SERENA, ISNER ADVANCE
TO WIMBLEDON'S MANIC MONDAY
Ashley Marshall | July 6, 2018
One has been there many times before, the other is in uncharted territory.
Serena Williams and John Isner booked their places in the fourth round of Wimbledon on Friday, ensuring Team USA will be represented in both the men’s and women’s draws on Manic Monday.
Serena (pictured above) defeated Kiki Mlandenovic of France, 7-5, 7-6, to advance to the round of 16 for the 15th time in 18 trips to the English capital. Isner, meanwhile, booked his spot in the second week of Wimbledon for the first time in his career with a 6-3, 6-3 6-4 victory over Radu Albot of Moldova.
Seeded No. 25 in London, Serena will now face Evgeniya Rodina of Russia for a spot in the quarterfinals. Should the 23-time Grand Slam women’s singles champion win that match, she would face either Camila Giorgi of Italy or Ekaterina Makarova of Russia for a place in the final four.
Of course, a deep run on the Wimbledon lawns is nothing new to Serena, who has lifted the Venus Rosewater dish seven times and has been a finalist on two other occasions on Championship Saturday.
The same can’t be said for Isner, who had previously reached the third round in three consecutive years but never advanced to the second week.
His best run at a major came when he made the quarterfinals of the US Open in 2011, but in the 25 Grand slams since then, he has only made the fourth round five times, three of those coming on the red clay of Roland Garros.ADVERTISEMENT
On Friday, Mladenovic broke Serena for a 3-2 lead, but she was unable to serve out the set with the ball on her racquet at 5-4. The American won the final four games of the first set, saving four break points at 6-5 before drawing first blood for a 1-0 lead.
The pair exchanged breaks in the second and third games of the second set, with Mladenovic saving a break point at 1-2 and Serena doing the same at 4-4.
The Frenchwoman saved a match point at 5-6 to send the set to a tiebreak, but Serena raced out to a 4-0 lead and never looked back, winning the match on her second attempt.
Isner then gave the U.S. a second player in the fourth round with a straight-sets win over Albot.
The 6-foot-10 North Carolina native, who is in top seed Roger Federer’s half of the draw, hit 21 aces and never faced a break point as he raced past the world No. 98 in 96 minutes on Court 2.
Isner will now face No. 31 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas on Monday and then either fellow American Mackenzie McDonald or the winner of Dennis Novak against No. 13 Milos Raonic.
Continuing his dream run in southwest London, 23-year-old UCLA product McDonald beat Guido Pella of Argentina, 6-4, 6-4, 7-6, to advance to the fourth round of a major for the first time in his career.
McDonald had only ever won one Grand Slam match in his career before this week, so his run to the second week is one of the more remarkable stories of the first five days in London at a tournament that has already seen its fair share of upsets.
Next up for world No. 103 McDonald is either world No. 13 Milos Raonis or Dennis Novak of Austria. Raonic was leading 6-5 in the third set with the match at 1-1 when play was suspended for the evening.
Elsewhere on Day 5, No. 11 seed Sam Querrey fell to Gael Monfils, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2, and Taylor Fritz fell to fourth-seeded Alexander Zverev, 6-4, 5-7, 6-7, 6-1, 6-2, in a match continued from Thursday.
In the women’s draw, No. 9 seed Venus Williams fell to No. 20 seed Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands, 6-2, 6-7, 8-6, while 10th-seeded Madison Keys lost to Russian qualifier Evgeniya Rodina, 7-5, 5-7, 6-4.