Kerber shows her mettle
Originally published on 08/07/17 00:00
The top seed trailed the powerful American – who had never won a match at the All England Club prior to the the start of the tournament – by a set and a break however she responded like a champion and eventually secured a 4-6 7-6(2) 6-4 success.
It was not a vintage display from the German as she spent the majority of the match scrambling behind the baseline. Rogers was the aggressor but she made too many unforced-errors in the second half of the energy-sapping contest.
"I was down 2-4, and I think I had break-point also against me for 2-5," said Kerber. "It was tough to find my rhythm and she [Rogers] played very well from the first point. In the second set, I started to feel the ball better and better.
“I think the key was at the end that I was fighting, and I was never going to give up until the end.”
There were no such difficulties for another former finalist. Garbine Muguruza, who will play Kerber in the fourth round on Monday, won a big-hitting contest with Sorana Cirstea 6-2 6-2 in just 70 minutes.
The Spaniard has not dropped a set in the tournament and she appears ready for the demands of the business end of the championships. "I'm feeling pretty good,” explained the 23-year-old. “I felt I improved my game compared to the previous matches. I'm happy with the way I'm playing out there, but it's not easy.
"It's great obviously to reach the second week. Everyone has the same goal, to get through the first week, the first matches, and then the exciting part comes along."
Caroline Wozniacki was another seed in trouble on Saturday afternoon. Her opponent, Anett Kontaveit, served for the match twice but faltered on each occasion. It was a gritty display from the former No.1 and she was delighted to somehow squeeze through 3-6 7-6(3) 6-2.
“She [Kontaveit] was playing really well and I wasn’t playing my best tennis today,” admitted Wozniacki. “I was really trying and fighting hard but it just wasn’t going my way. I couldn’t get any serves in and I just didn’t feel myself out there, but I dug deep.
“I could sense she was getting a bit nervous towards the end of the second set, and I just went for it. At that point, I had nothing to lose and I got a little lucky."
Wozniacki will take on Coco Vandeweghe in the fourth round. The American, who is an excellent grass-courter, defeated Alison Riske 6-2 6-4 in 75 minutes.
Agnieszka Radwanska emerged the winner from a fascinating duel with Timea Bacsinszky. It was a match filled with punishing baseline exchanges however it was the Pole who used her court-craft and finesse to dominate the deciding set and secure a 3-6 6-4 6-1 triumph.
“I expected a lot of tricky shots from Timea,” admitted the No.9 seed."There were a lot on entertaining rallies but I knew what to expect, and I’m very happy that I came back in the second set which was really tight.
“In the third set, I was really playing my game and tried to be more aggressive. It’s a great feeling to be in the second week at a Grand Slam, especially at Wimbledon, so I’m extremely happy.”
The Pole will face a familiar foe in the fourth round. Her next opponent, Svetlana Kuznestova, continues to make serene progress as she defeated Polona Hercog for the concession of just four games.
Elsewhere on the grounds, Magdalena Rybarikova, who stunned Karolina Pliskova on Thursday, is through to the last sixteen after a commanding 6-2 6-1 success over Lesia Tsurenko. The Slovakian will play Petra Martic, who is into the fourth round for the first time after a 7-6(6) 6-1 win over Zarina Diyas.