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Wimbledon PIX: World No 1 STUNNED, Halep cruises

Last updated on: July 03, 2022 03:55 IST

IMAGES from Day 6 of the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, on Saturday.

Alize Cornet

IMAGE: France’s Alize Cornet plays a backhand against Poland's Iga Swiatek in their third round match at Wimbledon on Saturday. Photograph: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

World number one and top seed Iga Swiatek suffered a shock third-round defeat at Wimbledon when she crashed 6-4, 6-2 to France's 32-year-old Alize Cornet on Saturday.

Swiatek, the red-hot favourite and boasting a 37-match winning streak spanning four months, was well below her best as she lost the last six games of the match on Court One.

Cornet, appearing in a record-equalling 62nd consecutive Grand Slam tournament, took full advantage of Swiatek's unease with a calm and composed display to win in one hour 32 minutes.

"It reminds me of when I beat Serena (Williams) here eight years ago on the same court; maybe this court is a lucky charm," the 37th-ranked Cornet said.

"I live for this kind of match. It really drives me. I knew I could do it and I had belief because maybe Iga feels a little less comfortable on grass than other surfaces."

Iga Swiatek

IMAGE: Poland's Iga Swiatek during her third round match against France's Alize Cornet. Photograph: Hannah Mckay/Reuters

Williams was also world number one when beaten by Cornet in 2014 and the Frenchwoman rose to the occasion again this time.

She won the opening three games and then held off a Swiatek fightback to pocket the opening set -- only the fourth set Swiatek had dropped in her amazing winning run.

Swiatek looked as though she had gained some momentum when she went 2-0 ahead in the second set but could not sustain her level and Cornet swept through the set.

Standing between Cornet and her second Grand Slam quarter-final of the year is unseeded Australian Ajla Tomljanovic.

Gauff suffers earliest Wimbledon exit after defeat by Anisimova

Coco Gauff

IMAGE: Coco Gauff reacts during her third round match against Amanda Anisimova of the United States. Photograph: Matthew Childs/Reuters

Coco Gauff's Wimbledon challenge came unstuck in the third round on Saturday when she was beaten by familiar foe Amanda Anisimova 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-1 in an all-American showdown. Anisimova will meet Serena Williams's conqueror Harmony Tan for a place in the quarter-finals.

The two Florida-based players had made their way through the junior ranks at the same time, with Anisimova thrashing Gauff to win the U.S. Open junior title in 2017.

 

Hence when the duo walked on to Centre Court on the sixth day of these championships, they were already all too familiar with each other's strengths and weaknesses.

Yet during the opening exchanges, 11th seed Gauff threatened to wallop Anisimova as she had two break points to go 4-0 up. An error from the 18-year-old Gauff and a smash from her opponent kept 20th seed Anisimova alive in that game.

Amanda Anisimova

IMAGE: Amanda Anisimova serves against Coco Gauff. Photograph: Matthew Childs/Reuters

From then on, Anisimova began to work her way back into the contest, winning the next four games to nudge 4-3 ahead in what turned out to be a tight, yet topsy-turvy, first set.

When Anisimova smacked a forehand into the net to surrender the opening set, Gauff shook Centre Court with a roar of "Come on".

At that stage, only one point separated the two players with Gauff having bagged 51 of the 101 points contested.

But Anisimova refused to roll over and, despite an early exchange of breaks in the second set, she jumped ahead 3-1. From then on, she was determined to make her debut on tennis's most famous stage a day to remember.

A backhand winner sealed the win and condemned Gauff to her earliest defeat at Wimbledon.

Former champion Halep thumps Frech to reach fourth round

Simona Halep

IMAGE: Romania's Simona Halep reacts during her third round match against Poland's Magdalena Frech. Photograph: Toby Melville/Reuters

Former Wimbledon champion Simona Halep soared into the fourth round of the Championships with a commanding 6-4, 6-1 victory over Poland's Magdalena Frech.

The 30-year-old Romanian, who returned to the All England Club this year for the first time since winning the grasscourt major in 2019, came into match having beaten Frech in both their previous meetings.

Despite a stiff breeze blowing across Court two, Halep started in aggressive fashion to build up a 4-0 lead and although the 92nd-ranked Frech managed to get a break of serve back, it was not enough to stop her opponent from winning the first set.

Playing her maiden third-round match at a major, Frech also cancelled out an early break at the start of the second set but Halep regained the lead immediately and celebrated with a clenched fist and repeated slaps on her thigh.

There was no stopping the 2018 French Open winner after that as she continued to spray the court with winners and advanced to the net at every opportunity to leave Frech, who has never beaten a top-20 player, stranded.

Halep broke Frech's serve twice more and sealed the contest in 67 minutes with her 24th winner.

"It has been a good match," Halep said on court. "It's always difficult to play on grass. Today with the wind it was not that easy."

"It's always a pleasure to play at Wimbledon and I have great memories, so I'm trying just to enjoy everyday."

"It helps a lot that I could win this tournament, I have confidence but every match is difficult and every opponent is tough."

Halep will meet either fourth-seeded Spaniard Paula Badosa or twice former champion Petra Kvitova for a place in the quarter-finals.

Serena conqueror Tan's dream Wimbledon debut continues

Harmony Tan

IMAGE: France’s Harmony Tan plays a backhand against Katie Boulter of Great Britain. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

France's Harmony Tan continued her stellar Wimbledon debut to book her maiden fourth-round spot at a Grand Slam, crushing Briton Katie Boulter 6-1, 6-1 in just 51 minutes.

The 24-year-old Tan proved that her thrilling win over seven-times Wimbledon champion Serena Williams in the opening round was no fluke and she has now won three straight Tour-level matches for the first time in her career.

"No I don't believe it yet -- if I sleep a little bit, tomorrow maybe I will believe it, but it's amazing," Tan said on court.

"I think I like grass, I never play on this court but I like to play with slice and volley and everything with my game so I'm really happy.

"It was really emotional for the first round against Serena and after it was just playing match by match and today was really good tennis."

Harmony Tan

IMAGE: Britain's Katie Boulter in action during her third round match against France's Harmony Tan. Photograph: Hannah Mckay/Reuters

Despite partisan support from the home crowd on Court two, Boulter failed to put up any resistance against Tan's variety and superb court coverage and the world number 118 did not help her cause by committing 21 unforced errors.

After breaking Boulter's serve twice, Tan sent down three aces in her fourth service game to bag the opening set in 27 minutes.

Harmony Tan

IMAGE: France's Harmony Tan in action. Photograph: Matthew Childs/Reuters

The 115th-ranked Frenchwoman secured another early break in the second set, pulled off a 'tweener' trick shot to break Boulter again and a third break sealed a one-sided contest.

The big-smiling Tan did not allow Boulter a single look at her own delivery, hitting her slices to perfection to open up the court and hit 16 winners against just five unforced errors.

She will next meet one of two Americans, either Coco Gauff or Amanda Anisimova, for a place in the quarter-finals.

Badosa digs deep to beat Kvitova and book Halep date in fourth round

Paula Badosa

IMAGE: Spain's Paula Badosa in action during her third round match against Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova. Photograph: Matthew Childs/Reuters

Fourth seed Paula Badosa dug deep to edge two-time former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova 7-5, 7-6(4) and book her spot in the fourth round of the Championships.

The Spaniard, who made the same stage in 2021 at the grasscourt Grand Slam, will next meet the last remaining former Wimbledon champion in the women's draw, Romanian Simona Halep, for a place in the quarter-finals.

"Petra is a champion and for me one of the biggest challenges is to play Petra on grass," Badosa said on court. "Today, being able to play against her it was already a pleasure and you can't imagine how I feel after this win. For me it's unbelievable.

"I remember in 2014 I came here to play juniors and one of the first matches I watched was on Centre Court, Petra winning Wimbledon. So you can imagine, for me stepping on Centre Court for the first time playing against a legend like her is really, really special. She's been an inspiration for me in my career."

A win against Halep would see Badosa match her best performance at a Grand Slam when she reached the quarter-finals at Roland Garros in 2021.

Badosa came into Saturday's contest having lost her only previous match-up against 25th seed Kvitova and without a win in all six career matches against seeded players on grasscourts.

Kvitova, who won the grasscourt major in 2011 and 2014, looked at home on Centre Court and dominated proceedings early on, taking a 5-3 lead against the 24-year-old Spaniard and serving for the opening set at 5-4.

But Badosa managed to lift her game and rallied to win four games in a row to take the set as the Czech's unforced errors started creeping up.

Kvitova had nine breakpoint opportunities on Badosa's delivery in the second set but the Spaniard staved off all of them to hold on to her serve and take it to a tiebreaker.

She nosed ahead early in the tiebreaker and then sealed the contest on her second matchpoint when Kvitova sent a forehand return long -- the Czech's 31st unforced error in the match.

Rock-solid De Minaur beats British wildcard Broady to reach last 16

Alex De Minaur

IMAGE: Australia's Alex de Minaur celebrates winning his third round match against Britain's Liam Broady. Photograph: Paul Childs/Reuters

Alex De Minaur proved rock solid as he ended British wildcard Liam Broady's Wimbledon run in the third round, winning 6-3, 6-4, 7-5 to reach the last 16 for the first time.

For the second match in succession, the 23-year-old was up against a British left-hander, and as against Jack Draper the 19th seed gave a masterclass of precision hitting.

Broady, playing in the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time after knocking out seeded Argentine Diego Schwartzman in five sets, threw everything in his arsenal at De Minaur.

But finding a way past one of the quickest players in men's tennis was exhausting with De Minaur picking up balls that he had no right to get back.

De Minaur, whose British girlfriend Katie Boulter had earlier lost her third-round match, dominated the first set, striking 12 winners to Broady's one as he subdued the Court One crowd, most of whom were cheering the home favourite.

World number 132 Broady played more aggressively after that but dropped serve at 2-2 and De Minaur grabbed a two-set lead.

To his credit, Broady refused to go quietly and cupped his ear to the crowd after winning one point, and they responded to try to roar him back into contention.

De Minaur served for the match at 5-4 in the third but Broady broke for the first time as the Australian wavered for the first time in an increasingly nerve-jangling contest.

De Minaur hit straight back to take the Broady serve and again Broady fought tooth and nail to stay alive, engineering three break points to force a tiebreak.

He could not convert those but Broady saved three match points before a relieved De Minaur secured victory at the fourth attempt with a first serve.

He will face Chile's Cristian Garin next as he looks to reach his second Grand Slam quarter-final.

Having not had anyone in the last 16 of the men's singles at Wimbledon since 2016, Australia have two this year after De Minaur joined Jason Kubler who beat Jack Sock.

It could be three with Nick Kyrgios up against Stefanos Tsitsipas later on Saturday.

Source: REUTERS
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