Anderson out, Djoko up; Gauff on a magical roll - GulfToday

Anderson out, Djoko up; Gauff on a magical roll

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Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates winning his third round match against Poland's Hubert Hurkacz . Hannah McKay/Reuters

World number one and defending champion Novak Djokovic equalled Boris Becker’s mark of 12 appearances in the Wimbledon fourth round on Friday despite a mid-match hiccup when he lost the second set in a tie-break.

The four-time Wimbledon winner in the end defeated Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz 7-5, 6-7 (5/7), 6-1, 6-4.

Meanwhile, US teenage sensation ‘Coco’ Gauff continued her magical dream run at Wimbledon when she overcame WTA ranked 60 Slovenian Polona Hercog in three sets 3-6, 7-6, 7-5.

With his win in the round of 32, Djokovic is now level with Becker in third place on the all-time list for last-16 places. Roger Federer and Jimmy Connors lead the way with 16.

Meanwhile, 2018 runner-up Kevin Anderson was dumped out of Wimbledon on Friday, leaving just four of the top 10 seeds in the tournament.

Anderson, whose season has been interrupted by an elbow injury, slumped to a shock third round 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (7/4) defeat to Argentina’s Guido Pella, the 26th seed.

The South African’s defeat means that only Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Kei Nishikori remain of the top 10 seeds who started out.

Pella goes on to face 2016 runner-up Milos Raonic for a place in the quarter-finals.

“I don’t know how to describe this,” said Pella, who had never gone beyond the third round of a Grand Slam tournament in seven years.

“I played an unbelievable three sets.”

Raonic, the 15th seed, reached the fourth round for the fifth time by seeing off the sport’s tallest man Reilly Opelka of the US 7-6 (7/1), 6-2, 6-1.

France’s Benoit Paire booked a last 16 place for the second time with a 5-7, 7-6 (7/5), 6-3, 7-6 (7/2) win over Czech qualifier Jiri Vesely.

He will meet Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut who stunned Russian 10th seed Karen Khachanov 6-3, 7-6 (7/3), 6-1.

In the women’s event, Czech third seed Karolina Pliskova reached the fourth round for the second successive year with a 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 win over Hsieh Su-wei of Taiwan.

Pliskova, who fired 14 aces and 42 winners, will next face compatriot Karolina Muchova, the world number 68, who put out Estonian 20th seed Anett Kontaveit 7-6 (9/7), 6-3.

Muchova is making her Wimbledon debut as is 19-year-old Dayana Yastremska and the 35th-ranked Ukrainian marked the occasion by also making the last 16.

She put out Switzerland’s Viktorija Golubic 7-5, 6-3 and next meets unseeded Chinese player Zhang Shuai.

World number 60 Zhang made the fourth round for the first time, coming back from 0-4 down in the opening set to beat former world number one Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 6-2 who failed to see eye-to-eye with the Hawk-Eye line call review system.

Wozniacki’s affection for the tournament would not have been helped by her unhappiness at what she claimed to be a number of poor calls by Hawk-Eye.

“You trust that it tells you the right thing. Sometimes you do see the balls a little differently than Hawk-Eye,” said the 28-year-old.

The umpire, she claimed, offered to get the system looked at -- for the next match on Court Two.

“Well, I don’t have a next match,” she grumbled.

In a clash of two former Grand Slam champions on Centre Court, Simona Halep handled Victoria Azarenka with the loss of just four games to reach the round of 16.

The seventh-seeded Romanian eased past the Belarusian into the round of 16, 6-3, 6-1.

From a 3-1 deficit early on, the former French Open champion won six straight games to take command against the two-time Australian Open champion on Centre Court, ultimately easing to victory in just 66 minutes.

“I’m very satisfied. I think was my best match this year. I played really well. I felt actually very confident. I’ve been aggressive all the match, even if I was 3-1 down first set,” Halep said.

“I expected a tough one. I expected she’s going to play well and she’s going to hit strong, so I knew that. I was ready for the match. I’m really happy that I could win against a player as Vika because she’s a great one.”

Halep hit 13 winners to just nine unforced errors in the match as Azarenka grew more erratic, with the Belarusian totaling 33 unforced errors to just 13 winners.

Agencies