World No. 1 Angelique Kerber continues to look less than comfortable on the Wimbledon lawns, but continues to win as she earned a Sunday rest and a spot in the round of 16 come Monday at the All-England Club.
Down a set and a break, the German benefited from nerves by American opponent Shelby Rogers in a 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-4 victory.
“She was hitting the balls very hard,” Kerber said of the American. “I was just trying to find my rhythm. The key was that I was fighting, and I was never giving up. Without this (fight) I don’t know if I would be in the next round right now.”
Kerber will need the fight against the more experienced former Wimbledon finalist Garbine Muguruza in the round of 16. The No. 14-seeded Spaniard advanced 6-2, 6-2 over Sorana Cirstea.
Muguruza for her part, like Kerber, isn’t exactly brimming with confidence.
“I never feel that comfortable in grass,” the Spaniard said after her win. “Every time I start the grass season, I’m like, ‘How the hell did I (reach) that (Wimbledon) final?’ This kind of feeling.”
Also into the round of 16 among Top 10-seeded players were No. 5 Caroline Wozniacki coming from a set down to defeat one of the hottest grasscourt players of the season, unseeded Estonian Anett Kontaveit 3-6, 7-6(3), 6-2; No. 7 Svetlana Kuznetsova who rolled over tattooed Slovenian Polona Hercog 6-4, 6-0; and No. 9 Aggie Radwanska who also came from a set down to beat No. 19 Timea Bacsinszky 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.
Wozniacki was overpowered in the first two sets before rebounding to reach the round of 16 at Wimbledon for the sixth time in the last nine years — all without ever reaching the quarterfinals.
“I’m just happy I survived today,” said Wozniacki, who will next meet the big-hitting No. 24 seed CoCo Vandeweghe, who beat fellow American Alison Riske 6-2, 6-4. “I felt like I wasn’t playing my best in the beginning. It definitely took me a while to get into it. I thought I played really well in the third set and at the end of the second set. I was pleased to just keep fighting. I felt her getting just a little bit nervous towards the end.”
Radwanska will next face Kuznetsova.
“We have played so many matches, so many good ones, so many three-setters,” the Pole said. “Playing her is always very challenging. You know, every ball is going to go to your side over and over again. You’re not going to have any free points.
Other winners Saturday were unseeded Croat Petra Martic who beat Zarina Diyas 7-6(6), 6-1, and unseeded Slovak Magdalena Rybarikova, who followed-up her upset of No. 2 Karolina Pliskova with a 6-2, 6-1 thrashing of the Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko.
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