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Venus Williams ousted at Wimbledon, one U.S. woman left

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Venus Williams and Madison Keys are out of Wimbledon, leaving just two of the top 10 seeds and one American in the women’s singles draw as third-round play continues.

That one American is Serena Williams, the seven-time Wimbledon champion seeded 25th coming off maternity leave. She beat Frenchwoman Kiki Mladenovic 7-5, 7-6 (2) in the third round on Friday and would not play a seed before the semifinals.

That’s because No. 10 Keys was upset by Russian qualifier and Evgeniya Rodina 7-5, 5-7, 6-4 in the same section of the draw. Rodina was 0-15 against top-20 ranked opponents before Friday’s win. Serena Williams and Rodina, both moms, meet in Monday’s round of 16.

“Serena is my idol,” Rodina said. “So it will be great to play against her.”

Though known for her big serve and forehand, Keys has had the least success at Wimbledon of the four Grand Slams. Her best result was a 2015 quarterfinal appearance. She lost in the second round last year.

Wimbledon has been Venus Williams’ best major. The 38-year-old owns five singles titles, but she was dumped by 20th-seeded Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens 6-2, 6-7 (5), 8-6 in the third round on Friday.

The ninth-seeded Williams’ recent resurgence peaked last year, when she made the Australian Open and Wimbledon finals, the U.S. Open semifinals and the fourth round of the French Open.

This year, she has two match wins total from three Grand Slams but also made the semifinals at Indian Wells at quarterfinals in Miami, two of the biggest events outside of the majors. She falls out of the top 10 after Wimbledon.

Bertens gets No. 7 Karolina Pliskova, one of the two top-10 seeds left, in the fourth round. Top seed Simona Halep is alive in the other half of the draw.

In the men’s draw, No. 1 Roger Federer swept German Jan-Lennard Struff 6-3, 7-5, 6-2, extending his streak to 29 straight sets won since the start of the 2017 tournament. Federer gets No. 22 Adrian Mannarino of France in the fourth round.

Most of the top men are still alive, including No. 2 Rafael Nadal, No. 4 Alexander Zverev, No. 5 Juan Martin del Potro, No. 12 Novak Djokovic and No. 9 John Isner, who reached the fourth round for the first time in 10 Wimbledon starts.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Caroline Wozniacki falls as Wimbledon upsets continue

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Five of the top eight women are out of Wimbledon with No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki‘s second-round loss amid a swarm of bugs Wednesday.

Wozniacki, the Australian Open champion, was upset by Russian Ekaterina Makarova 6-4, 1-6, 7-5.

Wozniacki went out before the third round for the fourth time in seven years, after complaining to the chair umpire about the insects that invaded No. 1 court during the second set.

In the first three days, the following women’s top-10 seeds have lost:

No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki
No. 4 Sloane Stephens
No. 5 Elina Svitolina
No. 6 Caroline Garcia
No. 8 Petra Kvitova

WIMBLEDON: Full Scores | Men’s Draw | Women’s Draw

That leaves No. 1 Simona Halep, No. 3 Garbine Muguruza, No. 7 Karolina Pliskova, No. 9 Venus Williams and No. 10 Madison Keys alive from the top 10.

Williams and Pliskova each advanced to the third round on Wednesday and could meet in the fourth round. They are the only single-digit seeds left in the bottom half of the draw.

No. 25 seed Serena Williams, also in the bottom half, beat Bulgarian qualifier Viktoriya Tomova 6-1, 6-4. She gets France’s Kiki Mladenovic in the third round with Keys potentially in the fourth round.

Also advancing was Roger Federer, who won 35 straight points on his serve in a 6-4, 6-4, 6-1 sweep of Lukas Lacko.

After serving out for the first set, Federer didn’t drop a single point on his serve in the second and kept that streak going until he was 30-0 up at 4-1 in the third — when Lacko finally sent a backhand winner down the line.

It was another dominant display by the eight-time champion, who lost just nine of 61 points on his serve in total and broke Lacko five times, including with a forehand winner to close out the match.

“On certain days it goes better than others,” Federer said. “Sometimes your serve matches up better against certain players.”

Williams was nearly as good, losing just five of 32 points on her first serve against Tomova. It was her 16th straight victory at Wimbledon, although she missed last year’s tournament while pregnant.

Wozniacki is still waiting to get past the round of 16 for the first time, despite fighting back from 5-1 down in the third set and saving four match points at 5-3. But she was broken again in the final game, becoming the fifth of the top eight women’s seeds to lose before the third round.

Five-time champion Venus Williams did better with her comeback attempt. The No. 9 seed, at 38 the oldest woman in the draw, came back to beat 141st-ranked qualifier Alexandra Dulgheru of Romania 4-6, 6-0, 6-1 after dropping the first set for a second straight match.

In the first round, she started by conceding a tiebreaker against 58th-ranked Johanna Larsson before taking 12 of the last 15 games.

“Ideally it’s two sets,” Venus said. “If it’s not two sets, then go to Plan B.”

In the men’s draw, 13th-seeded Milos Raonic and No. 11 Sam Querrey also advanced in straight sets.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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2018 Wimbledon men’s, women’s draws

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LONDON (AP) — Serena Williams avoided any early matchups against opponents with success to speak of at Wimbledon in a draw on Friday that could put her against No. 5 seed Elina Svitolina in the third round.

Williams is returning to the grass-court tournament for the first time since 2016 after missing it last year while pregnant. She gave birth to a daughter in September.

She is ranked outside the top 150, but the All England Club decided to seed her 25th based on past success, which includes collecting seven of her 23 Grand Slam singles trophies at Wimbledon. Williams’ first-round opponent when play begins on Monday will be 107th-ranked Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands, who has one career tour title.

WIMBLEDON: Men’s Draw | Women’s Draw

Williams is competing for the first time since she pulled out of the French Open ahead of a fourth-round showdown against five-time major champion Maria Sharapova in early June, citing an injured chest muscle. That was Williams’ return to Grand Slam action after a 16-month absence.

Rus has only once been as far as Wimbledon’s third round, back in 2012. That was the last time she won a match at the All England Club. She was beaten in the first round of qualifying a year ago, as were both of the women Williams could meet in the second round, 136th-ranked qualifier Viktoriya Tomova of Bulgaria and 167th-ranked wild-card recipient Tereza Smitkova of the Czech Republic.

Svitolina has only once been as far as the fourth round.

Williams’ possible fourth-round opponent, 2017 U.S. Open runner-up Madison Keys, made one quarterfinal appearance, while the 36-year-old American’s potential quarterfinal foe, reigning Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki, has never been beyond the fourth round.

Williams could face her older sister, five-time champion and 2017 runner-up Venus Williams, in the semifinals. The ninth-seeded Venus Williams opens against 62nd-ranked Johanna Larsson of Sweden, who is 0-7 at Wimbledon.

The Williams sisters are not in the doubles draw. They have won 14 Grand Slam titles as a pair, including six at Wimbledon.

In the top half of the women’s singles bracket, the quarterfinals could be French Open champion Simona Halep vs. two-time Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova, and defending champ Garbine Muguruza vs. No. 6 Caroline Garcia. In the bottom half, No. 2 Wozniacki was drawn to face Svitolina, while 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens could play No. 7 Karolina Pliskova.

The potential men’s quarterfinals in the top half are eight-time champion Roger Federer vs. 2017 U.S. Open runner-up Kevin Anderson, and 2014 U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic vs. No. 6 seed Grigor Dimitrov. In the bottom half of the bracket, it could be two-time Wimbledon winner Rafael Nadal vs. 2009 U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro, and No. 4 Alexander Zverev vs. No. 7 Dominic Thiem.

Two-time champion Andy Murray will face 48th-ranked Benoit Paire in the first round. It’s a rematch of Murray’s fourth-round victory over the Frenchman at the All England Club in 2017.

That was Murray’s last win before he sat out nearly a year because of an injured hip that was surgically repaired in January.

He returned to action last week and so is ranked only 156th and unseeded at Wimbledon, which he won in 2013 and 2016.

Murray could face 26th-seeded Denis Shapovalov of Canada in the second round.

The top-seeded Federer’s opening opponent on Monday will be 57th-ranked Dusan Lajovic of Serbia. Their only previous meeting anywhere came in Wimbledon’s second round last year, when Federer won in straight sets en route to the title.

No. 2 seed Nadal, whose 17 Grand Slam titles trail only Federer’s 20 among men, faces 129th-ranked Dudi Sela of Israel on Tuesday. Nadal has won both of their previous matchups.

Men’s first-rounders to keep an eye on include Dimitrov against three-time major champion Stan Wawrinka, who is still working his way back into form after knee surgery; 12-time major champ Novak Djokovic against Australian Open quarterfinalist Tennys Sandgren of the U.S.; and No. 23 Richard Gasquet against Gael Monfils in a matchup of Frenchmen.

Two women who lost a Wimbledon final against Serena Williams will meet in the first round when former No. 1 and two-time major champion Angelique Kerber plays qualifier Vera Zvonareva. Kerber was the runner-up in 2016, Zvonereva in 2010.

Sharapova, the 2004 Wimbledon champion who is seeded 24th, could face 2017 French Open champion and 12th-seeded Jelena Ostapenko in the third round, and Kvitova in the fourth.

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