The Wimbledon women’s draw is down to just one former champion and the first week is still not completed. Today, Garbine Muguruza was the latest big name to exit as the 2017 champion fell to Ons Jabeur in a crazy 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 win.
In a breakpoint-filled affair, Jabeur ran off 5 straight points from 0-40 down to take the second. And in the third, she won the first 11 points of the set to lead 2-0 before Muguruza got back on the board.
Jabeur, though, kept fighting battling for break chanes and after vomiting, she closed it out on her first match match to make her first Wimbledon fourth round.
“It is [the best day of my tennis career],” Jabeur told the crowd. “I’m not saying this so you guys come cheer for me in the next round but this is my favourite Centre Court in the world. I’m telling the truth, I swear. The energy is amazing. I’m so, so, so happy.”
“She plays unbelievable on grass, everybody knows that. I lost against her last time so this was kind of my revenge here, in a nice way.”
Jabeur finised 5-for-29 on break chances, 2-for-12 in the decider.
“I had so many opportunities in this match that it’s a little disappointing from my side because I couldn’t convert them,” said Muguruza. “Especially in the second set I felt like I should have dominated more in these moments and take the advantage, and I couldn’t.
“I think grass helps her game. I feel like she’s very comfy. I saw she won a tournament two weeks ago. She’s a very talented player. She needs to be confident to be able to play her game, and right now she is.”
The Tunisian will now face the red-hot Iga Swiatek who blitzed Irina Begu in under an hour 6-1, 6-0. The 2018 junior winner hasn’t dropped a set in three matches.
No. 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka rolled past qualifier Maria Camila Osorio Serrano 6-0, 6-3. The Belarussian is just two sets from a first Slam quarterfinal. And she’ll be favored against the big-hitting Elena Rybakina who eased past Shelby Rogers.
“I feel like Wimbledon, it’s a special place. It’s a special surface. I don’t know. It’s special atmosphere out here. I don’t know. I enjoy it like… nowhere else,” Sabalenka said.
“Every match, it’s a new match. You never know what’s going to happen. You just need to bring your level on the court and fight for every point. This is what I’m doing on the court.
“I’m happy with these matches which I won, but it’s already in the past. I want to focus, stay in the moment. I’m trying to focus on my game and just fight for every point, every opportunity I have.”
Karolina Pliskova moved into another Wimbledon fourth round breezing past countrywoman Tereza Martincova 6-3, 6-3. She’ll face the streaking Liudmilla Samsonova who upended Sloane Stephens 6-2, 2-6, 6-4.
“I think she was really playing well,” Pliskova said. “I thought I did well at the important moments. I was holding my serve. Any time it was a close situation, I think I played really good shots.
“Overall, I think all the matches which I played here, I think I did quite a good job. Super solid, serving well, and playing quite the game I want to play, actually.”
Samsonova, who just turned 22, has won her last 10 matches and has been the women’s breakout stars this grass season.
In the evening, Madison Keys returned to the fourth round with a solid 7-5, 6-3 victory over Elise Mertens. She’ll now face Viktorija Golubic who ousted American Madison Brengle 6-2, 6-1.
Tomorrow, week one wraps with Coco Gauff back on Centre Court to clash with Kaja Juvan. Ash Barty is also on Centre to face Czech doubles champion Katerina Siniakova. Also in action is the last former champion Angelique Kerber, French winner Barbora Krejcikova and former semifinalist Jelena Ostapenko.
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