Johanna Konta, the only British player still alive in the women’s draw, fought back from a set down to beat former US Open champion Sloane Stephens for the fourth time in their four matches this year and join the last 16 players at Wimbledon.
The first set featured only one break point, in the eighth game, which was enough for Stephens to go 5-3 up and right afterwards win the set. The American fought with lobs, drops and powerful groundstrokes to become the first player to break Konta’s serve this week.
The second set was tightly contested, especially the 12-minute six-deuce fifth game in which Konta held serve. The top-ranked Brit earned her first break point at 4-3 in the second set, but the chance disappeared with a backhand unforced error. However, Konta’s best tennis was ahead of her, as she made a comfortable hold, followed it by a break, leveled the match and then demolished Stephens who totally got out of the zone. Score: 3-6 6-4 6-1.
The ladies’ singles fourth-round pairs are now set.
Fourth-round matches in the top half
Johanna Konta will play sixth seed Petra Kvitova, who barely broke a sweat against Magda Linette earlier on Saturday. Always-tricky Barbora Strycova earned her first Top 5 win in over a year by taking out fourth seed Kiki Bertens and will next face seed No.21 Elise Mertens, who held off Wang Qiang in a dramatic three-setter that lasted close to three hours.
World No.1 Ashleigh Barty, undefeated on grass this season, lost just two games against Harriet Dart and will next face unseeded Alison Riske, who came back from 0-3 in the third set to overcome No.13 seed Belinda Bencic and rise to 13-1 on grass this season. Seed No.11 Serena Williams was never endangered by Julia Goerges in their match on No.1 Court and now awaits seed No.30 Carla Suarez Navarro, the Spaniard who made quick work of Lauren Davis to reach the round of 16.
Fourth-round matches in the bottom half
Members of the last 16 in the bottom half of the draw were determined yesterday and the pairs are the following: