Although Angelique Kerber had reached three Major quarterfinals in her career heading into her fourth round match against Maria Sharapova at Wimbledon 2014, in six of the last seven Majors Angie had lost in the fourth round. Not this time. In the most dramatic match on the women’s side so far this fortnight, Kerber upset the 2004 Wimbledon champion, 7-6 4-6 6-4. The match between Petra Kvitova and Venus Williams was a more cleanly played contest with both players blasting away full power. There were more service breaks and errors between Angie and Masha (particularly Masha at 49 unforced) than Kvitova vs Williams, but the contrasting styles and what was at stake gave this match more dimensions. Masha was the unstoppable force against the immovable object that was Kerber. In the end, defense trumped offense. The final set was almost like a match within a match with both players raising their games. Kerber sprinted out to a 3-0 lead, eventually holding a match point against Masha’s serve at 5-2, but Sharapova would fight it off to hold for 5-3. It would take another six match points for Angie to vanquish Masha. In the final game of the match, Sharapova fell behind on her serve 0-40 for triple match point against her. But she showed tremendous heart in erasing all three. The game teetered between game points for Masha and match points for Angie until finally the German star was able to finish 5th seed off on her seventh match point and book a date with Eugenie Bouchard in the quarterfinals.
Sharapova’s exit leaves one remaining former Ladies Singles Champion in the draw, 2011 champion Petra Kvitova. She came out like gangbusters against fellow Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, who came in off upsets of Li Na and Caroline Wozniacki. Petra looked like she would brook no thought of an upset, overpowering Barbora 6-1 in the first set. But Zahlavova Strycova fought back valiantly in the second set, twice being up a break and seemingly headed for a final set. But each time Barbora went up a break, Kvitova broke back. In the end, Petra wouldn’t let Barbora stretch her to a deciding third set, closing her out 6-1 7-5. Due to scheduling, Petra’s match was a quarterfinal. She moves on to face another fellow Czech, Lucie Safarova, in the semifinals. That will be on Thursday as Bouchard vs Kerber and Simona Halep vs Sabine Lisicki quarterfinal matches take the stage on Wednesday.
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3 SIMONA HALEP (won 6-3 6-0 vs Zarina Diyas)
9 ANGELIQUE KERBER (won 7-6 (4) 4-6 6-4 vs 5 Maria Sharapova)
6 PETRA KVITOVA (won 6-1 7-5 vs Barbora Zahlavova Strycova)
19 SABINE LISICKI (won 6-3 3-6 6-4 vs Yaroslava Shvedova)
23 LUCIE SAFAROVA (won 6-3 6-1 vs 22 Ekaterina Makarova)