The 7th seed and a former world no. 1 Simona Halep is through to the fourth round at Wimbledon for the fourth time, having a relaxed day at the office with a 6-3, 6-1 triumph over Victoria Azarenka. The match lasted only 66 minutes and instead of an intense battle between two Grand Slam champions there was only one player on the court, marching towards a one-sided win.
Azarenka sprayed more than 30 unforced errors, unable to impose her shots and move Halep from the comfort zone, scoring one break and dropping more than half of the points in her games. The Romanian stayed under ten unforced errors, overcoming a slow start and never looking back after taking 11 of the final 12 games of the encounter en route to the last 16.
Victoria had the advantage in the opening four games, serving well and breaking her opponent in game four to forge a 3-1 lead. Out of sudden, Halep found her range and started to climb back, scoring three consecutive breaks to steal the opener 6-3 and gather the momentum ahead of set number two.
There, she repelled two break points in game three and broke Azarenka in games four and six, sealing the deal with a hold at 5-1 to remain on the title course after a mediocre season so far on hard and clay. The 22-year-old Karolina Muchova is enjoying a dream Wimbledon debut, ousting the 20th seed Anett Kontaveit 7-6, 6-3 in an hour and 38 minutes to book the place in the last 16.
Taming her shots nicely, the Czech hit 23 winners and 14 unforced errors, winning 11 points more than the seeded rival and prevailing in the pivotal moments to march through. Muchova converted two out of 11 break points, not much but just enough to stay safe, suffering only one break and staying focused when it mattered the most to find herself over the top.
The opening set lasted for an hour and it brought back-to-back early breaks and a real struggle in the remaining games before the tie break where Karolina converted the third set point at 8-7. The second set was more fluid and Muchova grabbed a break at 4-3, saving two break points in the next game to cross the finish line and move into the second week.
The 24th seed Petra Martic prevailed against Danielle Collins 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 in just under two hours, taking five points more than her rival and overcoming a deficit in the third set to secure two breaks and repeat the result from 2017 here.
The 15-year-old qualifier Cori Gauff becomes the youngest player in the fourth round at Wimbledon since 1991, toppling Polona Hercog 3-6, 7-6, 7-5 in two hours and 47 minutes, fending off two match points in set number two to write history again and crack the top-150 in two Mondays.
It was a grueling battle with a lot of slices and extended rallies and the young American somehow found the way to earn the triumph despite trailing 6-3, 5-2! Cori saved the first match point on serve in the eighth game of that second set and another one a few minutes later on the return, leveling the score at 5-5 with a solid hold and settling up a tie break that she won 9-7 after all kind of drama and endless slicing from the Slovenian.
With the momentum on her side, the youngster raced into a 4-1 lead in the deciding set before suffering a break in game seven, losing the ground a little bit and recovering in time to grab the pivotal break at 6-5 and start a huge celebration of what has been another milestone victory on Wimbledon debut.