x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Wimbledon: Laura Robson, Novak Djokovic and David Ferrer make it second week

Young Briton makes a comeback to defeat Erakovic in women's singles, while Serb thrashes Chardy.

Laura Robson defeated Marina Erakovic.
Laura Robson defeated Marina Erakovic.

LONDON // Laura Robson could not contain her excitement after mounting an incredible comeback to become the first British woman to reach the fourth round of Wimbledon in 15 years.

As Robson, 19, said afterwards, she was getting her "butt kicked" in the first set of her clash against world No 71 Marina Erakovic.

She climbed off the canvas, however, coming back from a break down in the second set to record a rousing 1-6, 7-5, 6-3 win on a sun-baked Court Two.

"I was really struggling to return her serve," said Robson. "She is playing really well and I just thought I would try as best as I can, work as hard as possible, and just stick with it until she started to get nervous, which is what happened."

The last time that a Briton made it through to the fourth round was when Sam Smith enjoyed a memorable run to the second week in 1998.

Robson has the potential to go even further as her next opponent will be Alison Riske or Kaia Kanepi. Robson's stock is already high after she beat 10th seed Maria Kirilenko on Tuesday.

She will now definitely enter the WTA top 30 after her performance this week. The last time that a British woman reached that high was in 1987.

"It's only my second time in the fourth round of a slam and I am pretty happy with how I closed things out today," she said

Former champion Petra Kvitova showed impressive character to avoid becoming the latest high-profile, first-week casualty.

The eighth seed came through 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 against Ekaterina Makarova.

Bad light and rain had halted them on Friday, and their third-round clash resumed on Court One yesterday with world No 27 Makarova a break up at 2-1 in the decider, but it was a challenge Kvitova tackled eagerly.

She dug deep to take a topsy-turvy third set to secure a last-16 clash with Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro.

American 17th seed Sloane Stephens came through against Czech Republic qualifier Petra Cetkovska to win 7-6, 0-6, 6-4.

The American will face Monica Puig in the fourth round, after the Puerto Rican recovered from a set and a break down against Czech Eva Birnerova to win 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Polish fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska beat American teenager Madison Keys 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 to set up a fourth-round clash with Tsvetana Pironkova, who overcame Petra Martic.

Italy's Roberta Vinci beat Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia 6-1, 6-4.

World No 1 Novak Djokovic stormed into the fourth round with a demolition job of 28th seed Jeremy Chardy.

The Serb needed just over 80 minutes to dispense with the Frenchman, who struggled throughout to get points on the Djokovic serve.

After his victory, Djokovic told the BBC: “Everything went my way.

“I haven’t lost many points on my service game, I enjoyed it very much and it’s very enjoyable when everything works well.

“Not many times it happens on the grass against a big server you get to return this well on what is the fastest surface.”

Djokovic will now play Tommy Haas in the fourth round after the German beat Feliciano Lopez 4-6, 6-2, 7-5, 6-4.

South Africa’s Kevin Anderson would be forgiven for never wanting to set eyes on Tomas Berdych again after the Czech beat him for a ninth successive time at Wimbledon.

The seventh seed won 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-5 to set up a last-16 clash against Bernard Tomic.

Berdych and Anderson had played each other eight times in the last 18 months, with the former Wimbledon finalist winning on every occasion.

The 27th seeded Anderson was cut down to size by the heavy-hitting Czech who overcame losing the first set to scrap his way into the lead.

Juan Martin del Potro says he needs to consult a doctor after injuring his left knee and ankle during his third-round victory.

Del Potro overcame a late fall to beat Grega Zemlja of Slovenia 7-5, 7-6, 6-0 yesterday, but said he twisted his ankle and hyperextended his knee.

The eighth-seeded Argentine said: “It was really painful. I was a little scared at that moment ... Now I start to feel something in my knee and my ankle, as well. I will check with the doctor very soon.”

Britain’s Andy Murray will play Russian Mikhail Youzhny in the fourth round.

Youzhny, seeded 20th, beat Viktor Troicki of Serbia 6-3, 6-4, 7-5 to set up a meeting against the world No 2.

David Ferrer had his work cut out with a crowd-pleasing performance from Alexandr Dolgopolov but the Spaniard whose seeding caused such a pre-tournament fuss tonight continued his Wimbledon run.

Ukrainian Dolgopolov won the hearts of the Court One crowd yet Ferrer took the contest after five sets, edging it 6-7, 7-6, 2-6, 6-1, 6-2 to earn a shot at unseeded Croatian Ivan Dodig.