Channel NewsAsia

Tennis: Strycova claims another famous scalp at Wimbledon

Barbora Zahlavova Strycova claimed another famous scalp at Wimbledon as the unseeded Czech moved into the quarter-finals with a 6-2, 7-5 victory against former world number one Caroline Wozniacki on Monday.

LONDON: Barbora Zahlavova Strycova claimed another famous scalp at Wimbledon as the unseeded Czech moved into the quarter-finals with a 6-2, 7-5 victory against former world number one Caroline Wozniacki on Monday.

Zahlavova Strycova, the world number 43, had enjoyed the best win of her career in the previous round when she defeated Chinese second seed Li Na and she added Danish 16th seed Wozniacki to her list of upsets, converting a sixth match point to move into the last eight at a Grand Slam for the first time at the 32nd attempt.

The 28-year-old, who served a six-month ban for doping last year, will play Petra Kvitova, the 2011 Wimbledon champion, or China's Peng Shuai for a place in the semi-finals.

Zahlavova Strycova, 28, broke in the second game of the fourth round tie and took the first set in emphatic fashion.

Wozniacki was on the back foot again in the second set and, although she managed to save five match points, Zahlavova Strycova finally closed out another memorable triumph at the sixth attempt.

The Dane's defeat leaves her still waiting for a first Grand Slam quarter-final appearance since the 2012 Australian Open and continues her disappointing form following golfer Rory McIlroy's decision to break off their engagement prior to her first round loss at the French Open.

Zahlavova Strycova was joined in the last eight by compatriot Lucie Safarova as the 23rd seed ended the fairytale run of teenager Tereza Smitkova, the lowest ranked woman left in the tournament, with a ruthless 6-0, 6-2 victory.

World number 175 Smitkova, also from the Czech Republic, had enjoyed an impressive first ever Grand Slam appearance, knocking out three higher ranked opponents.

But the 19-year-old's attempt to become only the seventh qualifier to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals was shattered as Safarova raced through in just 47 minutes.

Safarova can look forward to her first Wimbledon quarter-final appearance, which will also be the 27-year-old's first last-eight clash at a Grand Slam since 2007.

Her opponent will be either Polish fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska, beaten by Serena Williams in the 2012 Wimbledon final, or Russian 22nd seed Ekaterina Makarova.

Later on Monday, French Open champion Maria Sharapova takes on German ninth seed Angelique Kerber as she looks to reach the quarter-finals for only the second time in her last eight visits to the All-England Club.

Since winning Wimbledon as a 17-year-old in 2004, Sharapova has found success at the grasscourt Grand Slam hard to come by, reaching the final just once more in 2011 when she was surprisingly beaten by Kvitova.

So far, Sharapova has been in top form so far and charged through the first week without dropping a set in her three matches.

Elsewhere, rain interrupted play on Centre Court with French 25th seed Alize Cornet leading 3-2 in the first set against Canadian 13th seed Eugenie Bouchard.

Cornet handed world number one Serena her earlier exit from Wimbledon for nine years on Saturday, fighting back from a set down to stun the five-time Wimbledon champion.

Sabine Lisicki's already delayed third round clash against former French Open champion Ana Ivanovic was also halted by the rain with the German 19th seed, beaten by Marion Bartoli in last year's final, leading 6-4, 2-5.

The winner of that match will face a fourth round tie against Kazakhstan's Yaroslava Shvedova, the world number 65 who was the beneficiary of American teenager Madison Keys' decision to pull out of her delayed third round tie due to a left thigh injury.

Keys trailed 6-7 (7/9), 6-6 before play was curtailed due to bad light late on Saturday.

Tweet photos, videos and updates on this story to  @channelnewsasia