Muguruza and Ker­ber keep on col­li­sion course

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - SPORTS -

LON­DON — Four of the re­main­ing 16 women at Wim­ble­don have played in a fi­nal at the All Eng­land Club. One of them is cer­tain to be elim­i­nated in the fourth round.

An­gelique Ker­ber and Gar­bine Muguruza, who have won ti­tles at other Grand Slam tour­na­ments, each lost to Ser­ena Wil­liams in the Wim­ble­don fi­nal the last two years — Ker­ber in 2016, Muguruza in 2015. They meet on Mon­day for a spot in the quar­ter­fi­nals.

Ger­many’s top-ranked Ker­ber has lost her past four matches against Spain’s world No 15 Muguruza.

“I think I have to play from the first point good ten­nis against her,” Ker­ber said on Satur­day. “I have to be ag­gres­sive, as well, and try­ing to (play) my game from the first ball that we hit.”

The other play­ers with ex­pe­ri­ence in the fi­nal at the grass-court ma­jor are Willi- ams’ older sis­ter, Venus, and Ag­nieszka Rad­wan­ska.

Venus Wil­liams has five Wim­ble­don ti­tles and lost in another three fi­nals — each time to Ser­ena.

Rad­wan­ska was the run­ner-up at the All Eng­land Club in 2012, also to Amer­i­can great Ser­ena.

Venus Wil­liams lost in the semi­fi­nals last year and is play­ing at the tour­na­ment for the 20th time.

At 37, she is the old­est player left in the women’s draw. On Mon­day, she will play the youngest woman left, 19-year-old Ana Kon­juh of Croa­tia.

“Yeah, it’s in­ter­est­ing, for sure,” Wil­liams said. “But I guess when you walk on the court, I don’t think ei­ther of us is think­ing about the age. You’re think­ing about, ‘How do I win?’ ”

In other fourth-round matches, all on Mon­day, Rad­wan­ska meets two-time ma­jor cham­pion Svet­lana Kuznetsova, for­mer world No 1 Vic­to­ria Azarenka will play se­cond-seeded Si­mona Halep, sixth-seeded Jo­hanna Konta will face Caro­line Gar­cia, French Open cham­pion Je­lena Ostapenko goes against No 4 Elina Svi­tolina, No 5 Caro­line Woz­ni­acki plays No 24 Coco Van­deweghe, and Mag­dalena Ry­barikova will meet Pe­tra Mar­tic.

Konta has be­come the lat­est lo­cal hope at the All Eng­land Club. The last Bri­tish woman to win Wim­ble­don was Vir­ginia Wade in 1977.

Ker­ber and Muguruza had their chances to win the last two years, but they ran into Ser­ena Wil­liams. That can’t hap­pen this year — the de­fend­ing cham­pion is preg­nant and tak­ing the rest of the sea­son off.

“I have the tough­est rounds to come. I’m just look­ing for­ward for it,” said Muguruza, who won the French Open last year. “I’m not think­ing that far, like most peo­ple do.

“For me, it’s just more sim­ple than that. I’m just go­ing to take care of my next match and we see from there. It’s just like that.”

That next op­po­nent is the No 1 player in the world — even if Ker­ber has been strug­gling at the Slams this sea­son af­ter win­ning the Aus­tralian Open and US Open last year.

On Satur­day, she had a tough time early on and was stretched to three sets in her 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4 vic­tory over Amer­i­can Shelby Rogers.

“It was for sure a re­ally im­por­tant win for me to­day, es­pe­cially be­cause it was a re­ally up-and-down match, and I was down at least 2-4 in the se­cond set,” said the 29-year-old Ker­ber.

“Maybe it is a turn­around. We will see.”


An­gelique Ker­ber of Ger­many, last year’s beaten fi­nal­ist, hits a re­turn to Shelby Rogers of the US dur­ing their third-round match at Wim­ble­don on Satur­day.

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