• Sunday, July 21, 2024

Sports

Gauff knocked out as Alcaraz, Sinner on course for semis clash

Gauff’s 6-4, 6-3 fourth-round loss leaves only two of the top 10 women’s seeds in the tournament.

Gauff, who reached the semi-finals at the Australian Open and French Open this year, has yet to advance past the last 16 at Wimbledon. (Photo: Getty Images)

By: Vivek Mishra

World number two Coco Gauff was eliminated from Wimbledon by her American compatriot Emma Navarro on Sunday. Meanwhile, Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner are on course for a semi-final clash at the All England Club.

Gauff’s 6-4, 6-3 fourth-round loss leaves only two of the top 10 women’s seeds in the tournament.

Elsewhere, Lulu Sun became the first New Zealand woman to reach the last eight at Wimbledon, while Madison Keys withdrew from her last-16 match in tears.

Navarro, ranked 19th, reached the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam for the first time by defeating US Open champion Gauff.

Gauff, who reached the semi-finals at the Australian Open and French Open this year, has yet to advance past the last 16 at Wimbledon, where she first gained attention as a 15-year-old in 2019.

Her unexpected defeat followed world number one Iga Swiatek’s third-round exit on Saturday.

“I think I played really aggressively. Coco’s an amazing player and I have a ton of respect for her,” said Navarro.

From the top 10 women, only fourth-ranked 2022 champion Elena Rybakina and Jasmine Paolini, the world number seven, remain. Paolini will face Navarro in the quarter-finals.

World number three Alcaraz defeated French 16th seed Ugo Humbert 6-3, 6-4, 1-6, 7-5 to reach the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam for the ninth time in just 14 appearances.

It was another challenging match for the Spaniard, who needed five sets to defeat Frances Tiafoe in the third round. His erratic performance on Sunday included five service breaks and 33 unforced errors.

The 21-year-old, aiming to become the sixth man to win the French Open and Wimbledon consecutively, saved four break points in the fifth game of the second set.

Humbert rallied, breaking Alcaraz three times in the third set. However, Humbert lost his serve in the 11th game of the fourth set, allowing Alcaraz to secure the win.

“I will be there, fighting until the last ball,” said Alcaraz, who is pursuing his fourth Grand Slam title. Alcaraz will next play American 12th seed Tommy Paul, who defeated Roberto Bautista Agut 6-2, 7-6 (7/3), 6-2.

On Court One, top seed Sinner advanced to the last eight with a 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 (11/9) victory over American 14th seed Ben Shelton. Sinner, who won his first Slam at the Australian Open this year, will face Russian fifth seed Daniil Medvedev in the semi-finals in a rematch of their final in Melbourne.

“It was a tough match, especially the third set. I had to keep saving set points,” said Sinner, a semi-finalist in 2023. Medvedev, also a semi-finalist last year, advanced when 10th seed Grigor Dimitrov retired in the first set of their last-16 match due to a knee injury.

Sun made history for New Zealand with a three-set victory over Emma Raducanu, ending a 47-year wait for a British women’s champion. The 23-year-old qualifier, ranked 123rd, won 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 against the 2021 US Open winner.

Sun hit 52 winners, while Raducanu took a medical time-out in the third set for ankle and back issues. “It was a great match against Emma. I really dug deep to get the win,” said Sun. Sun will next face Croatia’s Donna Vekic, the world number 37, who defeated Spain’s Paula Badosa 6-2, 1-6, 6-4 with 33 winners.

American 12th seed Keys was one game away from her third quarter-final at Wimbledon before she had to quit against Paolini. After losing the first set, Keys leveled the match at 3-6, 7-6 (8/6). She then led 5-2 in the decider but suffered a left leg injury in the eighth game. At 5-4, she took a medical time-out, returned with her left leg bandaged, but eventually retired at 5-5. “I’m very sorry for her, it’s sad,” said Paolini, who had never won a grass-court match until two weeks ago.

(With inputs from AFP)

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