SERENA, ISNER ADVANCE
TO WIMBLEDON QUARTERFINALS
Ashley Marshall | July 9, 2018
Manic Monday lived up to the hype on Day 8 at Wimbledon, but both Serena Williams and John Isner avoided upsets to advance to the quarterfinals.
Williams defeated qualifier Evgeniya Rodina, 6-2, 6-2, on Centre Court, and Isner toppled Greek No. 31 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, 6-4, 7-6, 7-6.
The third and final American alive in singles action, UCLA product Mackenzie McDonald, fell in four sets to Milos Raonic, 6-3, 6-4, 6-7, 6-2.
Williams (pictured above) had few problems in seeing off Rodina, who was playing her seventh match in 13 days in London.
The 23-time Grand Slam women’s singles champion hit 30 winners to 11 unforced errors and faced only two break points in defeating the Russian in 62 minutes.
Seeded No. 25, Williams will now play unseeded Camila Giorgi in Tuesday’s quarterfinals for the right to play either No.
13 seed Julia Goerges of Germany or 20th-seeded Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands in the final four.
On Monday, the American broke in the second and eighth games of the opening set and then for a third time in Rodina’s first service game of the second set to make it five unanswered games for the seven-time Wimbledon champ.
Rodina gave herself hope by breaking Williams to get back on serve at 3-2, but Williams broke in Rodina’s next two games to wrap up the victory.
The win puts Williams into the Wimbledon quarterfinals for the 13th time in her career, and it extends her winning streak at the All England Club to 18 matches. She lifted the Venus Rosewater Dish in 2015 and 2016 but missed last year’s tournament while pregnant with daughter Olympia.
In the men’s draw, Isner will next play No. 13 seed Raonic in Wednesday's quarterfinals. Isner has won three of his four career meetings against Raonic, although the Canadian won their most recent encounter on the hard courts of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati in 2016.
Their quarterfinal match is sure to be dominated by big serving and few breaks, as seven of the nine sets the two have played against each other have gone to tiebreaks.
Over the first eight days of The Championships, Isner, who has yet to drop his serve at Wimbledon this year, has hit 135 aces through 14 sets across his four matches so far, while saving all six break points he's faced. Raonic, meanwhile, has hit 117 aces over 14 sets in four matches, and he's saved four of seven break points.
Isner’s service game was on full display again Monday. He sent down 22 aces to only two double faults against Tsitsipas, and he won 68 of 77 points on his first serve. The American also recorded 54 winners to just 20 unforced errors, and he won 46 points at the net, as he looked increasingly comfortable coming in behind his serve and taking returns out of the air.
The 33-year-old broke Tsitsipas at 4-4 in the first set on his way to establishing an early lead. In the second set, both men exchanged comfortable holds to force a tiebreak. Isner, seeded ninth, had set points at 6-5 and 8-7, and Tsitsipas had one of his own at 7-6. All three came on the opponent’s serve, and it wasn’t until Isner crafted a mini-break at 8-8 that he was able to serve out the set on his third set point.
In the third set, Tsitsipas saved a break point in the eighth game to hold for 4-4, and he fought off a match point in his next service game to help send the set into another tiebreak.
Tsitsipas saved a second match point at 3-6 in the tiebreak, but he was unable to extend it any further, as the 6-foot-10 North Carolina native punched his ticket to the last eight.
Isner had never been past the third round of Wimbledon before, and his win over Tsitsipas helped him match his best performance at a Slam. The only other time Isner has reached the second week of a major came at the 2011 US Open where, as the No. 28 seed, he fell to Andy Murray in four sets.
Elsewhere on Day 8, the American duo of Jack Sock and Mike Bryan beat the German pair of Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies, 6-2, 6-7, 6-4, 6-7, 7-5, in the third round.
Should Sock and Bryan win the title, it would be Sock's second major men's doubles championship. At Wimbledon in 2014, he and Vasek Pospisil beat the Bryan brothers in the final. For Mike Bryan, a win in the quarterfinals would propel him back to No. 1 in the doubles rankings and keep him on track for a fourth Wimbledon men’s doubles crown.
Also in the winner’s circle Monday was Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova, who beat No. 2 seeds Andrea Sestini Hlavackova and Barbora Strycova, 2-6, 7-6, 6-4.
The win comes in Mattek-Sands’ first major tournament since injuring her knee in the second round of Wimbledon last year. Mattek-Sands and Safarova are looking to win the career doubles Grand Slam this year after having won the Australian Open (2015 and 2017), the French Open (2015 and 2017) and the US Open (2016) together in the past.