Monday, July 8, 2019

Barty, Pliskova, Gauff lose in fourth round at Wimbledon

Alison Riske, playing in the 2015 Bank of the West Classic at
Stanford, shocked top-ranked Ashleigh Barty 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 to-
day at Wimbledon to reach her first Grand Slam quarterfinal.
Photo by Mal Taam
   Two of the top three women's seeds lost today at Wimbledon.
   That leaves No. 7 Simona Halep, who ended 15-year-old Coco Gauff's impressive run, as the highest seed in the quarterfinals. No. 11, however, is seven-time Wimbledon champion Serena Williams.
   Unseeded American Alison Riske shocked top-ranked Ashleigh Barty 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 to reach her first Grand Slam quarterfinal.
   Also, unseeded Karolina Muchova, making her Wimbledon main-draw debut this year at 22, outlasted third seed and fellow Czech Karolina Pliskova, the runner-up at the U.S. Open in 2016 and the 2015 Bank of the West Classic at Stanford, 4-6, 7-5, 13-11 in 3 hours, 17 minutes. And Halep dispatched Gauff 6-3, 6-3.
   Riske, who won a Wimbledon tuneup tournament last month in s'Hertogenbosch, Netherlands, for her second WTA singles title, has needed three sets to prevail in all four of her matches at the All England Lawn Tennis Club. She also has eliminated 13th-seeded Belinda Bencic and 22nd-seeded Donna Vekic.
   "I'm so thrilled," the 55th-ranked Riske, who reached the Stanford semifinals in 2016 and quarterfinals in 2015, told reporters. "I think honestly the biggest key for me has just been to battle from start to finish of every match that I've been part of. Judging by the scoreline, they haven't all gone perfect.
   "I feel like I've been there in every moment, looking to impose myself. I'm really most proud about that. I think just being tough has been the key."
   Riske snapped Barty's winning streak at 15 matches, including titles in the French Open and on grass in Birmingham, England.
   "I think I started well," Barty said. "I was sticking to how I wanted to play. Then in the second set, I think my serve let me down. I let Alison get back into the match too many times, having looks at second serves.
   "Overall, I didn't play a poor match. When I needed to, when the big moments were there, Alison played better today. Tough one to swallow, but I lost to a better player."
   Riske, 29, is scheduled to play Williams, 37, for the first time on Tuesday at 5 a.m. PDT (ESPN). Williams routed 30th-seeded Carla Suarez Navarro 6-2, 6-2 in 64 minutes.
   Williams – the Stanford champion in 2011, 2012 and 2014 – has never lost more than three games in a set in seven career matches against the 5-foot-4 (1.62-meter) Suarez Navarro, who won the Stanford doubles title in 2014 with fellow Spaniard Garbine Muguruza. In fact, Williams demolished Suarez Navarro 6-0, 6-0 in the quarterfinals of the 2013 U.S. Open.
   In the other Wimbledon women's quarterfinals, Halep will face unseeded Zhang Shuai, eighth-seeded Elina Svitolina will meet Muchova, and 19th-seeded Johanna Konta will face unseeded Barbora Strycova, a 33-year-old Czech.
   Konta, who reached the Wimbledon semifinals and won the Stanford title in 2017, outlasted No. 6 seed Petra Kvitova, the champion in 2011 and 2014 at the All England Club, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4.
   Whereas four unseeded women advanced to the quarterfinals, only one unseeded man did. Sam Querrey, a 31-year-old San Francisco native, topped Tennys Sandgren 6-4, 6-7 (7), 7-6 (3), 7-6 (5) to reach the quarters or better at Wimbledon for the third time in four years.
   The 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) Querrey, now based in Las Vegas, pounded 25 aces in the first match between U.S. men in the second week of a Grand Slam tournament since 2007 and the first at Wimbledon since 2000.
   No. 26 seed Guido Pella, a 29-year-old left-hander from Argentina, subdued No. 15 seed Milos Raonic, the Wimbledon runner-up to Andy Murray in 2016, 3-6, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (3), 8-6 in 3 hours, 42 minutes. The 6-foot-5 (1.96 meters) Raonic fired 33 aces.
   Raonic never lost a set in three appearances in the SAP Open in San Jose, winning the title in 2011, 2012 and 2013 before the tournament moved to Rio de Janeiro.
   The top three Wimbledon men's seeds – No. 1 and defending champion Novak Djokovic, No. 2 Roger Federer and No. 3 Rafael Nadal – coasted in straight sets.
   The matchups in Wednesday's men's quarterfinals are Djokovic against 21st-seeded David Goffin, Pella vs. 23rd-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut, Nadal against Querrey, and Federer vs. eighth-seeded Kei Nishikori.
   Nadal is 4-1 against Querrey. They will meet on grass for the first time.
   In the third round of men's doubles, 11th-seeded Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin of France beat seventh-seeded Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan 7-6 (3), 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (5).
   The 41-year-old Bryan twins (Stanford, 1997-98) were seeking their fourth Wimbledon title and first major crown together since the 2014 U.S. Open.
   Mike Bryan won last year's Wimbledon title with Jack Sock while Bob Bryan was sidelined with a hip injury that required replacement surgery.

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