Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia plays a return to Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus. (Source: AP)
Twelfth seed Jelena Ostapenko came back from 5-2 down to crush Aliaksandra Sasnovich 7-6(4) 6-0 and reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals for the second year running on Monday.
The 21-year-old Latvian former French Open champion looked in trouble with her Belarusian opponent racing into a 5-2 lead after delivering a superb lob.
However, Ostapenko then seemed stung into action by a warning for coaching and reeled off four games to turn the tables, winning the set in 56 minutes.
Sasnovich, who upset eighth seed Petra Kvitova in the opening round, won one more game to send the set into a tiebreak which she lost 7-4 on a double fault.
Ostapenko, who has yet to drop a set in the tournament, clinched the set in 56 minutes then took half that time to win the second as Sasnovich’s game deserted her.
Sasnovich, 24, saved four break points in the fourth game of the second set, her last stand, but could not hold.
Ostapenko proved too strong in the end and will be favoured in her quarter-final to beat Dominika Cibulkova, one of a record nine unseeded players to reach the fourth round since the number of seeds was increased to 32 in 2001.
Slovakian Cibulkova ended Su-Wei Hsieh’s run after the Taiwanese had upset top seed Simona Halep. Only one of the top 10 women reached the fourth round for the first time in the Open era.
Cibulkova reaches last eight but wins few friends
Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia plays a return to Su-Wei Hsieh of Taiwan. (Source: AP)
Dominika Cibulkova reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals for the third time but made few friends around Court 18 as she beat Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei in controversial circumstances on Monday.
The Slovakian eventually won 6-4 6-1 but the match will be remembered for a ludicrous umpiring decision at a crucial stage of a tight opening set.
Hsieh, who stunned world number one Simona Halep on Saturday, was the victim of a glaring mistake by umpire Zhang Juan which only the umpire and Cibulkova did not seem to notice.
As Hsieh served at 4-5 0-30 Cibulkova pummelled a return deep into court and immediately challenged the linseman’s call of out, prompting Hawkeye to show it had indeed been in.
That is when common sense appeared to vacate the court.
The umpire awarded the point to Cibulova even though Hsieh had actually scrambled Cibulkova’s return back.
Hsieh argued, correctly, for several minutes that the point should be replayed but the umpire would not budge, being heard to say she could not remember if Hsieh’s shot had gone in.
Cibulova could have intervened but spent the entire time standing on the baseline in the advantage court, as if to prepare for a 0-40 situation, even with the crowd chanting “replay the point…replay the point.”
When a referee was summoned Cibulkova was called to the net and after further dialogue was told the point would be replayed. Her indignant response hardly endeared her to the crowd who understandably had taken Hsieh’s side.
When play finally resumed Hsieh battled back to 30-30 but Cibulkova won the game to take the first set and then powered through the second to book a last-eight clash with fellow power-merchant Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia.
Thirty-third ranked Cibulkova, who has responded to being bumped out of the seedings by Serena Williams’ elevation to 25th, was still fighting her corner in a news conference.
“I don’t want to talk about it because I would get really upset and angry about that, because it was ridiculous what happened there,” Cibulkova told reporters.
“It never happened to me in my career that this would happen. Just a player is complaining. Sometimes I’m also complaining because I think it was a wrong call.
“But it never happened to me that the umpire changed the decision. It was really ridiculous for me.”
Asked whether she had some sympathy for Hsieh, who did nothing wrong but stick up for herself and the rules, Cibulkova was adamant it was not the Taiwan player who had been wronged.
“The right decision was, of course, to keep the decision. This happened to me so many times that I had exact the same point, and the point was given to the other player. I had no sympathy because it’s just about the chair umpire.”
Kerber survives seeding cull to reach quarter-finals
Germany’s Angelique Kerber during the fourth round match against Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic. (Source: Reuters)
German 11th seed Angelique Kerber became the highest-ranked player to reach the women’s quarter-finals after she outclassed Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic 6-3 7-6(5) at Wimbledon on Monday.
Over the last week, Kerber has watched all the top 10 seeds perish, which has raised expectations that she could repeat her 2016 run to the final.
On Monday, the twice Grand Slam champion did not let such expectations weigh her down and she set up a last-eight showdown with Russian 14th seed Daria Kasatkina.
This is the first time since seedings were introduced in 1927 that none of the top eight women has made it through to the Wimbledon quarter-finals.