Untroubled Serena, Nadal into Wimbledon quarters
July. 08, 2019
American Serena Williams smiles after falling at the net playing against Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro whom she beat 6-2, 6-2 to sail through to the Wimbledon quarter-final yesterday. Photo/AFP
London, Monday @PeopleSport11
Seven-time Wimbledon champion Serena Williams coasted into the quarter-finals on Monday beating Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro 6-2, 6-2.
The path for the 37-year-old American of equalling Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 Grand Slam titles appears significantly easier. Her quarter-final opponent on Tuesday will be Alison Riske who knocked out world number one Ashleigh Barty earlier on Monday.
Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal reached the quarter-finals for the seventh time with a 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 win over outclassed Joao Sousa of Portugal.
Third seed Nadal, the 2008 and 2010 champion, will face either Sam Querrey or Tennys Sandgren in what will be his 39th appearance in a Slam quarter-final. The 33-year-old Spaniard is chasing his 19th title at the majors which would put him just one behind the all-time record of 20 held by Roger Federer who he could face in the semi-finals.
Barty’s hopes of becoming the first Australian women’s champion in nearly four decades were dashed on Monday opening the way for Serena to potentially equal the all-time Grand Slam haul.
Having looked assured last week, while Williams was not altogether convincing, it was the 23-year-old Australian who cracked and went down in three sets to unseeded American Alison Riske 3-6, 6-2, 6-2.
Barty’s defeat also leaves 15-year-old Coco Gauff as a significant title contender. Gauff, who needs to reach the semi-finals to emulate the then 15-year-old Jennifer Capriati’s run in 1991, is playing former world number one Simona Halep.
“It is a tough one to swallow but I lost to a better player,” said Barty, who had been hoping to become the first Australian champion since Evonne Goolagong Cawley won her second title in 1980.
For Riske, it was perhaps an unexpected early wedding present, she gets married after Wimbledon to Stephen Amritraj, the son of former Indian Davis Cup player Anand, but extremely well-earned.
It will be the 29-year-old’s first appearance in a Grand Slam quarter-final. -AFP