Cori Gauff’s fairytale run continued at Wimbledon as she beat Slovenia’s Polona Hercog 3-6, 7-6, 7-5 on Friday at Centre Court. Gauff was a set down but showed the composure of a veteran to defeat her opponent, ranked 253 places above her.
Gauff will now face world No 7 Simona Halep in her fourth round match. The Romanian was in fine form as she thrashed Victoria Azarenka 6-3, 6-1 to march into the second week.
Czech third seed Karolina Pliskova reached fourth round for the second successive year while China’s Shuai Zhang made the fourth round for the first time on Friday knocking out former world No 1 Caroline Wozniacki.
On the title favourites, Pliskova notched a 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 win over Hsieh Su-wei of Taiwan. Meanwhile, eighth seed Elina Svitolina rallied to beat Maria Sakkari 6-3, 6-7(1), 6-2 and reach the fourth round.
Pliskova will face fellow Czech Karolina Muchova for a place in the quarter-finals. The 22-year-old made the second week at a Slam for the first time, beating 20th seed Anett Kontaveit 7-6(7), 6-3.
Pliskova fired 14 aces and 42 winners in her Court One victory.
Zhang, the world No 60, is the first Chinese woman since Peng Shuai in 2015 to reach the second week at the All England Club. She came back from 0-4 down in the opening set to notch a her 6-4, 6-2 win over the 14th seeded Dane.
Before this year, the 30-year-old Zhang had never won a main draw match at Wimbledon in five attempts. It was a record which reflected her previous struggles – she was 0-14 at the Slams until she broke through to the 2016 Australian Open quarter-finals.
On Friday, she fired 26 winners against just eight for Wozniacki and goes on to face either Ukraine’s Dayana Yastremska.
Wozniacki, the 2018 Australian Open champion, has never made it past the fourth round at Wimbledon. Her affection for the tournament would not have been helped by her unhappiness at what she claimed to be a number of poor calls by the Hawkeye review system.
Elina Svitolina (UKR x8) bt Maria Sakkari (GRE x31) 6-3, 6-7 (1/7), 6-2
Karolina Muchova (CZE) bt Anett Kontaveit (EST x20) 7-6 (9/7), 6-3
Karolina Pliskova (CZE x3) bt Su-Wei Hsieh (TPE x28) 6-3, 2-6, 6-4
Zhang Shuai (CHN) bt Caroline Wozniacki (DEN x14) 6-4, 6-2
Dayana Yastremska (UKR) bt Viktorija Golubic (SUI) 7-5, 6-3
Simona Halep (ROM) bt Victoria Azarenka (BLR) 6-3, 6-1
Cori Gauff (USA) bt Polona Hercog (SLO) 3-6, 7-6, 7-5
With AFP Inputs