In what she described as the greatest moment of her career, Ons Jabeur Friday overcame sickness late on to become the first Tunisian woman to reach the second week at the Wimbledon.
World number 24 Jabeur defeated 2017 champion Garbine Muguruza 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 on the back of 44 winners and generating 29 break points.
Muguruza saved 24 of them but was still unable to break the spirit of Arab trailblazer Jabeur who came through despite throwing up at the Royal Box end on Centre Court as she served for the match.
“This is the first time I play on Centre, and it’s amazing energy. I’m not saying this so you guys can cheer for me for the next round but this is my favourite centre court,” she said.
Jabeur next takes on Poland’s Iga Swiatek, the seventh seed, who was the first player into the last 16 with a 55-minute 6-1, 6-0 demolition of Romania’s Irina-Camelia Begu.
Swiatek, the 2018 junior champion, had only won one match on grass on the main tour prior to Wimbledon.
“It’s hard to compare my previous years on grass, because in 2019 I was physically weaker,” said Swiatek, beaten in the Wimbledon first round in 2019.
“I didn’t actually have an idea on how to play on grass. This time it’s much, much better, so I just developed overall.”
In a wide open women’s draw, Swiatek is just one of three top 10 seeds still standing along with top-ranked Ashleigh Barty and second seeded Aryna Sabalenka.
Sabalenka made the fourth round for the first time by beating Colombian qualifier Maria Camila Osorio Serrano 6-0, 6-3.
Sabalenka next faces fellow big-hitter Elena Rybakina, the 18th-seeded Kazakh who saw off Shelby Rogers 6-1, 6-4.
Former world number one Karolina Pliskova made the last 16 for the third time with a 6-3, 6-3 win over fellow Czech Tereza Martincova.
Pliskova will meet Russian wildcard Liudmila Samsonova who defeated former US Open champion Sloane Stephens 6-2, 2-6, 6-4.
Samsonova, who won the Berlin title after coming through qualifying on the eve of Wimbledon, fired 33 winners to Stephens’ eight.
The Russian has now won 10 successive matches on grass.
Women’s singles third round results
Karolina Pliskova (CZE x8) bt Tereza Martincova (CZE) 6-3, 6-3
Liudmila Samsonova (RUS) bt Sloane Stephens (USA) 6-2, 2-6, 6-4
Viktorija Golubic (SUI) bt Madison Brengle (USA) 6-2, 6-1
Iga Swiatek (POL x7) bt Irina-Camelia Begu (ROM) 6-1, 6-0
Ons Jabeur (TUN x21) bt Garbiñe Muguruza (ESP x11) 5-7, 6-3, 6-2
Elena Rybakina (KAZ x18) bt Shelby Rogers (USA) 6-1, 6-4
Aryna Sabalenka (BLR x2) bt Maria Camila Osorio Serrano (COL) 6-0, 6-3
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