Sunday, May 16, 2021

Federer, Serena, others through to quarter-finals


tiamin rice

US player Serena Williams celebrates a point against France’s Kristina Mladenovic in their women’s singles third round match on the fifth day of the 2018 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 6, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Glyn KIRK /

Roger Federer and Angelique Kerber advanced to the quarter-finals with straight set victories, while seventh-seeded Karolina Pliskova suffered an upset loss to Kiki Bertens of Netherlands. The ladies’ draw now has two German ladies in the last three top seeds, with the victory of Julia Goerges over Croatia’s Donna Vekik who had dispatched the fourth seeded Sloane Stephens in the first round on opening day.

The French star, Adrian Mannarino, dropped serve in the first game and Federer consolidated the break to lead 2-0. The rest of the set was all Federer, as he broke his opponent’s serve twice and held his service games at love except in the sixth game that got to deuce. In the second set, Mannarino regained his rhythm. Federer continued to win his serves quickly contrasted to his opponent who required two advantage opportunities to hold the third game. Nevertheless, Roger was always the one to level because he served the even games.

The crucial break came in the eleventh game, as Adrian was down 15-40 and Roger converted and then served out the set 7-5. In the third set, Roger was behind on serve in the eighth game but hammered serves to deuce and saved two break points before holding. He then took his opponent’s serve to lead 5-4 and served out the match, after one hour and 45 minutes.

Karolina Pliskova took Berten’s serve to lead 3-2 in the first set but games were level at three-all. Bertens broke Pliskova’s serve to win the seventh game and held to lead 5-3. The seventh seed lost her serve to concede the set 6 games to 3. The second set was decided in a tie-break in which Bertens was up 5-1 at the changeover and took the last two pints to win the set and match. The tall 25-year old Bertens progressed to the highest stage in her appearances at Wimbledon, having lost in the first round last year.

The 12th seed, Jelena Ostapenko, dropped her serve in the opening game of the match against Aliksandra Sasnovich of Belarus who is ranked 50 in the world. Jelena was behind 1-3 in games before she fought back to level 4 games apiece. The set was decided in a tie-break won by the Latvian by seven points to four. The 2017 French Open Champion then took the second set 6-0.

Angelique Kerber took the first set from the 21-year-old Belinda Bencic of Switzerland. In the second set the younger player put up a stiff challenge against the 30-year old German player, ranked 10 in the world. Bencic secured a break in the ninth game but could not serve out the set as Kerber broke back to level and held her serve at love to lead 6-5. Bencic was forced to deuce and saved a match point before winning the twelfth game after an unsuccessful call challenge by Kerber. In the tie-break, Kerber was up 4 points to 2 at the changeover and won three points to clinch the set by 7 points to 4.Serena Williams, seeded 25, continued her quest for the 24th Grand Slam title by dismissing Evgeniya Rodina of Russia, 6/2; 6/2 in 62 minutes on Centre Court.

In the Girls’ Singles tournament, the 16-year old Nigerian-American Whitney Osuigwe is the top seed, as the number one in the world. She would take on 17-year old Iga Swiatek of Poland in the first round.

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