World No 1 Ashleigh Barty, second seed Aryna Sabalenka, Tunisia’s history-making Ons Jabeur and former world No 1 Karolina Pliskova reached their first quarter-final a Wimbledon on Manic Monday.
Barty beat French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic 7-5, 6-3, ending her 15-match winning streak.
Barty may have won in straight sets but that did not really tell the full tale of a hard fought 95-minute encounter against an opponent who had yet to win a main draw singles grass match prior to Wimbledon.
Barty’s serve was once again her Achilles heel being broken early in the first set and then again in the second when she served for the match.
Fortunately for the Aussie supporters on Court Number One – one of whom was holding a hand written card ‘It’s Barty’s Party’ – she broke Krejcikova’s serve to take the match.
Ons Jabeur’s historic Wimbledon campaign saw her beat 2020 French Open champion Iga Swiatek 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 in their fourth round match.
Quarter-final line-up (x denotes seeded player):
Ashleigh Barty (AUS x1) v Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS)
Karolina Muchova (CZE x19) v Angelique Kerber (GER x25)
Karolina Pliskova (CZE x8) v Viktorija Golubic (SUI)
Ons Jabeur (TUN x21) v Aryna Sabalenka (BLR x2)
The 26-year-old is the first Tunisian woman to reach the last eight at Wimbledon and will face Belarus second seed Aryna Sabalenka who defeated Elena Rybakina 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 to finally reach her first Grand Slam quarter-final.
Jabeur showed great poise to stay in the match after she let slip a 5-4 lead and serving for the first set only for the Pole to reel off three games on the bounce.
Jabeur never looked back once she had got over the loss of the first set. Her breaking her 20-year-old opponent in the first game of the second set set the tone for the rest of the encounter. Indeed such was her dominance that Swiatek at one point having been out-witted by a Jabeur drop shot smashed the top of the net angrily with her racquet.
Later, Angelique Kerber, the 2018 champion, produced a superb display to beat American teenager Coco Gauff 6-4, 6-4 in 1 hour and 16 minutes.
The 33-year-old German former world number one fell out of love with the game for a spell but is back in the form she showed in 2018.
Kerber, the only Wimbledon women’s champion remaining in the draw, will play Karolina Muchova of the Czech Republic for a place in the semi-finals.
For Gauff, 17, it was defeat at the same stage she exited two years ago when she won the hearts and minds of the crowd aged just 15.
Muchova reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals for the second time, beating Spain’s 30th seed Paula Badosa 7-6 (8/6) 6-4.
Muchova, who beat world No 1 Barty to reach the Australian Open semi-finals this year, reached the last eight in 2019. Muchova could face Barty in a re-match if both win their quarter-finals.
Pliskova reached her first Wimbledon quarter-final with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Russian wildcard Liudmila Samsonova, ending her 10-match grass-court winning streak.
Czech eighth-seed Pliskova, who has yet to drop a set at the tournament, will face Viktorija Golubic for a place in the semi-finals, who beat 23rd seed Madison Keys 7-6 (3), 6-3.
Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic reached her first Grand Slam quarter-final too as British teenager Emma Raducanu retired injured when a set and 3-0 down.
Raducanu, 18, had lit up Wimbledon in the same fashion 15-year-old Coco Gauff had two years ago but she was clearly struggling, clutching her stomach and gasping for breath.
She received medical attention at the break for 3-0 and was taken off for further examination before it was announced she could not continue.
Tomljanovic, 28, will play compatriot and world number one Ashleigh Barty on Tuesday for a place in the semi-finals.
Ashleigh Barty (AUS x1) bt Barbora Krejcikova (CZE x14) 7-5, 6-3
Karolina Pliskova (CZE x8) bt Liudmila Samsonova (RUS) 6-2, 6-3
Ons Jabeur (TUN x21) bt Iga Swiatek (POL x7) 5-7, 6-1, 6-1
Aryna Sabalenka (BLR x2) bt Elena Rybakina (KAZ x18) 6-3, 4-6, 6-3
With AFP Inputs
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