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Overdue Sabalenka on verge of breakthrough at Wimbledon

AP/London
Filed on July 2, 2021
Belarus's Aryna Sabalenka celebrates winning against Colombia's Maria Camila Osorio Serrano during their women's singles third round match on the fifth day of the 2021 Wimbledon Championships. — AFP

The hard-hitting Belarusian beat qualifier Maria Camila Osorio Serrano 6-0, 6-3 on Friday to reach the fourth round


No. 2-seeded Aryna Sabalenka is into the second week at Wimbledon and on the verge of a career breakthrough.

The hard-hitting Belarusian beat qualifier Maria Camila Osorio Serrano 6-0, 6-3 on Friday to reach the fourth round, and she might be overdue for a deep run in a Grand Slam. Sabalenka is the only woman among the top 20 seeds who has yet to reach a major quarterfinal.

The time seems right for that to change: Sabalenka leads the tour with 32 match wins this year, her seeding is a career high in a major, and she’s navigating a draw already without eight of the highest-ranked women.

Among those still in contention is No. 7-seeded Iga Swiatek, the 2020 French Open champion, who breezed into the fourth round by beating Irina-Camelia Begu 6-1, 6-0. Swiatek had one career victory on grass entering the tournament.

No. 18 Elena Rybakina eliminated American Shelby Rogers 6-1, 6-4 and faces Sabalenka next. No. 8 Karolina Pliskova swept Tereza Martincova 6-3, 6-3.

In men’s play, No. 25 Karen Khachanov won 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 against American Frances Tiafoe, who upset No. 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets in the first round.

No. 5 Andrey Rublev hit 13 aces and beat No. 26 Fabio Fognini 6-3, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2. No. 1 Novak Djokovic was scheduled to face American qualifier Denis Kudla.





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