6th July, 2019
Serena Williams has for the 16th time booked a spot in the 4th round of Wimbledon, along with World number one Ashleigh Barty, who was doing so for the first time.
However, former US Open champion, Sloane Stephens was ousted by British star Johanna Konta in three sets, 6-3 4-6 1-6.
Barty overwhelmed British wild card Harriet Dart 6-1, 6-1 while 37-year-old, seven-time champion Williams produced her most convincing display in dispensing with German Julia Goerges 6-3, 6-4.
Barty, bidding to become the first Australian Wimbledon women’s champion since Evonne Goolagong Cawley won her second title in 1980, will play unseeded American Alison Riske for a place in the last eight.
She is also the first Australian woman to make the second week since 2010.
“That was really good,” said Barty. “I served really well and getting out of the love 40 game was massive.
“Incredible it is a first for me (to be in the last 16), new territory for me.”
Williams reached the fourth round for the 16th time and goes on to face Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro for a place in the quarter-finals.
Eleventh seed Williams, who defeated Goerges in last year’s semi-finals, is bidding to equal Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 Grand Slam titles.
“It’s been an arduous year for me, so every match I’m hoping to improve tons,” said Williams, who hada knee problem which affected her season.
“Every time I get out there, I try. I’m getting a really late start but all that matters is that I’m still here.”
Two-time champion Petra Kvitova reached the last 16 for the first time in five years — the last time she did in 2014 she won her second title.
Czech sixth seed Kvitova defeated Poland’s Magda Linette 6-3, 6-2 and will face either Britain’s Johanna Konta or Sloane Stephens of the United States for a place in the quarter-finals.
On the men’s side, Kei Nishikori equalled Ai Sugiyama’s record of four appearances in the last 16 of Wimbledon by a Japanese player as he dismissed American journeyman Steve Johnson 6-4, 6-3, 6-2.
Mixed doubles rarely gets centre stage but British fans will wait till the bitter end as former world number one Andy Murray will partner Serena Williams against Andreas Mies of Germany and Chile’s Alexa Guarachi.
“I wanted to play mixed because I’ve only played just about 15 matches so far this year,” said Serena.
“It’s such a buzz going around about me and Andy now, that I’ve got nervous.
“I’m ready and excited but I’m definitely nervous.”