The Wimbledon women’s draw lost another former champion on Friday as 2018 winner Angelique Kerber was dumped out by Elise Mertens 6-4, 7-5.
Kerber served for the second but Mertens would roll the last four games of the match for her second win over the German.
“It was a very difficult match second round, losing the first set, then down two match points,” Mertens said. “Playing a third set yesterday, so I kind of feel like I’m on court nonstop.
“That’s also a good sign because I haven’t had those matches in the last couple weeks. I felt like, ‘OK, let’s get some energy, some rallies, some matches in.’ I think that really helped me for today, too, to know that even when you’re down that you can come back, mentally being tough.”
Kerber’s exit leaves no former finalists or champions in the women’s bottom half. Ons Jabeur will like to hear that. She would have been a quarterfinal opponent but now the road for the world No. 2 is even easier.
Today, Jabeur crushed 19-year-old Frenchwoman Diane Parry 6-2, 6-3 to win her 8th straight match.
“It honestly easy to go down like every time when she slices,” Jabeur said. “But I love playing here. I want to keep it as short as I can. For now I’m just enjoying really playing on grass.
“Those few rounds is always tricky. I want to play my best tennis. Obviously if you’re too comfortable, it’s not that good as well. I’m trying to keep focused… I’m always ready. I’m just trying to play my game and keep it as simple as possible, for sure.”
Former semifinalist Jelena Ostapenko is arguably the favorite in the bottom quarter. The Latvian rallied from a set down to defeat Irina Camila Begu 3-6, 6-1, 6-1.
Marie Bouzkova and Caroline Garcia advanced to a surprising fourth round. And Heather Watson finally reached a Slam fourth round, she’ll now face German 22-year-old Jule Neimeier.
“I’ve been in the third round quite a few times here at Wimbledon and Australian Open. I was just sort of waiting for it to happen. I waited long enough… that has been a goal of mine for, like, 10 years,” Watson said.
Ostapenko will now face Tatjana Maria who upset No. 5 seed Maria Sakkari 6-3, 7-5 to reach her first career Slam fourth round at age 34.
“The first time in the last 16, so that’s already amazing,” Maria said. “To win against Sakkari today, it’s pretty awesome. I think I played a good match from the beginning to the end.”
Tomorrow, Coco Gauff opens Centre Court where she will meet countrywoman Amanda Anismova. Former champions Petra Kvitova and Simona Halep are on court along with world No. 1 Iga Swiatek who will look to run her win streak to 38.
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