Wimbledon: Serena Wiliams beats Mladenovic tp reach fourth round
Serena made to fight hard to beat Mladenovic as Venus goes down in Round 3
Serena Williams was given a thorough workout but made it through to the second week of Wimbledon yesterday. The seven-time champion beat Kristina Mladenovic 7-5, 7-6 (7/2) just minutes after her sister Venus went out of the tournament over on Court One. Venus lost 6-2, 6-7 (5/7), 8-6 to Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens. Mladenovic served for the first set, but Williams survived and then stepped up in the second-set tie-break to move into the fourth round.
Williams has been feeling her way into the tournament but it was clear that she was facing her toughest test yet when Mladenovic took an early break. An important moment came when Williams was serving at 4-2 behind, when at 15-30 the American looked to have sent the ball long to give Mladenovic two double-break points. But Williams challenged and it proved an inspired decision as Hawk-Eye showed the ball to be a couple of millimetres in.
The Frenchwoman, ranked 62nd in the world, still had a chance to serve for the first set, but inevitably Williams broke. That was the start of a run of six games in a row that gave her the first set and a break in the second. Mladenovic battled back to level up and it went with serve until a tie-break, where the former world number one raised her game. This is only her fourth tournament back since giving birth last September and Williams is pleased with her progress.
Venus Williams after losing a point to Kiki Bertens. Pics/AFP, PTI
Keys knocked out
Madison Keys became the seventh woman seeded in the top 10 to crash out of Wimbledon as the American was stunned by Russian qualifier Evgeniya Rodina yesterday. After defending champion Garbine Muguruza suffered a shock exit in the second round on Thursday, it was 10th seed Keys' turn to endure an unexpected 7-5, 5-7, 6-4 third round defeat.
Alexander Zverev avoided a shock Wimbledon exit as the World No. 3 battled back to beat American youngster Taylor Fritz 6-4, 5-7, 6-7 (0/7), 6-1, 6-2 yesterday. Zverev had just lost the third set when bad light forced play to be suspended late on Thursday evening. But the German staged another impressive escape act on Court One, winning the final two sets to move into the third round.
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