Sports

Wimbledon: Riske stuns Barty; Serena wins

London, Jul 8 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 7/8/2019 12:37:29 PM IST

World No 1 Ashleigh Barty was knocked out of Wimbledon on Monday, losing her fourth round tie against soon-to-be-wed Alison Riske of the United States.

French Open champion Barty, bidding to become the first Australian champion at Wimbledon since 1980, lost 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 to the world No 55.

Riske, who will marry Stephen Amritraj, the son of former Indian Davis Cup player Anand, after Wimbledon, goes on to face either seven-time champion Serena Williams or Carla Suarez Navarro for a place in the semi-finals.

It will be the 29-year-old’s first appearance in a Grand Slam quarter-final.

“I had to play aggressive. I had to take it to Ash,” said Riske

“The grass definitely brings out the best in me. Hopefully it will rub off and happen in other places too. I have a great return game and I think grass just really suits my game and I feel at home here. I really don’t want Wimbledon to end.”

Defeat brought an end to 23-year-old Barty’s 15-match winning run.

However, she had been dominant at the start on Monday, serving up four successive aces in the opening game on Court 2 before breaking for a 3-1 lead.

Riske, who had spent four more hours on court than the Australian in getting this far, retrieved the break in the eighth game but it was a brief reprieve as Barty took the opener.

Riske had won the grass court title at ‘s-Hertogenbosch in the run-up to Wimbledon and her credentials on the surface eventually shone through as the match progressed.

She broke in the fourth and eighth games of the second set and carved out the key break of the decider in the eighth game.

It was all over when Barty speared a forehand wide of the court.

Riske had reached her second career Grand Slam fourth round the hard way, coming back from a 1-4 final set deficit to defeat Croatia’s Donna Vekic in the first round.

She then needed a 9-7 third set to see off Serbia’s Ivana Jorovic before hitting back from 0-3 down in the decider to beat Swiss 13th seed Belinda Bencic in the third round.

Meanwhile, seven-time Wimbledon singles champion Serena Williams reached the quarter-finals at SW19 with a dominant display against Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro.

The American 11th seed, 37, raced to a 6-2 6-2 victory against the 30-year-old world number 31.

Williams will play compatriot Alison Riske in the last eight after she upset world number one Ashleigh Barty.

Also Czech veteran Barbora Strycova, who is pondering retirement, marched into the quarter-finals after beating 21st seed Belgian Elise Mertens 4-6, 7-5, 6-2.

Earlier, Elina Svitolina made it through to her first quarter-final at the All England Club, striking 30 winners to beat Petra Martic 6-4 6-2, while Zhang Shuai equalled her best ever Grand Slam singles performance - a quarter-final appearance at the 2016 Australian Open, defeating Dayana Yastremska 6-4 1-6 6-2.

Nadal storms into quarter-finals

The sweet-spot in Rafael Nadal’s racket appeared to be the size of a beachball on Monday as the Spaniard fired off winners left, right and centre to hurtle into the Wimbledon quarter-finals with a ruthless 6-2 6-2 6-2 win over Joao Sousa.

The Spaniard was not pleased when he was seeded third at the grasscourt championships, despite his status as world number two, and even less happy when the draw put him on a second-round collision course with Australian maverick Nick Kyrgios.

On Monday, however, he was all smiles as he enjoyed his quickest workout at this year’s tournament, ending Sousa’s bid to become the first Portuguese to reach the last eight of a Grand Slam with an ace.

He will next face either Tennys Sandgren or Sam Querrey of the United States for a place in the semi-finals. 

“It was a good solid match, the second serve didn’t work as well as two days ago, but the rest was very positive,” Nadal told BBC Sport.

“I am happy to be where I am, the body is holding well and I’m playing some good tennis.”

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