felix I need to have my biggest weapon which is my serve, but I felt something in my ab," the 26-year-old Kyrgios said on court.

Kyrgios has barely played tennis since the sport shut down last year because of the pandemic.

This was his first event since the Australian Open and he played only three in 2020, opting not to travel under the COVID-19 restrictions.

His opening-round win over Frenchman Ugo Umbert was a rivetting five-setter before he beat Italian Gianluca Mager in the next round in straight sets.

Sadly his injury looks like scuppering his dream-team mixed doubles partnership with Venus Williams, although he did have some good news about his future prospects.

"Playing out here and having this kind of support has made me have a second wind. I reckon I'm going to come back and play for a bit longer," said Kyrgios, whose dedication to the sport has often been questioned.

"I did all I could to prepare to get here. I beat a heck of a player first round and I played a great second round.

"I tried to play as long as I could and I'm sorry that I couldn't give you more today but you'll see a lot of him in the future. And he's better looking too, so it's all good."

Auger-Aliassime's rather hollow victory means he joins compatriot Denis Shapovalov in the last 16 -- the first time in the professional era that two Canadian men have lasted that long.

Shapovalov beat another Wimbledon favourite, home hero Andy Murray, on Friday.

Italians Berrettini and Sonego cruise into Wimbledon fourth round

Matteo Berrettini

IMAGE: Italy's Matteo Berrettini celebrates winning his third round match against Slovenia's Aljaz Bedene. Photograph: Paul Childs/Reuters

Italian seventh seed Matteo Berrettini strengthened his status as a genuine Wimbledon title contender by cruising into the fourth round with a convincing 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 win over Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia.

The 25-year-old Italian put his booming serve and crunching forehand to good use against the 64th-ranked Bedene whom he defeated in four sets on his way to the second week of the grasscourt Grand Slam in 2019.

There was more joy for Italians on Saturday as 23rd seed Lorenzo Sonego defeated Australian James Duckworth 6-3, 6-4, 6-4, making it just the third time that two Italian men have advanced to the fourth round of the grasscourt major.

Nicola Pietrangeli and Giuseppe Merlo achieved the feat last time, in 1955, six years after Giovanni Cucelli and Rolando del Bello reached the round of 16 at Wimbledon.

Berrettini, considered a dark horse for the men's singles crown trophy at the All England Club in the absence of Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem and the early loss of Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, came to Wimbledon after winning the Queen's title.

He matched his best result at Wimbledon with the win against 31-year-old Bedene, who was bidding to become the first Slovenian man to reach the fourth round of a Grand Slam.

Berrettini broke Bedene's serve once in each of the three sets while staying solid on his own delivery, facing just two breakpoints in his first service game in the second set.

The match on Court Three was delayed by 90 minutes because of rain but the wait had no impact on the Italian, who hit 19 aces and totalled 37 winners while keeping a cap on his unforced errors.

He will next meet Belarusian Ilya Ivashka, who also had a easy passage into the round of 16 with an identical 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 victory over Jordan Thompson of Australia.

Unstoppable Krejcikova goes into last 16

Barbora Krejcikova

IMAGE: Czech Republic's Barbora Krejcikova in action during her third round match against Latvia's Anastasija Sevastova. Photograph: Paul Childs/Reuters

Barbora Krejcikova continued her extraordinary transformation from doubles specialist to world-class singles player as she reached the last 16 at Wimbledon.

The Czech, who came from nowhere to win the French Open last month, outlasted Latvian Anastasija Sevastova 7-6(1), 3-6, 7-5 in a two-and-a-half battle on Court Three.

Including her title run on clay in Strasbourg before the French Open she has now won 15 successive singles matches and, for good measure, also won the French Open doubles.

Amazingly, this is the 25-year-old's first main-draw singles appearance at Wimbledon, although she already has a women's doubles title at the All England Club from 2018 with partner Katerina Siniakova, with whom she also won the French.

Before arriving at Wimbledon she had never played a Tour-level singles match on grass, having decided against any warm-up events, but she has looked totally at home on the surface.

She was made to work hard by Sevastova though, with the Latvian twice serving for the opening set, and failing.

Krejcikova dominated the tiebreak but Sevastova hit back to win the second set.

The first 11 games of the decider all went with serve but Krejcikova found a glorious forehand return winner to get to within two points of victory before Sevastova dumped a backhand into the bottom of the net.

Krejcikova could not take her first match point but converted the second when her opponent missed a backhand.

She was joined in the last 16 by fellow Czech Karolina Muchova who beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia 7-5 6-3 to set up a clash with Spaniard Paula Badosa.

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