Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 21 October 2019

Wimbledon Day 8 lowdown: Serena Williams closing in on major No 24 as women's draw opens up

Exits of Ashleigh Barty and Karolina Pliskova improve the American's prospects of first major win since January 2017

Serena Williams has a busy day on Tuesday at Wimbledon as she plays in quarter-finals of the women's singles and then plays in the mixed doubles with Andy Murray. EPA
Serena Williams has a busy day on Tuesday at Wimbledon as she plays in quarter-finals of the women's singles and then plays in the mixed doubles with Andy Murray. EPA

It is the women's quarter-finals on Day 8 of Wimbledon on Tuesday and the focus now turns to Serena Williams and whether she can go on and win her historic 24th major title this week.

The American has been on 23 grand slam titles since January 2017 and needs one more to match Margaret Court's record haul of 24.

Monday's results in the fourth round have opened up the draw for her and the 37 year old is now a serious contender to not just reach Saturday's final, but to go on and win at SW19 for an eighth time.

World No 1 Ashleigh Barty was the biggest casualty of Monday's action, losing to world No 55 Alison Riske, while in the other side of the draw No 3 seed Karolina Pliskova was beaten in an epic match with Karolina Muchova 4-6, 7-5, 13-11.

Barty and Pliskova would both have expected to be a strong opponent for Williams on grass if their respective paths had crossed.

Williams goes up against Riske in the first quarter-final on Centre Court on Tuesday, with the action set to start at 4pm UAE time.

It will be the first time the pair have met in a match on the WTA Tour.

Williams will not take the 28 year old lightly though after Riske ended Barty's 15-match winning run on Monday with her 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 success.

Barty was the third seed Riske has beaten this year at Wimbledon. She defeated Donna Vekic (No 22) in the first round and Belinda Bencic (No 13) in the third round.

It is the start of a busy day for Williams, who is also scheduled to play her second round mixed doubles match with Andy Murray against Fabrice Martin and Raquel Atawo on Centre Court once the singles action has been completed.

The winner of Williams v Riske will take on either No 19 seed Johanna Konta or unseeded Barbara Strycova in the semi-finals.

Konta produced one of her best career performances on Monday as she came from behind to defeat two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova 4-6, 6-2, 6-2.

Strycova, the world No 54, overcome No 21 seed Elise Mertens in the fourth round.

Simona Halep is the highest seed left in the competition at No 7. The Romanian, who beat Cori Gauff, the 15 year old surprise package of the tournament, in the fourth round, goes up against Shuai Zhang.

If she wins then Halep will match her best run at Wimbledon, a semi-final spot in 2014 being as far as she has gone previously.

The other quarter-final sees No 8 seed Elina Svitolina, in the last eight for the first time in her career, go up against Muchova.

Order of play

Centre Court

From 4pm UAE time

Alison Riske v 11-Serena Williams

Barbara Strycova v 19-Johanna Konta

Andy Murray and Serena Williams v 14-Fabrice Martin and Raquel Atawo

Court One

From 4pm UAE time

7-Simona Halep v Shuai Zhang

8-Elina Svitolina v Karolina Muchova

Updated: July 9, 2019 11:50 AM

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