Wimbledon Open: Kvitova, Barty reach fourth round

Wimbledon Open: Kvitova, Barty reach fourth round
Petra Kvitova and Ashleigh Barty (right) reached the fourth round after winning their respective matches.
LONDON, Jul 6 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 7/6/2019 12:24:19 PM IST

If ever less really was more, it would appear to be the case at Wimbledon for twice-champion Petra Kvitova.

The Czech had not played a tennis match since pulling out of the French Open in May with an arm injury, but on Saturday handily beat Poland’s Magda Linette 6-3 6-2 to reach the fourth round.

She’s not really practising, and not really stressing about her progress, and that seems to be the perfect formula as she eases through the draw.

“Every match gets better,” Kvitova smiled. “Matches are the best practice... Now my mind, it’s more focusing on the arm than maybe on the tennis. I’m pretty confident, I have a day off tomorrow. Of course, as I mentioned already many times before, the pain can come in the forearm and I have to retire.

“I’m really taking it very positive that I finished the match with the win, of course. That’s really important for me. I’m not really looking too ahead. I’m glad that I’m able to find a good performance during the match. I think when I play longer, it’s just getting better.”

Twice Wimbledon champion before a knife-wielding man sliced her playing left hand in a robbery around Christmas 2016, Kvitova knows the mental strength it takes to succeed at a Grand Slam, and knows what she needs to do in what she describes as her ‘second career’.

“If I’m just pushing the balls there, I don’t think that I do have any big chance. With the strokes which I play today, even from the returns already was the key of it. I am going to try my best to continue this kind of performance.”

Also, world No. 1 Ash Barty reached the last 16 at Wimbledon for the first time, overwhelming British wild card Harriet Dart 6-1, 6-1. The 23-year-old Australian, bidding to become the first Wimbledon women’s champion from her country since Evonne Goolagong Cawley won her second title in 1980, will play unseeded American Alison Riske for a place in the last eight.

Barty did not allow Dart a look-in from the outset and the 182-ranked Briton only managed to get on the board in the first set at 5-0 down.

It was pretty much a similar story in the second, Barty cruising to a 4-1 lead only for Dart to finally find her feet and carve out four break points.

Barty, though, held her nerve and saved all of them to win the game before breaking Dart in the following game to take the match after just 53 minutes on Centre Court.

Meanwhile, seven-time champion Serena Williams, meanwhile, reached the fourth round here for the 16th time, defeating Germany’s Julia Goerges 6-3, 6-4. Williams will next Suarez Navarro for a place in the quarterfinals.

Eleventh seed Williams, who defeated Goerges in last year’s semifinals, is bidding to equal Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 Grand Slam titles.

It was her fifth win in five meetings with Goerges and just her second victory over a top-20 player in 2019.

Nishikori cruises past Johnson

Japanese world No. 7 Kei Nishikori reached the fourth round at Wimbledon on Saturday after beating American Steve Johnson for his 400th win on the men’s tour.

Eighth-seeded Nishikori was error-prone at first against the world No. 71, but picked up momentum and claimed a 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 victory on No. 3 Court. He booked a spot in the last 16 for the fourth time.

“Both my service and return games were good. It was a great win,” he said. “I’ve been able to concentrate on every match here so I’m satisfied.”

“I was able to stay calm and played well despite (Johnson) breaking my serve first. My performance got so much better halfway into the match.”


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