LONDON: World number one and French Open champion Simona Halep was knocked out of Wimbledon on Saturday, losing to Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-Wei 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 in the third round as the All England Club seeds’ carnage claimed another victim.
Defeat for Halep means that Karolina Pliskova, at number seven, is the only women’s top 10 seed to reach the fourth round.
It also further boosted Serena Williams’ chances of becoming an eight-time Wimbledon champion.
Hsieh, the world No. 48, battled back from 2-5 down in the final set and saved a match point when the Romanian served for the match at 5-3 in the decider.
It will be Hsieh’s first appearance in the last 16 of a Slam where she will face Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia for a place in the quarter-finals.
“It’s my first win against a world number one,” said 26-year-old Hsieh. “It’s amazing. I was 2-5 down in the final set but the crowd pushed me to fight.”
Two-time champion Rafael Nadal reached the last 16 for the eighth time and made sure of keeping the world number one ranking.
The second seed comfortably defeated Australian teenager Alex De Minaur 6-1, 6-2, 6-4. The 11-time French Open champion and bidding for an 18th career major will face either Italy’s Fabio Fognini or Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic for a place in the quarter-finals.
Juan Martin del Potro made the last 16 for the first time in five years when the Argentine fifth seed defeated France’s Benoit Paire 6-4, 7-6 (7-4), 6-3.
Other winners on Saturday included Belgium’s Alison Van Uytvanck who followed her upset of defending champion Garbine Muguruza by beating Anett Kontaveit, the 28th seeded Estonian, 6-2, 6-3.
Van Uytvanck will meet fellow last-16 debutant Russian 14th seed Daria Kasatkina, who defeated Ashleigh Barty of Australia 7-5, 6-3.
Saturday’s results (prefix number denotes seeding):
Third round: 13-Milos Raonic (Canada) bt Dennis Novak (Austria) 7-6 (7-5), 4-6, 7-5, 6-2; 5-Juan Martin Del Potro (Argentina) bt Benoit Paire (France) 6-4, 7-6 (7-4), 6-3; Gilles Simon (France) bt Matthew Ebden (Australia) 6-1, 6-7 (3-7), 6-3, 7-6 (7-2).
Third round: Hsieh Su-Wei (Taiwan) bt 1-Simona Halep (Romania) 3-6, 6-4, 7-5; Dominika Cibulkova (Slovakia) bt 15-Elise Mertens (Belgium) 6-2, 6-2; 12-Jelena Ostapenko (Lativia) bt Vitalia Diatchenko (Russia) 6-0, 6-4; Aliaksandra Sasnovich (Belarus) bt 26-Daria Gavrilova (Australia) 6-3, 6-1; Alison Van Uytvanck (Belgium) bt 28-Anett Kontaveit (Estonia) 6-2, 6-3; 14-Darya Kasatkina (Russia) bt 17-Ashleigh Barty (Australia) 7-5, 6-3; Belinda Bencic (Switzerland) bt 27-Carla Suarez (Spain) 6-1, 7-6 (7-3).
Friday’s remaining results;
Third round; 1-Roger Federer (Switzerland) bt Jan-Lennard Struff (Germany) 6-3, 7-5, 6-2; 22-Adrian Mannarino (France) bt Daniil Medvedev (Russia) 6-4, 6-3, 4-6, 5-7, 6-3; Mackenzie McDonald (US) bt Guido Pella (Argentina) 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (8-6); 9-John Isner (US) bt Radu Albot (Moldova) 6-3, 6-3, 6-4; 31-Stefanos Tsitsipas (Greece) bt Thomas Fabbiano (Italy) 6-2, 6-1, 6-4.
Third round: 7-Karolina Pliskova (Czech Republic) bt 29-Mihaela Buzarnescu (Romania) 3-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-1; 25-Serena Williams (US) bt Kristina Mladenovic (France) 7-5, 7-6 (7-2).
Published in Dawn, July 8th, 2018