Defending Wimbledon champion Andy Murray showed another dominant display in overpowering Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut to move to the fourth round.
“It’s been a good first week, now I can rest up and be ready for Monday,” the third-seeded Briton said in a televised interview, after firing 44 winners past the 27th-seeded Spaniard on Centre Court on the way to a 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 victory.
Murray has dropped only 19 games so far, the fewest in reaching the fourth round of Wimbledon in nine years. The Scotland-born right-hander, who hasn’t lost a match at Wimbledon since the 2012 finals, faces six-foot-eight (2.03 meters) Kevin Anderson in the next round.
“He’s playing the best tennis of his career so far,” said Murray, who is tied one-all in career meetings with the South African who is his occasional training partner. “He’s a big guy with a big game, I have to be sharp in that one.”
Unlike Murray’s opponents in the first two rounds, Bautista Agut came into Wimbledon with a grass-court title under his belt, winning his first title in ’s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands, the week before Wimbledon.
Today, the Spaniard never found his rhythm as Murray dominated on both serve and return. Murray won 88 percent of his first service points, compared with 50 percent for his opponent. Bautista Agut won 30 percent of receiving points, while Murray took 55 percent.
Earlier on Centre Court, Petra Kvitova played catch-up against five-time champion Venus Williams for two-and-a-half hours.
Kvitova, the 2011 winner, lost the first set on a backhand wide, her 14th error. Williams made only three mistakes in the opening set and never faced a breakpoint. After Kvitova took the second set on a double fault in the tie-break, Williams’s serve finally wavered in the last game when she handed her opponent a match point. Kvitova yelped and clenched both fists as another backhand error put her in the fourth round.
"When I lost the first set, I was sad and a little bit down mentally,” Kvitova said in a televised interview after beating Williams 5-7, 7-6 (7-2), 7-5. “There were only two breaks in the whole match, and in the final game I finally managed to break her.”
The 34-year-old Williams of the U.S., the oldest female competitor in the third round, mixed up her serve against the left-handed Czech. Instead of going wide as she usually does, Williams frequently served down the middle, or into her opponent’s body. Slowly, Kvitova found a way in what turned out to be one of the best matches of the tournament with both players firing off winners, rushing to the net and playing angled shots.
“She played well,” Williams said in a news conference. “I gave it my all.Sometimes it’s not enough.”
Kvitova may have an easier time in her next match against Peng Shuai of China, whom she has beaten in all four of their meetings.
Earlier in the day, top seed Novak Djokovic overcame a third-set tumble to move to the fourth round while women’s No. 2 Li Na of China became the highest-ranked player to exit the grass-court tennis tournament this year.
Djokovic defeated Gilles Simon of France 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 on Centre Court. Li, the current Australian Open champion, lost in straight sets 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-5) to Barbora Zahlavova Strycova of the Czech Republic.
Li told reporters she got her preparation wrong and should have played a warm-up tournament instead of practicing at the All England Club the week before Wimbledon.
"I made the wrong decision,” she said. “I need to play some matches before the big one.”
Her opponent will play former top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark, who ended the run of Croatian Ana Konjuh, at 16 the youngest player in the women’s draw. Wozniacki has won all three matches against Zahlavova Strycova.
“I believed in myself coming into this match,” Zahlavova Strycova said in a news conference after she moved into the second week of a Grand Slam event for the first time. “I thought I can do it. That’s what happened.”
The Czech, who was handed a six-month ban in February last year for taking a prohibited stimulant, played in the finals of Birmingham the week before Wimbledon.
Djokovic was leading 3-2 in the third set when he reached for a forehand before falling to the ground clutching his left shoulder. The Serbian received treatment on court, watched by three-time Wimbledon winner Boris Becker, whom Djokovic started working with this year.“It was obviously a scary fall,” Djokovic said in a news conference. “I feared, maybe it might be a dislocated shoulder or something like that, or joint problem.” An ultrasound revealed no significant damage, he said, adding, “it’s all looking good.”
Djokovic will play 14th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga next after the Frenchman beat qualifier Jimmy Wang of Taiwan.
Grigor Dimitrov, the 11th-seeded Bulgarian who won a Wimbledon warm-up event at Queen’s Club in London this month, came through in five sets against Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov. He’ll play Argentina’s Leonardo Mayer in his first time in the fourth round here.
Belinda Bencic, a 17-year-old Swiss who won the Wimbledon junior’s title last year, eliminated 18-year-old American Victoria Duval. She’ll play third-seeded woman Simona Halep, the runner-up at this year’s French Open, after the Romanian beat Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.
Agnieszka Radwanska, a former runner-up from Poland, beat Michelle Larcher de Brito, 6-2, 6-0.
Jerzy Janowicz of Poland, a semifinalists last year, beat 2002 champion Lleyton Hewitt in five sets. Hewitt fought back from two sets down to even the match before succumbing to his decade-younger opponent. It was the 42nd five-set match of the Australian’s career, the most since tennis turned professional in 1968. Hewitt, 33, had previously shared the record with Andre Agassi.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun