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Zverev, Halep fall; Nadal, Djoko win

LONDON (AFP) – German fourth seed Alexander Zverev and women’s world number one Simo­na Halep wilted in 33-degree heat and crashed out of Wimbledon in the third round on Saturday.

Zverev, playing for the third day in succession, was shocked by Latvian qualifier Ernests Gulbis, ranked 138, in a gruelling five sets, 7-6 (7/2), 4-6, 5-7, 6-3, 6-0.

French Open champion Halep lost to Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-Wei 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 which leaves just one of the top 10 seeds in the last 16.

Meanwhile, two-time champion Rafael Nadal made the fourth round with a 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 win over Alex De Minaur of Australia which ensured he would retain the world number one spot at the end of the tournament.

Three-time winner Novak Djok­ovic made the last 16 of a Slam for the 44th time with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 win over Kyle Edmund, the last remaining Briton.

Despite being widely-tipped to be a Grand Slam threat, it was an­other letdown for Zverev whose run to the quarter-finals at Roland Garros last month remains his best performance at the majors.

Gulbis, a former world number 10 who famously defeated Roger Federer on his way to the French Open semi-finals in 2014, will be playing in the last 16 at Wimble­don for the first time at the 11th attempt.

The 29-year-old will take on Ja­pan’s Kei Nishikori who registered his 350th career win with a 6-1, 7-6 (7/3), 6-4 victory over Austra­lian Nick Kyrgios.

Defeat for Halep means that Karolina Pliskova, at number sev­en, is the only women’s top 10 seed to reach the fourth round.

It’s the first time in the Open era that none of the top five wom­en’s seeds have made the last 16 of a Slam.

Nadal reached the last 16 for the eighth time, making sure of keeping the world number one ranking.

The 11-time French Open cham­pion and bidding for an 18th career major will next face unseeded Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic.

Djokovic was furious when he was denied a break of serve in the seventh game of the fourth set on Centre Court when the ball bounced twice before Edmund hit what was ruled a winner.

But the Serb managed to refo­cus after a lengthy complaint to umpire Jake Garner.

‘‘I was 100 percent convinced it was a double bounce,’’ Djokovic said.

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