Wimbledon Day 8 round-up: Serena storms into quarter-finals; Cibulkova stuns Radwanska
Serena storms into 12th Wimbledon quarter-final
Serena Williams powered into her 12th Wimbledon quarter-final as the defending champion celebrated American Independence Day with a 7-5, 6-0 victory over Russian 13th seed Svetlana Kuznetsova on Monday.
World number one Williams hit 43 winners and served 14 aces as she won the last nine games on Centre Court to remain on course for a record-equalling 22nd major title and a seventh Wimbledon crown.
The 34-year-old, an eight-time Wimbledon finalist, will play Russian 21st seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova for a place in the semi-finals.
Cibulkova stuns former finalist Radwanska
Slovakian 19th seed Dominika Cibulkova sent world number three Agnieszka Radwanska crashing out of Wimbledon with a surprise 6-3, 5-7, 9-7 fourth round victory on Monday.
Cibulkova defeated Poland’s Radwanska en route to her first grass-court title at Eastbourne last month and emulated that result in a high-quality clash to secure her first Wimbledon quarter-final berth since 2011.
The 27-year-old, who has never made the last four at the All England Club, will play Russian world number 50 Elena Vesnina or Russian world number 35 Ekaterina Makarova for a place in the semi-finals.
Cibulkova cried tears of joy as she rolled on the court in celebration after the final point, but the triumph could come with a sting in the tail as she will have to postpone her wedding if she makes it to Saturday’s final.
Djokovic conqueror Querrey into first slam quarter-final
Sam Querrey followed up his shock Wimbledon defeat of Novak Djokovic by beating French veteran Nicolas Mahut 6-4, 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 on Monday to reach his first Grand Slam quarter-final.
Querrey, the 28th seed, is the first American in the last-eight at Wimbledon since Mardy Fish in 2011.
He will face either Canada’s Milos Raonic or David Goffin of Belgium for a place in the semi-finals.
Federer floors in-form player Johnson
Roger Federer felled high-flying Steve Johnson at Wimbledon on Monday, knocking the wind out of the powerhouse with a 6-2 6-3 7-5 win in the fourth round.
Despite considerable pre-match hype about Johnson, fresh from victory at the Nottingham grasscourt event, there was to be no Independence Day party for the burly American, as Federer showed more than enough to suggest he remains on track for a record eighth Wimbledon men’s singles crown.
While Andy Murray-supporting Brits have been rubbing their hands with glee over Novak Djokovic’s shock third-round defeat, the biggest beneficiary of the Serb’s removal may yet prove to be third seed Federer, who on Monday drew level with Martina Navratilova on a record 306 grand slam singles match wins.
In the quarter-finals, Federer will play Croatian ninth seed Marin Cilic who advanced after his opponent, Japanese fifth seed Kei Nishikori, retired injured while trailing 6-1 5-1.
Rib injury forces Nishikori to withdraw
Japanese fifth seed Kei Nishikori pulled out of Wimbledon mid-way through his last 16 match against Marin Cilic on Monday, suffering from a rib injury.
An off-colour Nishikori consulted the trainer and doctor during the fourth round contest on Court Two and finally retired from the match at 6-1, 5-1 down.
He confirmed it was the same injury which forced him out of the Halle tourament in the run-up to Wimbledon.
“It got worse after the second round. I couldn’t compete today,” said Nishikori.
Croatian ninth seed Cilic now faces either seven-time champion Roger Federer or Steve Johnson of the United States in Wednesday’s quarter-finals.
Nishikori’s troubles were evident during the first set, when he found himself 5-0 down within 10 minutes, having won just two points as Cilic hit 10 aces.
Halep downs Keys to make Wimbledon last eight
Romania’s Simona Halep fought back to reach her second Wimbledon quarter-final with a 6-7 (5/7), 6-4, 6-3 victory against American ninth seed Madison Keys on Monday.
Fifth seed Halep, a former French Open runner-up, made the semi-finals at the All England Club in 2014 and will face German fourth seed Angelique Kerber in the last eight as she bids to emulate that run.
Pavlyuchenkova punishes Vandeweghe with power and poise
Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova advanced to the Wimbledon quarter-finals for the first time in her career after producing an awesome display of power tennis to defeat a misfiring Coco Vandeweghe 6-3 6-3 on Monday.
In a match in which both players smashed the ball across the net for a succession of blistering winners, the Russian 21st seed played with far greater control on the big points and made fewer mistakes than her American opponent.
The key match statistic was that Pavlyuchenkova made just seven unforced errors, compared with 27th seed Vandeweghe’s 22.
So great was the American’s frustration at her erratic play that, after she was broken for the second time in the second set, she gave her racket away to a delighted child in the crowd.
Pavlyuchenkova, who turned 25 on Sunday, was one of four Russians to reach the fourth round at Wimbledon - the most since 2009.
Kerber downs pocket rocket Doi to reach quarter-finals
Superior court craft proved decisive for Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber on Monday as she motored past Japanese pocket rocket Misaki Doi 6-3 6-1 in a full-blooded fourth-round match on Wimbledon’s Court Two.
German fourth seed Kerber, who reached the semi-finals at the All England Club in 2012, risked being overpowered early in the first set as her 5-foot-3 (1.59 metre) opponent bludgeoned forehand winners to both sides of the court.
But Kerber, who shocked world number one Serena Williams to win her maiden grand slam title in Melbourne in January, gradually found her range on her groundstrokes while 49th-ranked Doi’s radar began to slip.
In a match full of mesmerising rallies, Kerber broke twice in the first set, winning it on her third set point, before cruising through the second as Doi’s challenge fizzled out.
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