Iga Swiatek (1) vs. Elina Svitolina (WC)
The 4th round meeting against Belinda Bencic was definitely considered as a first serious test of the abilities of the world's ranking leader to compete for the highest stakes in the Championships. The Swiss is known from her good achievments on grass in the past and showed up well in the first three rounds after some time off taken due to injury issues. The opening set has delivered a tiebreak settlement and it was a brilliant display of Bencic's resillience, who defended 6 breakpoints while being in danger during 3 service games, including two setpoints for Swiatek in 10th game during the score 5-4*. It has paid off perfectly for the Swiss, who dominated the tiebreak and grabbed the first set despite creating no danger at all during the Swiatek's service games earlier on. Bencic has performed some kind of great statistical achievement, as she defended 19 breakpoints in a row since second round till the end of opening set in the battle against Swiatek.
This great series has ended up in the opening game of second set, as Swiatek has finally managed to break her opponent. Bencic managed to come back from this in the middle of the set, putting the pressure on the Pole, who needed to serve out the opportunity to stay alive in the tournament in the decisive games on this set. The serious threat came up in 12th game, when Bencic produced two breakpoints (just 2nd and 3rd one in the whole match for her at this point), being two matchpoints at the same time. Swiatek showed an impressive composure, winning both points in a great constructed rallies when the ball was in open play after her serves. The Pole won 4 points in a row to force 2nd tiebreak in a match, this time dominated by her on a road to move the match into whole distance. Third set was not a less tight battle, even despite ended up earlier than preeceding ones. Swiatek performed a crucial hold in 3rd game while facing the only one breakpoint during her serve in this set. The missed opportunity took its revenge for Bencic, who got broken in the following game and did not manage to make up the gap till the end. Swiatek won 6-7(4) 7-6(2) 6-3 eventually to approach her first ever Wimbledon's quarterfinal.
All the tennis fans could regret, that two truly epic clashes were being played at the same time, while during the tassle between Swiatek and Bencic, Elina Svitolina and Victoria Azarenka were also fighting for the quarterfinal spot. Their match got settled in the decisive tiebreak after multiple plot twists. The Belarusian started much better, as she dominated the opening set, winning it by 6-2. Azarenka followed the blow after start of second set, moving up into 2-0 lead and setting herself up in a driver's seat to deliver the straight set victory. This has not happened though, as Svitolina regrouped herself to level the score and took the initiative later on. The Ukrainian produced 6 breakpoints in the decisive games of this set. Azarenka performed a hold in 8th game after defending 4 of those, but did not managed to do so again while facing two setpoints in 10th game, which moved the match into whole distance.
Svitolina was still on fire and quickly moved up into 3-0 lead, seemingly being a better side in the match at this moment. Azarenka did not give up though and broke back her opponent in 5th game. Both the players were holding their serves without issues since then and approached the only one decisive tiebreak in whole the round of 16. The two times Australian Open champion was on a front foot in quite an advanced part of the crucial game, as she was leading 7-4 there. The pressure was on Svitolina's shoulders, but it was still just one minibreak to make up and the Ukrainian handled it well, as she won the following 4 points since then and took the advantage. The play was intense till the end, but it has ended up in Svitolina's favour who won 2-6 6-4 7-6(9) eventually. It's second consecutive Grand Slam's quarterfinal for the former world's number 3, who came back to competition just 3 months ago after her first maternity break.
Jessica Pegula (4) vs. Marketa Vondrousova
The consistency is the keyword when describing the performance of the best ranked American during the time of her constant presence in the field of world's top class players. Pegula makes another contribution to this sentence by completing the achievement of reaching out the quarterfinals stage in all of the Grand Slam tournaments. The Championships were the last lacking puzzle here, but the American made it through this year's QF after defeating Lesia Tsurenko in the match of round of 16. The Ukrainian advanced into this stage after an epic 3:40 hours long thriller played against Ana Bogdan in previous round, which could even boost the disproportion in the pre-match odds before the tassle against the current world's number 4. Pegula made her job done really well and quickly took in doubt all the hopes for the Ukrainian by winning first 5 games and whole the opening set by 6-1. The scenario has not changes in second set, as Pegula was still a dominant force. She missed the first opportunity to serve for the match in 8th game, losing the only one service game this afternoon, but closed the battle in the following game and clinched a convincing victory with a score 6-1 6-3.
Marketa Vondrousova continues her climb back where she belongs by achieving her best success after last year's comeback to the competition, as she sealed the advance into QFs by defeating fellowcountry Marie Bouzkova in 4th round. Vondrousova was a pre-match favorite ahead of the all-Czech clash against Bouzkova, who reminded herself to feel great at the lawns in SW19 again after reaching out the quarters in last year's edition. The match has started better for the 32th seed, who has surprisingly broke her opponent 3 times in a row to clinch the opening set with a score 6-2. The second set was an even battle between both, but Vondrousova managed to force the decider after winning it 6-4. Third set has started with a series of holds from both players till the score 3-3. Vondrousova raised up the pace in the decisive games, as she broke her opponent twice in a row, absolutely dominating the crucial moment of this match by winning 16 out of last 20 points.
Ons Jabeur (6) vs. Elena Rybakina (3)
It's a revenge time for the last year's final of the Championships, when the Rybakina came back from being a set down to defeat Jabeur and claim the career's maiden Grand Slam title. The Tunisian showed a stunning performance in her 4th round clash against Petra Kvitova. The Czech was unbeaten on grass so far this year after taking the title in WTA 500 bett1open in Berlin. Kvitova was a slight favorite ahead of this high profile match, rated with an odd 1.72. Despite this, it was Jabeur who dominated the match from the start, winning the opening set without giving away any single game for the two times Wimbledon champion.
The Czech was struggling with her serve and the scenario did not change too much in second set. Kvitova has still tried to fight back while being two breaks down in second set, but the one single break regained on her better playing opponent's this day was just not enough. The match has ended up with a score 6-0 6-3 after just 64 minutes of play. Jabeur headlined the stats with a brilliant 82% points won on 1st serve and 17 winners scored in compare to just 11 unforced errors. Kvitova was definitely on the opposite pole today, as she won just 46% first serve points and commited as many as 26 errors to just 4 winners.
The reigning champion was also supposed to play an exciting match against a great grass courts specialist Beatriz Haddad Maia. It has not happened though, as the Kazakh went through the quarterfinals after just 27 minutes of play, because of the low back injury which forced the Brazilian to pull out of the match.
Madison Keys (25) vs. Aryna Sabalenka (2)
The world's number two was supposed to face some serious challenge by playing against Alexandrova, who was considered as one of the dark horses of this tournament after her great showing up in the preeceding tournaments in June, including the successful title defence in WTA 250 Libema Open. The match has started with a really consistent serving performance from both the players with 7 opening games bringing no break opportunities. Sabalenka was the first one to create a danger in 8th game, but the Russian managed to defend two breakpoints and stayed in the contention. It was her last hold in this match as it panned out later on, while Sabalenka raised up her level and won 8 following games since then, moving into quarters with somewhat a statement win.
The Belarusian scored 19 winners, won 77% first serve points and was super effective close to the net, winning 11 out of 13 points there. Alexandrova scored 15 winners to just 8 unforced errors, which is quite an unusual stat with such a crushing score in second set, but it's just a proof that the WTA Race list leader was just too unbeatable in this match-up this day.
The American has approached the fourth round against Mirra Andreeva with a perfect record of 8 wins in a row on grass, all performed in straight sets. Keys was a favorite ahead of the match against the 16 years-old sensation, who reached out the top 16 as a qualifier in her just second appearance in Grand Slam's main draw. Andreeva has not stopped to impress, as she showed a stunning performance in the opening set against Keys and won it 6-3. The youngster played with a great tactical composure and continued to do same well in second set, moving up into 4-1 lead with a single break advantage. The Russian could even double her advantage and move much closer to the eventual win, but Keys performed a crucial hold in 6th game of second set by defending a breakpoint with a brilliant backhand winner, which occured to be a start of a comeback for the American.
Keys broke her opponent in the next game to come back level and forced a tiebreak, where she moved the settlement into decisive set. The American was a dominant force there and won the whole thing 3-6 7-6(4) 6-2 to reach out her second career's quarterfinal in SW19.