WTA Wimbledon: Simona Halep downs Cori Gauff. Konta ousts Kvitova



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WTA Wimbledon: Simona Halep downs Cori Gauff. Konta ousts Kvitova

The 7th seed Simona Halep is through to her fourth Wimbledon quarter-final, toppling a teenage sensation Cori Gauff 6-3, 6-3 in an hour and 15 minutes. The 15-year-old looked to become the youngest Grand Slam quarter-finalist since Martina Hingis in 1996 but Simona proved to be too strong, hitting 17 winners and 14 unforced errors and leaving the American on 15 winners and some 30 mistakes.

Unlike against the previous three rivals, Cori was unable to impose her shots and move Halep from the comfort zone, earning two breaks but dropping too many points in her games, suffering five breaks from 12 chances given to the Romanian.

Halep controlled the pace in the rallies with well-balanced strokes that spread Cori all over the court, opening the court and taking power off from the young rival. They traded breaks in the opening two games and Simona defended two more break points in game four, moving ahead with a break in the next game and closing the first part of the clash with another break in game nine.

The second set followed a similar pattern, with back-to-back breaks in games two and three before Halep took charge, serving well in the rest of the encounter and breaking Gauff at 3-2 for a crucial lead. Cori fended off two match points on serve in the eighth game before the Romanian moved over the top with a rock-solid hold a few minutes later to enter the last eight.

The 3rd seed Karolina Pliskova came to Wimbledon after a dominant run in Eastbourne but that couldn't change her fortune at the All England Club, losing to Karolina Muckova 4-6, 7-5, 13-11 after three hours and 17 minutes, missing the quarter-final appearance for another year!

The 22-year-old Muchova is making a perfect Wimbledon debut, reaching the quarter-final at only her fourth Major in a career after an incredible battle and one of the matches of the tournament. Muchova claimed six points more than Pliskova, earning six breaks from 13 opportunities and defending seven out of 12 break points she faced to prevail after a marathon.

They hit over 100 winners and around 80 unforced errors combined and it all started with back-to-back breaks before Pliskova delivered another one at 4-4 that pushed her through the opener. Nothing could have separated them in the first seven games of the second set and this time it was Muchova who moved in front with a break, opening a 5-3 lead and wasting a set point in the next game before allowing Pliskova to break back and prolong the set.

In the end, Muchova claimed the set with a late break in game 12, setting up a decider that went down to the wire. Of course, Pliskova had the opportunity to close it much earlier and avoid both the drama and defeat, breaking in game five and serving for the victory at 5-4.

With no room for errors, Muchova broke back and saved three break points in the upcoming games to stay locked up with Pliskova at 10-10. The more experienced Czech broke again in the 21st game to gain an 11-10 advantage, suffering a break at love in the next game and leaving the event after another break for Muchova in the 24th game, celebrating a 13-11 win in the decider and the career-best result on Tour.

The home favorite Johanna Konta is through to her second Wimbledon quarter-final in the last three years, ousting a two-time champion Petra Kvitova 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 in two hours and 25 minutes. Johanna took seven points more than Petra, hitting 22 winners and 21 unforced errors against 40 winners and 34 errors from the Czech who lost the edge in the pivotal moments to end her run before the quarters.

Petra created ten break chances and converted only two, the main reason for a negative result today as Konta seized four out of nine opportunities to cross the finish line first. Kvitova repelled two break points in the ninth game of the match, breaking Konta a few minutes later for a 6-4.

The Briton had the upper hand in set number two, racing into a 4-0 advantage and sealing the deal with a comfortable hold in game eight to send the match into a decider where she opened a 5-1 lead after conquering 11 of the last 14 games.

Petra saved two match points in the eighth game to pull one break back and stay in contention before Johanna crossed the finish line with a rock-solid hold in game ten, looking good to at least repeat the result from two years ago.