Halep downs Keys to make Wimbledon last eight
Federer reaches quarter-final
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