London: Serena Williams’s chances of winning an eighth Wimbledon and 24th Grand Slam title were boosted Friday when Madison Keys became the seventh top 10 seed to be eliminated. Tenth seed Keys lost in the third round 7-5, 5-7, 6-4 to Russian qualifier Evgeniya Rodina, ranked 120th in the world.
Keys joined defending champion Garbine Muguruza, World No.2 Caroline Wozniacki, two-time champion Petra Kvitova and US Open winner Sloane Stephens in falling in the first week.
Serena, seeded 25 this year after taking time away from the tour to give birth to her daughter, faces Kristina Mladenovic of France for a place in the last 16 later Friday.
The 36-year-old American now cannot meet a top 32 player until the semifinals after the scattering of the seeds this week.
Keys lost nine games on the trot from 5-2 up in the first set to 0-4 down in the second. She fired 15 aces in the match but also committed 48 unforced errors.
German fourth seed Alexander Zverev made the third round, seeing off Taylor Fritz of the United States 6-4, 5-7, 6-7 (0/7), 6-1, 6-2 and next faces Latvian qualifier Ernests Gulbis for a spot in the last 16. Zverev had trailed two sets to one when his tie with Fritz was halted due to darkness, Thursday
In another match which was interrupted Thursday, South Africa’s Kevin Anderson, seeded eight, swept past Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 7-5, 7-5 on the back of 22 aces and 42 winners.
Earlier in a late evening match, Thursday defending champion Garbine Muguruza was sensationally knocked out of Wimbledon by journeywoman Alison van Uytvanck 7-5, 2-6, 1-6.
“I knew that if I let her play, I would lose so I thought, let’s go for it,” said 24-year-old Van Uytvanck, who has made the third round for the first time.
In another match played late Thursday fifth-seeded Juan Martin del Potro, who made the semi-finals in 2013, eased past 36-year-old Feliciano Lopez, a three-time quarterfinalist here 6-4, 6-1, 6-2.
Rohan Bopanna and his French partner Edouard Roger-Vasselin bowed out of the men’s doubles after they retired mid-way from their second round contest against Frederik Nielsen Joe Salisbury. The 14th seeds were trailing 4-6, 6-7(4-7), 1-2 when they conceded as Bopanna suffered an injury.
Not afraid being gay
London: Wimbledon giant-killer Alison van Uytvanck said she was comfortable coming out as gay and asserted ‘it is not a disease’. The 24-year-old Belgian stunned defending champion and third seed Garbine Muguruza. She then told reporters that she was happy to have come out as gay and talked about her relationship with fellow player Greet Minnen. “We just decided to not make it personal and not keep it for ourselves. I’m happy,” informed Van Uytvanck. “I just feel like we don’t have to be ashamed of this, and that’s why I also want to be free. I’m not sick. I don’t have a disease.”