Wimbledon | Seeds fail to make it into Last 32

Wimbledon has almost caught up on its schedule, and some players have reached the 3rd-round where Iga Swiatek and Daria Kasatkina already sat on Wednesday, with Mirra Andreeva, Marketa Vondrousova, Sorana Cirstea and Elina Svitolina all eliminating seeded players on their way.

It is my first experience on grass. It's just my fifth match. I like the grass so far. I'm not playing that bad. I met Andy Murray here. But I'm too shy to talk to him. When I see him, I try to leave the facility super quick just to not to talk to him, because I'm super shy. Mirra Andreeva

16-year old Andreeva from Russia, reached the 3rd-round of a Grand Slam for a second successive time, having done so at the French Open, advancing against 10th-seeded Barbora Krejcikova, who retired injured with the score standing at 6-3, 4-0.

“It’s not the way I wanted to win the match, of course,” Andreeva said in her post-match press conference. “She had some problems with her foot. Of course, I wish her the speedy recovery.”

Just as she had done at Roland Garros, the teenager came through qualifying for Wimbledon, and next faces her compatriot Anastasia Potapova, who defeated Kaja Juvan from Slovenia, 6-3 7-5.

In Paris last month, it took Coco Gauff, the World No 7, to stop Andreeva in 3 sets in the Last 32.

Making her main draw debut at Wimbledon, Andreeva, now ranked at 102 in the world, saw off China’s Wang Xiyu in the 1st-round in a match that finished late on Wednesday, and was ready to play again on Court 4 on Thursday afternoon.

The Russian teen sensation, who was runner-up at the Junior Australian Open earlier this year, reached the 3rd-round in what is her first professional grass-court tournament after her Czech opponent had to withdraw due to a left foot injury.

“It is my first experience on grass,” Andreeva said. “It’s just my fifth match. I like the grass so far. I’m not playing that bad.

“I met Andy Murray here. But I’m too shy to talk to him. When I see him, I try to leave the facility super quick just to not to talk to him, because I’m super shy.”

Andreeva now has a chance to make the second week at a Grand Slam for the first time in her nascent career, against Potapova, the No 22 seed, who won their only previous meeting in 3 sets in the 1st-round of Monastir last year, which also happened to be Andreeva’s first main-draw match on the Hologic WTA Tour.

“I will just do my best,” Andreeva said. “If I can advance to the Round of 16, I will be super happy.

“If I can advance to the semi-final, I will be of course super happy. I will just try to do my best, then we will see what will I do. But honestly I don’t have any goals. I just play.”


Donna Vekic cried when she was trailing and again when she beat Sloane Stephens in 3 sets on Day 4 of The Championships

© Daniel Leal/AFP via Getty Images

Lefty Vondrousova, a French Open finalist in 2019, upset 12th-seeded Russian Veronika Kudermetova, 6-3 6-3, who later pulled out of the doubles with a hip injury, and the Czech, ranked 42, will play Croatia’s Donna Vekic, the No 20 seed, next.

Vekic rallied to knock out 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens, 4-6 7-5 6-4, stopping her tears long enough to come from 0-3 down in the second set to win in 2 hours and 32 minutes.

“I always said to my team that Sloane is one of the best players in the world. I think she definitely showed that today,” Vekic said. “I was in trouble. At the beginning of the second set I was having a little bit of a panic attack, because it’s not every day you play on Court No 1.

“Wimbledon is such a special place for me. I told myself to enjoy it somehow, the fighter in me came out, I was fighting for every point.”

Vekic pulled off the thriller by battling back from 6-4, 5-2 down to clinch her 3rd-round spot for only the second time in her career, reeling off 5 games in a row to level the match at a set apiece.

The third set started with both players gritting out holds, but the following game proved decisive, as Vekic used a clutch of forehand winners and 2 return winners off the net-cord to get from 40-0 to break point, and when Stephens sent a miscue long, the Croatian took the critical 2-1 lead.

The rallies and games remained gruelling, but Vekic never faced another break point as she moved to the hard-fought win, wrapping it all up with a powerful forehand, which was her 34th winner of the day.


Sorana Cirstea upset Jelena Ostapenko, the 17th seed, ending her 7 match winning streak on Thursday

© Michael Regan/Getty Images

Cirstea stopped Jelena Ostapenko, the 17th seed who won the title in Birmingham, out on Court 16 on Thursday afternoon, ending the Latvian’s 7-win streak.

Two points from defeat, the Romanian battled to a 4-6 7-6(6) 6-4 win.

Last year, Ostapenko was twice a point away from reaching the quarter-finals but was ousted by German. Tatjana Maria, who saved both match points.

This year, Ostapenko was considered the dark horse because of her run of form on the grass.

Instead, 33-year old Cirstea prevented a rematch between Ostapenko and Maria from happening after getting her own Wimbledon revenge against the German, withstanding 48 winners from the Latvian’s racket to come from a set down to win after 2 hours and 36 minutes.

She now faces Beatriz Haddad Maia, the No 13 seed, after the Brazilian also came from behind to defeat another Romanian, Jaqueline Cristian, 4-6 6-2 6-4, in 2 hours, 29 minutes.

Cirstea holds a commanding 4-1 edge over the Brazilian, but they have split their two meetings this year, Haddad Maia winning in Adelaide and Cirstea returning the favour in Dubai.


Sofia Kenin cruised past Wang Xinyu and will meet Elina Svitolina in the Last 32

© Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Svitolina, the wild-card from Ukraine, upset Elise Mertens, seeded 28 and from Belgium, 6-1 1-6 6-1, in the opening match on No 2 Court, which will serve as great preparation for her next challenge, Sofia Kenin, who is on a roll and cruised past China’s Wang Xinyu, 6-4 6-3.

Kenin stunned compatriot Coco Gauff in the opening round, and made quick work of Wang to book her place in the Round of 32, where her 6th career meeting with Svitolina awaits with a place in the Last 16 of Wimbledon on the line.

“Yeah, obviously I’m super excited,” Kenin said after besting Wang. “Just trying to prove some people wrong.

“Just super proud of myself with the way I really fought, you know, through to get here and keeping the momentum going. Yeah, I’m just putting in the hard work and it’s paying off.”

Kenin clarified that she wasn’t sub-referencing any sort of criticism.

“No, I mean, it’s not, like, no one like said anything, it’s just, like, I didn’t have, maybe, the best results, but I felt like this year, you know, I started off pretty good overall and I just had to find my way.

“I have been fighting hard. I just hope that I can keep it going,” she added.

Kenin admitted that she will need a great game plan to best an in-form Svitolina.

“She’s obviously a high-ranked player,” Kenin told reporters. “She’s obviously really good. I feel like she’s playing, you know, making her come-back. She’s playing really well.

“It’s obviously going to be a tough match. Yeah, I’ve got to figure out a good strategy against her. All respect to her, you know, she’s had tremendous success.”


Caroline Garcia came from a set down and won in the match tiebreak over Leylah Fernandez

© Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

In other Thursday 2nd-round results, American No 1 Jessica Pegula quietly eliminated Cristina Bucsa from Spain, 6-1 6-4, and French 5th-seed Caroline Garcia dropped the first set before roaring back to overcome 2021 US Open finalist Leylah Fernandez of Canada, 3-6 6-4 7-6[10-8], while two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka from Belarus brushed aside Argentina’s Nadia Podoroska, 6-3 6-0.

Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic, the 14th seed, won a barnburner on No 2 Court in 2 hours and 44 minutes, beating American Danielle Collins, 3-6 6-4 7-6[10-2].

At 2-2 in the third set, Bencic found herself in a crucial 15-minute service game, where she survived 9 deuces and erased 3 break points before holding.

There were no service breaks in the third set, but Bencic turned up the heat in the 10-point match tiebreak, dominating from start to finish.

Returning after a hip injury this summer, Bencic, the 2021 Olympic champion, will face No 23 seed Magda Linette of Poland in the 3rd-round, who battled past Czech Barbora Strycova, 6-4 6-7(6) 6-3.


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