SW19 aligns for a Venus charge

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT -

FIVE-TIME Wimbledon cham­pion Venus Wil­liams won, and top-ranked An­gelique Ker­ber lost.

Wil­liams, who last won the ti­tle at the All Eng­land Club in 2008, ad­vanced to the Wimbledon quar­ter-fi­nals by beat­ing 19-yearold Ana Kon­juh 6-3, 6-2 yes­ter­day.

Wil­liams is play­ing at the grass­court Ma­jor for the 20th time, with her Wimbledon de­but com­ing a few months be­fore Kon­juh was born.

“Win­ning never gets old at any stage in your ca­reer, ever ... ever,” Wil­liams said.

Ker­ber, who reached the Wimbledon fi­nal last year but lost to Ser­ena Wil­liams, was beaten by Gar­bine Mugu­ruza on No 2 Court, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.

With the loss by Ker­ber, ei­ther Si­mona Halep or Karolina Pliskova will take over as the top-ranked player af­ter the tour­na­ment.

Halep also ad­vanced yes­ter­day, while Pliskova lost in the se­cond round.

Wil­liams will next face French Open cham­pion Je­lena Ostapenko in the quar­ter-fi­nals.

The 20-year-old Lat­vian, who won her first tour-level ti­tle at Roland Gar­ros last month, beat fourth-seeded Elina Svi­tolina 6-3, 7-6 (6) on Court 12.

“I think I’ll see what hap­pens when I get out there,” Wil­liams said of Ostapenko.

“I mean, I’m sure she hits well off all sides. I have to see what the nu­ances are once the game starts, be­cause you can’t nec­es­sar­ily plan for those.”

Ostapenko led Svi­tolina 5-3 in the se­cond set, but was bro­ken and forced into a tiebreaker. She fi­nally won by con­vert­ing her eighth match point.

Ostapenko had never be­fore been past the third round at a Ma­jor tour­na­ment prior to this year’s French Open.

She was the first woman to win her de­but tour-level ti­tle at a Grand Slam tour­na­ment since 1979.

At Wimbledon, Ostapenko is into the quar­ter-fi­nals for the first time. How­ever, she won the girls’ ti­tle at the All Eng­land Club in 2014.

“I think I play bet­ter with ev­ery match, also like at the French,” Ostapenko said. “So, I hope I can keep it up.” Two-time Grand Slam cham­pion Svet­lana Kuznetsova, Mag­dalena Ry­barikova, CoCo Van­deweghe and Jo­hanna Konta also ad­vanced to the last eight.

The se­cond Mon­day at Wimbledon is, ar­guably, the busiest day in tennis.

All 16 fourth-round matches at the All Eng­land Club are played on the same day, a sched­ule that will pro­duce all eight male and all eight fe­male quar­ter-fi­nal­ists.

The first man to reach the next round was Marin Cilic.

The seventh-seed Croat beat Roberto Bautista Agut 6-2, 6-2, 6-2. Cilic, who won the US Open in 2014, will be play­ing the quar­ter­fi­nals at the All Eng­land Club for the fourth straight year.

Top-ranked Andy Mur­ray also won, beat­ing Benoit Paire 7-6 (1), 6-4, 6-4 on Cen­tre Court.

The de­fend­ing cham­pion will next face Sam Quer­rey on to­mor­row.

The 24th-seeded Amer­i­can de­feated Kevin An­der­son 5-7, 7-6 (5), 6-3, 6-7 (11), 6-3.

Kuznetsova was the first to fin­ish her match yes­ter­day, beat­ing Ag­nieszka Rad­wan­ska 6-2, 6-4.

The Rus­sian, seeded seventh, is a two-time Grand Slam cham­pion who will be play­ing in the Wimbledon quar­ter-fi­nals for the fourth time – she has never ad­vanced past that stage – and will face Mugu­ruza.

Ry­barikova, who beat Pliskova in the se­cond round, de­feated Pe­tra Mar­tic of Croa­tia 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 and ad­vanced to the Wimbledon quar­ter­fi­nals for the first time.

In her last eight knock­out, Ry­barikova will face Van­deweghe, while Halep will play Konta.

PIC­TURE: REUTERS

THROWN TO THE CURB: Spain’s Gar­bine Mugu­ruza cel­e­brates af­ter beat­ing world No 1 An­gelique Ker­ber of Ger­many at Wimbledon in round of 16 ac­tion yes­ter­day.

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