We’re only through the fifth day and only two of the Top 10 seeds are still alive in the draw, as Americans Venus Williams and Madison Keys lost their third-round matches at Wimbledon, the first in the Open Era that six of the Top 8 women’s seeds hadn’t reached the third round.
The tenth-seeded Keys was defeated by Russian world No.120 Evgeniya Rodina 7-5 5-7 6-4 in an encounter characterized by huge shifts in momentum — after going 5-2 up, Keys lost nine consecutive games, then produced a superb fightback by winning eight games in a row and eventually Rodina won the scrappy third set to reach the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time.
After allowing Rodina to come back from 2-5 to 5-5 in the first set, Keys let the nerves get the best of her, and even though she later won so many consecutive games, after the loss she described the match by saying: “Today was a massive mishandle of nerves.”
Five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams, seeded ninth this year, was beaten by Dutch Kiki Bertens 6-2 6-7(5) 8-6 in two hours and 40 minutes. Trailing 5-1 in the first set, Williams saved a set point on her serve to avoid being broken for a fourth time, but eventually the 20th-seeded Bertens closed out the set with an ace. Bertens missed a chance to serve out for the match at 5-4 up in the second set and, after leveling at 5-5, Williams went on to win the tiebreak. In the decider, Bertens came back from 0-2 down and then always had the upper hand in the long third set to reach the second week of Wimbledon for the first time.
Seed No.25 Serena Williams battled past France’s Kristina Mladenovic to advance into the fourth round and seventh seed Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic, one of only two Top 10 seeds left standing, got back from being a set and 4-1 down to get past Romania’s Mihaela Buzarnescu and move into the last 16.