World No.10 Angelique Kerber storms into Wimbledon quarter-finals

Hope Soto
July 14, 2018

Kerber looked tight, however, when she has to clinch the match and missed fivce match points before sealing the sixth with the best rally of the tournament after 25 challenging shots as Kasatkina defended fiercely off the backhand side, drilled one of her trademark dropshots but failed to pass into the open court. The Latvian then hit a stretched out crosscourt victor before lobbing the next point away from Cibulkova for the break. "It might be her year". She had a point to prove, and she did, beating seeds Jo Konta and Elise Mertens on her way to the last eight. Despite going behind, Kasatkina was arguably the most striking hitter out there but it was Kerber's experience that ensured he remained on top.

Kerber, the highest-ranked player left in the tournament, needed seven match points to see off the tenacious 21-year-old 6-3 7-5. At the end of the first set Jelena Ostapenko (No. 12) started acting more aggressive on offense.

Rebounding from her shock first-round elimination in her Roland Garros title defence, Ostapenko has marched through the draw without dropping a set. But their last, on the grass of Eastbourne, was a stunning contest of well over two hours, determined by a final set tie-break in Kerber's favour. Del Potro leads two sets to one. The left-handed Kerber has a heavy baseline game backed up by great speed, endurance and strength. "Playing on Centre Court is always great".

The 36-year-old came forward to attack more in the second set, not allowing Giorgi any break points and winning her own break in the fourth game, roaring "come on!" when winning key points. The younger player, though, soon settled, rose to the occasion and the crowd, and a swing backhand volley got roars of approval, 2-4.

An animated Kasatkina grew in confidence and punched the air when she got back on serve at 4-3 with a blistering forehand, but undid the good work by handing Kerber a second break with another two double faults.

Kasatkina was not done, though.

The 11-time French Open champion beat Jiri Vesely 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 on Centre Court on Monday and has yet to drop a set in this tournament. Could she hold this time?

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The left-hander had to save a break point, too, at 2-3 - conjuring an ace.

This is the first time since seedings were introduced in 1927 that none of the top eight women has made it through to the Wimbledon quarter-finals. "She didn't let me play how I wanted", said Cibulkova, the world number 33.

"I expected something like that could happen at the French Open because I had to defend such a big title for the first time and I had all this pressure but now it's over and I'm playing here and just enjoying my time and showing my best", said Ostapenko at Wimbledon.

And on Tuesday, she booked her spot in the semi-finals at SW19 in typically calm fashion.

"It was just the way I felt today".

For the first time in the Open era, not a single top 10 seed has made the quarter-finals at one of the four Grand Slams.Kerber beat Kasatkina on grass at Eastbourne two weeks ago and again she was in control, finishing off the first set easily before landing an early break in the second.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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