Tennis – Paula Badosa and Roberto Bautista Agut have been quietly moving their way through the draw. They are Spain’s remaining hopes in the Gentlemen’s and Ladies’ draws of Wimbledon.
Bautista Agut has a good record at Wimbledon, consistently achieving the 3rd or 4th rounds, and getting to the semi-final in 2019.
In his latest match, the no.8 seed saw off German Dominik Koepfer in straight sets, 7-5,6-4,7-6(4). The match lasted two hours and twenty minutes, as Bautista won 70% of his first serve points.
You’d be forgiven for thinking Roberto was even playing at Wimbledon so quiet has his progress been. However, this may change as he faces Canadian no.10 seed Denis Shapovalov – despatcher of Andy Murray in the previous round.
Shapovalov started with a difficult first round match coming through in the fifth set against Kohlschreiber. He then had a walkover as Spain’s Andujar pulled out and the straight sets win over Murray. He’s been on court for just under 6 hours this tournament. In contrast, Bautista Agut has been on court just shy of 9 hours. Will those hours make a difference in an evenly-matched competition?
Badosa heads for Manic Monday
23-year-old Paula Badosa overcame Polish Magda Linette in a tough duel: 5-7, 6-2 and 6-4, after 2h 24m. The match was disturbed by rain and the wind also made an appearance on the outer courts. When play resumed, Badosa delivered the first set to her opponent, later rebuilding and imposing herself, to take the second set.
Paul’s form dipped at the start of the third set as she trailed 3-0 before finding the resolve and shots to take the final set. On Monday, she will face Czech Karolina Muchova, who is seeded 19 compared to Badosa’s seeding of 30.
Having lost in the second round of the ladies’ Doubles, with compatriot Sara Sorribes Tormo, Badosa will be able to focus on her fourth-round match. Will she overcome the rankings and make it to the last eight as she did at Roland Garros a month ago?
Muguruza toppled by Tunisian Jabeur
We predicted there could be an upset as no.21 seed Ons Jabeur faced no.11 seed Garbiñe Muguruza in the third round, and we were right.
Jabeur made her Centre Court debut at Wimbledon on Friday, and dazzled the crowd with her tennis to dispatch two-time Grand Slam champion and ex-world No.1 Garbiñe Muguruza 5-7, 6-3, 6-2.
Jabeur is the first Arab woman to reach the last-16 stage at the All England Club.
“It is [the best day of my tennis career],” Jabeur said on court. She faces no.7 seed Iga Swiatek, next.
“I’m not saying this so you guys come cheer for me in the next round but this is my favourite Centre Court in the world. I’m telling the truth, I swear. The energy is amazing. I’m so, so, so happy.”
“[Muguruza] plays unbelievable on grass, everybody knows that. I lost against her last time so this was kind of my revenge here, in a nice way.”
The match standard from both players was outstanding. Commentator and former world No.1 Tracy Austin said, “This is only a third round, it could be quarters or semis, the quality is so high.”
After the match, Muguruza lamented the chances she missed to the press. “I had so many opportunities in this match that it’s a little disappointing from my side because I couldn’t convert them. Especially in the second set I felt like I should have dominated more in these moments and take the advantage, and I couldn’t.
“I think grass helps her game. I feel like she’s very comfy. I saw she won a tournament two weeks ago. She’s a very talented player. She needs to be confident to be able to play her game, and right now she is.”
Federer finds another gear as he passes Britain’s Norrie
Roger Federer turns 40 next month, but he is motoring into the second week at Wimbledon for the 18th occasion. He defeated Britain’s Cameron Norrie in four sets, 6-4, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4. It wasn’t an easy match and Federer was grateful to head into the fourth round.
“I’m very, very pleased and super-relieved – that was a tough battle,” said Federer. “He deserved that third set. He played excellent. I felt I was able to keep a high level of play and can be very happy with how I played.
“It’s nice to hear it will be my 69th Grand Slam fourth round. I’ve loved every minute and I hope there’s a little bit more left in me. It’s an absolute pleasure still playing right now, and this is special as it’s my last Slam before I hit the big 40. It’s all a bonus, and we’ll see how far it can go.”
Britain’s remaining hope is 18-year-old Emma Raducanu
Making her Grand Slam debut at Wimbledon, the 18-year-old world No.338 held her nerve and outplayed the Romanian Sorana Cirstea ranked 293 spots above her.
Emma won 6-3 7-5 and is yet to drop a set. A wild card entry, she held three points for a set and 4-0 lead only for that advantage to vanish as Cirstea dug in. But Raducanu remained resolute and closed out the victory on her third match. For the win she was given a standing ovation, deservedly for a gutsy game in which the first set was peppered with her quality shots.
“I’m just so so grateful for all the support that I had today,” said Raducanu. “I really appreciate it. This is by far the biggest court I’ve played on.
“I think that I coped quite well. I was 3-1 down in the first set but I just tried to hold my nerve. You really got me through – in the second set, and the first set, the whole match really.”
On Monday she will face unseeded Australian Ajla Tomljanovic.