Halep downs Keys to make Wim­ble­don last eight

Fed­erer reaches quar­ter-fi­nal

Pakistan Observer - - SPORTS -

LON­DON—Ro­ma­nian fifth seed Si­mona Halep re­cov­ered to beat an emo­tional and hob­bling Madi­son Keys 6-7(5) 6-4 6-3 and reach the Wim­ble­don quar­ter-fi­nals for the sec­ond time in her ca­reer on Mon­day.

The 24-year-old was head­ing out when she fell a break be­hind in the sec­ond set, hav­ing squan­dered four set points to sur­ren­der the opener, but she bat­tled back and then took ruth­less ad­van­tage as Keys ap­peared to suf­fer a leg in­jury.

She will play Aus­tralian Open cham­pion An­gelique Ker­ber in the last eight.

The first eight games were full of high­qual­ity clean hit­ting, be­fore a strange se­quence of games saw both play­ers go off the boil in equal mea­sure.

Halep broke when she lunged to reach a poor Keys vol­ley and scooped the ball in­ad­ver­tently over the 21-year-old Amer­i­can’s head.

But she let her op­po­nent off the hook, dou­ble-fault­ing on two of the four set points that came her way when she served at 5-4 in the open­ing set. Keys also saved one with a siz­zling back­hand re­turn of serve.

Im­me­di­ately Halep broke the pow­er­ful Keys serve to love, but once again fal­tered at 6-5 as the Amer­i­can flashed a fore­hand win­ner, one of 16 in the match, to take the opener into a tiebreak.

Ninth seed Keys, the youngest player to reach the fourth round this year, surged ahead in the breaker and claimed it 7-5 with an­other crunch­ing fore­hand win­ner into an open court.

When Halep dou­ble-faulted and then sent a back­hand long to drop serve at the start of the sec­ond set and Keys held with a huge ace to lead 2-0 the end looked nigh.

But Halep, whose semi-fi­nal ap­pear­ance two years ago dis­guises an or­di­nary Wim­ble­don record, is made of sterner stuff and worked her way back, break­ing back in the fourth game as the er­rors re­turned to the Keys game.

Keys net­ted a fore­hand to hand the sec­ond set to a resur­gent Halep and the de­cider be­came an or­deal for the Amer­i­can as she looked in dis­com­fort and close to tears with a leg in­jury.

Sur­pris­ingly Keys, play­ing some shots off one leg, did not call for the trainer and Halep calmly moved 5-3 ahead, seal­ing vic­tory when Keys belted a fore­hand out.

Yaroslava Shve­dova, the world num­ber 96 from Kaza­khstan, reached her first Wim­ble­don quar­ter-fi­nal on Mon­day with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Czech 28th seed Lu­cie Sa­farova.

Shve­dova will face ei­ther Venus Wil­liams, the five-time cham­pion, or Carla Suarez Navarro on Tues­day for a place in the semi-fi­nals.

Mean­while, Roger Fed­erer reached his 14th Wim­ble­don quar­ter-fi­nal and tied Martina Navratilova’s all-time Grand Slam record of 306 match wins on Mon­day.

The seven-time cham­pion achieved his dou­ble land­mark by see­ing off Steve John­son of the United States 6-2, 6-3, 7-5 in the fourth round on Cen­tre Court.

Fed­erer, the third seed, next takes on Croa­tia’s Marin Cilic for a place in the semi-fi­nals.

Slo­vakian 19th seed Do­minika Cibulkova sent world num­ber three Ag­nieszka Rad­wan­ska crash­ing out of Wim­ble­don with a sur­prise 63, 5-7, 9-7 fourth round vic­tory on Mon­day.

Cibulkova de­feated Poland’s Rad­wan­ska en route to her first grass-court ti­tle at East­bourne last month and em­u­lated that re­sult in a high­qual­ity clash to se­cure her first Wim­ble­don quar­ter-fi­nal berth since 2011.

The 27-year-old, who has never made the last four at the All Eng­land Club, will play Rus­sian world num­ber 50 Elena Ves­nina or Rus­sian world num­ber 35 Eka­te­rina Makarova for a place in the semi-fi­nals.

Ja­panese fifth seed Kei Nishikori, who had been suf­fer­ing from a rib in­jury in re­cent weeks, pulled out of his Wim­ble­don last 16 match against Marin Cilic on Mon­day.Nishikori looked lost and con­sulted the trainer and doc­tor dur­ing the fourth round match and fi­nally pulled out at 6-1, 5-1 down on Court Two.

Croa­t­ian ninth seed Cilic now faces ei­ther seven-time cham­pion Roger Fed­erer or Steve John­son of the United States in Wednesday’s quar­ter­fi­nals.—AFP

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