Bride-to-be Dominika Cibulkova sent world number three Agnieszka Radwanska crashing out of Wimbledon yesterday, while Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber cruised into the quarter-finals.
Cibulkova defeated Poland’s Radwanska en route to her first grass-court title at Eastbourne last month and emulated that result with a surprise 6-3, 5-7, 9-7 fourth round victory to secure her first Wimbledon quarter-final berth since 2011.
The 27-year-old will play Russian world number 50 Elena Vesnina, who beat Ekatarina Makarova 5-7, 6-1, 9-7 in a gruelling three-set match.
Cibulkova cried tears of joy as she rolled on the court in celebration after the final point, but the triumph could come with a sting in the tail as she will have to postpone her wedding if she makes it to Saturday’s final.
The 2014 Australian Open runner-up is due to get married to fiancé Miso Navara in Bratislava on the same day after planning the big occasion nine months ago.
Radwanska, beaten in the 2012
Wimbledon final, is still waiting for her first Grand Slam title.
German fourth seed Kerber cruised into her third Wimbledon quarter-final with a 6-3, 6-1 thrashing of Japanese world number 49 Misaki Doi.
Kerber, who won her maiden Grand Slam crown in Melbourne in January, has yet to drop a set in four matches and could leave Wimbledon as the world number one if she wins the title and Serena Williams fails to make the semi-finals.
“I’m feeling my tennis is getting better and better every day. This is what counts in the second week of a Grand Slam,” Kerber said.
“It’s important for my confidence. But I know I have still a long way (to win Wimbledon). I have to play really good.”
Kerber plays Romania’s Simona Halep, who fought back to reach her second Wimbledon quarter-final with a 6-7 (5/7), 6-4, 6-3 victory against American ninth seed Madison Keys.
Fifth seed Halep, a former French Open runner-up, made the semi-finals at the All England Club in 2014.
Russian 21st seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who celebrated her 25th birthday on Sunday, reached her first Wimbledon quarter-final with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Coco Vandeweghe of the United States.
After conquering her dislike of grass, she faces defending champion Serena, who beat Russian 13th seed Svetlana Kuznetsova 7-5, 6-0, for a place in the semi-finals.
“I’m not supposed to say this, but really I didn’t like grass at all. Now it’s kind of changing a little,” Pavlyuchenkova said.
Venus Williams also strode to victory against a scampering Carla Suarez Navarro, beating the Spaniard 7-6 (3), 6-4 to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals.
At 36 years and 17 days, eighth seed Venus is the oldest woman to appear in the last 16 at Wimbledon since Martina Navratilova 22 years ago.
With both the Williams siblings winning yesterday, this is also the first time since 1999 that more than one player aged 30 or over reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals.
Venus won the last of her seven Grand Slam titles when she lifted the Wimbledon trophy for a fifth time in 2008 and hasn’t made the semi-finals of a major since the 2010 US Open.
Lying in wait for Venus is Kazakhstan’s Yaroslava Shvedova, who reached her first Wimbledon quarter-final with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Czech 28th seed Lucie Safarova. World number 96 Shvedova is the lowest ranked player left in the women’s tournament.
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