Sports

Wimbledon Open: Pliskova, Svitolina win

London, Jul 5 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 7/5/2019 1:00:39 PM IST

Former world number one Karolina Pliskova battled past Hsieh Su-Wei 6-3 2-6 6-4 on Friday in a clash of contrasting styles to reach the Wimbledon fourth round for the second time.

Czech third seed Pliskova made full use of her mighty serve, firing 14 aces on Court One to counter Hsieh’s fast feet and soft hands and prevail in an hour and 46 minutes.

Both players started the opening set strongly before an unusually untidy game by world number 16 Hsieh allowed Pliskova to claim a break for a 5-3 lead.

That was the opening the 27-year-old needed as she switched gears and closed out the set with her sixth ace.

Hsieh responded with an early break in the second set to race 4-2 ahead and the 33-year-old saved four break points in the seventh game before taking the match into a decider.

Pliskova, who beat last year’s Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber in the Eastbourne final last week, put Hsieh on the back foot with searing groundstrokes early in the third set to break for a 3-1 lead.

Appearing less rattled by Hsieh’s variations as the match wore on, Pliskova staved off a late comeback attempt by the Taiwanese to close out victory.

Meanwhile, No 8 seed Elina Svitolina of Ukraine reached the 4th round for the second time in her career after she outlasted No 31 seed Maria Sakkari of Greece, 6-3 6-7(1) 6-2, in their third-round clash on No 3 Court.

The Ukrainian got a fortunate reprieve to make it through to the 3rd round having been in danger of going out to Margarita Gasparyan when the Russian was forced to retire through injury on Wednesday.

Svitolina, who made the round of 16 at the grass-court Grand Slam in 2017, held 2 match points in the second set before a Sakkari comeback pushed the contest into a decider.

In the end, the Ukrainian was able to carve out the victory after a tough 2 hours and 8 minutes of play. In the first meeting between the two players, Svitolina won two-thirds of points on her first serve and 73 percent of points when she ventured to net, while Sakkari had 35 winners, 20 more than Svitolina, but the Greek came unglued with 48 unforced errors.

Zhang Shuai stuns Wozniacki

China’s Zhang Shuai made the Wimbledon fourth round for the first time on Friday, coming back from 0-4 down in the opening set to beat former world number one Caroline Wozniacki who failed to see eye-to-eye with the Hawk-Eye line call review system.

Zhang is the first Chinese woman since Peng Shuai in 2015 to reach the second week at the All England Club thanks to her 6-4, 6-2 win over the 14th seeded Dane.

On Friday, she fired 26 winners against just eight for Wozniacki and goes on to face either Viktorija Golubic of Switzerland or Ukraine’s Dayana Yastremska. Wozniacki, the 2018 Australian Open champion, has never made it past the fourth round at Wimbledon.

Her affection for the tournament would not have been helped by her unhappiness at what she claimed to be a number of poor calls by the Hawk-Eye review system.

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