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Serena survives big scare; Federer wins

LONDON (AFP) – Serena Williams boosted her chances of winning an eighth Wimbledon and 24th Grand Slam by making the fourth round at the All England Club on Friday as big sister Venus fell victim to the curse of the seeds.

Serena, seeded a modest 25 this year, enjoyed a 7-5, 7-6 (7/2) win over France’s Kristina Mladenovic to set up a last-16 duel with Russian qualifier – and fellow mother – Evgeniya Rodina.

Victory on Centre Court, sealed with a 13th ace, came 20 minutes after Venus, a five-time champion, had slumped to a 6-2, 6-7 (5/7), 8-6 loss to Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands over on Court One.

Serena Williams (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

Serena Williams (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

Only two of the top 10 seeds remain in the women’s draw – number one Simona Halep, who plays her third round match on Saturday, and seventh seed Karolina Pliskova who came back from 1-4 down in the second set to defeat Mihaela Buzarnescu 3-6, 7-6 (7/3), 6-1.

While the women’s draw was being blown wide open, it was business as usual for defending men’s champion Roger Federer who enjoyed a 6-3, 7-5, 6-2 win over Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff.

Serena said she was delighted to be into the second week at Wimbledon.

Venus, 38 and the runner-up last year, was worn down by Dutch 20th seed Bertens who next faces Pliskova.

Also exiting was 10th seed Madison Keys, who had made at least the quarterfinals of her last three majors.

The American lost 7-5, 5-7, 6-4 to Rodina, ranked 120th in the world.

The eight-time champion will face French 22nd seed Adrian Mannarino on Monday for a place in the quarter-finals.

”I was happy to stay clam and finish off the job. I thought I did very well today,” said the 36-year-old 20-time Slam winner.
Stefanos Tsitsipas became the first Greek man in the Open era to make the last 16 of a Slam as the 31st seed beat Italian qualifier Thomas Fabbiano 6-2, 6-1, 6-4.

The 19-year-old will faces US ninth seed John Isner for a place in the quarter-finals.
Zverev, Anderson through

German fourth seed Alexander Zverev made the third round, seeing off Taylor Fritz of the United States 6-4, 5-7, 6-7 (0/7), 6-1, 6-2 and faces Latvian qualifier Ernests Gulbis for a spot in the last 16.

Zverev had trailed two sets to one when his tie with Fritz was halted due to darkness on Thursday.
But the 21-year-old raced away with the last two sets in Friday’s bright sunshine.

‘’Stopping last night was not a nice feeling to go to bed with,’’ said Zverev who said he had vomited on Friday due to a stomach bug and came close to quitting.

Russia’s Ekaterina Makarova defied second round victim Wozniacki’s churlish prediction that she wouldn’t progress further in the tournament by reaching the last 16.