Kerber crashes out, Venus oldest quarter-finalist for 23 years
German number one seed loses her top ranking after her defeat by Muguruza to extend her miserable run in 2017, while 37-year-old Williams marches on
Angelique Kerber crashed out of Wimbledon and lost her hold on the world number one ranking, while five-time champion Venus Williams became the oldest All England Club quarter-finalist in 23 years on Monday.
Kerber was beaten 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 by Spanish 14th seed Garbine Muguruza as the German’s fourth round exit extended a miserable run for last year’s Wimbledon runner-up.
The 29-year-old, who lost to Serena Williams in the final 12 months ago, has failed to make the last eight at any of this year’s three grand slams.
Kerber had taken the top ranking from Serena in March, but her Wimbledon defeat leaves her with a dismal 0-9 record against top 20 opponents in 2017.
She will be replaced at number one by either Karolina Pliskova or Simona Halep.
Halep takes on Victoria Azarenka in the last 16 later on Monday and the Romanian world number two will be guaranteed top spot if she makes the semi-finals.
If Halep loses before the last four, then Czech world number three Pliskova will be the new number one despite losing in the second round.
Muguruza, the 2015 Wimbledon runner-up, goes on to play Russian seventh seed Svetlana Kuznetsova for a place in the semi-finals.
With only two women’s matches scheduled for Wimbledon’s two main show-courts on Monday, Kerber was exiled to the less grand Court Two.
It was a decision that brought criticism for Wimbledon chiefs and Kerber was visibly frustrated by the state of surface after she slipped on several barren patches of grass on the baseline.
Despite her complaints, Kerber managed to take the first set, but Muguruza hit her stride as she took the second.
Kerber twice led by a break in the final set, but couldn’t close out the victory as Muguruza showed she has been absorbing the lessons of her coach Conchita Martinez, the only Spanish woman to win Wimbledon back in 1994.
Granted showcourt billing, Williams didn’t hang around as she crushed 19-year-old Croatian Ana Konjuh 6-3, 6-2 in 64 minutes on centre court.
Williams made her grand slam debut at the 1997 French Open, seven months before Konjuh was born.
And at 37 years and 29 days, Venus is Wimbledon’s oldest female quarter-finalist since Martina Navratilova in 1994.
- Title favourite -
Seven-time major winner Venus, who clinched the last of her Wimbledon titles in 2008, will hope to emulate Navratilova, who went on to reach the final 23 years ago.
Williams plays French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko for a place in the semi-finals.
Ostapenko advanced to her first Wimbledon quarter-final after finally converting her eighth match point to defeat Elina Svitolina 6-3, 7-6 (8-6).
Latvian 13th seed Ostapenko, the 2014 junior Wimbledon champion, squandered seven match points in the second set before eventually seeing off the Ukrainian world number five to make just her second last eight appearance at a major.
The 20-year-old’s triumph in Paris last month made her only the third player born in the 1990s to win a grand slam.
Kuznetsova reached her first Wimbledon quarter-final in 10 years with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Polish ninth seed Agnieszka Radwanska.
Sixth seed Johanna Konta became the first British woman for 33 years to make the Wimbledon quarter-finals with a 7-6 (7-3), 4-6, 6-4 win over France’s Caroline Garcia.
Konta will face either former world number one Victoria Azarenka or second seeded Simona Halep for a place in the semi-finals.