(July 6, 2018) While most of the top ten seeds have been ousted, No. 25 seed Serena Williams has moved into the fourth round with a 7-5, 7-6 (2) victory over No. 62 Kristina Mladenovic of France. Seven-time champion Serena has extended her Wimbledon winning streak to 17 matches. She is the lone Wimbledon winner left in the ladies’ draw. She missed 2017 Wimbledon due to pregnancy.
“I think a lot of the top players are losing, but they’re losing to girls that are playing outstanding,” Serena commenting on all of the upsets of the top ten seeds. “I think, if anything, it shows me every moment that I can’t underestimate any of these ladies. They are just going out there swinging and playing for broke.”
“Every single match I play, whether I’m coming back from a baby or surgery, it doesn’t matter, these young ladies, they bring a game that I’ve never seen before.
“It’s interesting because I don’t even scout as much because when I watch them play, it’s a totally different game than when they play me. That’s what makes me great: I always play everyone at their greatest, so I have to be greater.”
“I think it was a really high quality match,” said Mladenovic. “Honestly, I felt good out there from the first moment. I think I showed great tennis. I think I pushed her to her limits really.
“She responded amazingly. I mean, there is not much I can say or regret or be too difficult on myself, honestly, on all departments in my game really. I served good from the first point to the last, going for my shots, also the returns.
“I mean, obviously her best stat today was her serve. We all know she serves big, but today was extremely good, honestly. I think, you know, it’s kind of a match you say it’s little details. But when I tried to say to myself, What are those details? I got broken back, yeah, I don’t know how many — two breaks, three in the match, and it was like I was serving big first serve that she returned bombs. Afterwards I was late, surprised, and playing long.
“But even this, it’s like completely provocated from her. It’s not something that I, you know, I gave up or I messed up myself, where I put her back in the game, absolutely not.
“So I thought that it was a really intense match from the first minute to the last. She was really aggressive with not much errors. I mean, it’s kind of — Serena, when you know she’s on and she really wants it, she doesn’t give you much. She’s really aggressive. Honestly, even in that first set where I was in front, there is not much I can regret, honestly, you know.
“I was serving for the set, and I think my serve was quite good, so there is not much I can say. Then from that moment she felt like she was even more aggressive. But, yeah, overall was her serve, her serve, her stats on the serve was pretty good.”
This is Serena’s fourth tournament back since having a baby last year, but she said on British television, it was really only her second.. She was asked about it in her news conference.
“The first two were just really just getting back out there, getting back in the competition, which I think was super, super important,” she said. “Then after Miami, I just pulled out of everything, just really focused on getting right, you know, letting go of a lot of stuff, as in the Being Serena documentary. Just, you know, being that tennis player again.
“So it’s definitely been a long road, but so far it’s been worth it. I mean, just getting to the round of 16 twice is not bad. Hopefully I can do a little bit better.”
“I felt good going into Roland Garros. I had a long time of training. I mean, serious training every day, all the time. I felt really, really, really, really good going into that.
“I also didn’t have any pressure on me. Like, you know, almost felt weird. Like, Wait, you should be talking about me. Then I realized that I do like that position of having that pressure.
“It was really disappointing. I think I took that one hard. I was really ready to play my fourth-round match. But I think I made the right decision. I don’t think I’ve done that maybe ever, I don’t know. I feel like it was definitely the right decision because it could have been bad for the rest of the year for me.
“So here I am. Now I’m in a position again where I’m continuing to climb the ladder instead of falling completely off.”
“It’s amazing for me to be out here,” Serena added. “A year ago I was still pregnant. Then my delivery took a turn south fast, so that wasn’t fun.
“But it’s that that makes me appreciate that I’m out here, that I’m alive, that I’m able to be here and do well and to play well. I’ve had other injuries, like my foot injury was really hard for me. I really came back and took a lot of pride on coming back with that one.
“I think those two are kind of the same.”
The 36-year-old Williams will next face qualifier Evgeniya Rodina of Russia, ranked 120th in the world, who upset No. 10 seed Madison Keys 7-5, 5-7, 6-4 in the third round. It will be a battle of the mothers in this round of 16 match-up.
Keys, the US Open runner-up last year admitted that nerves got he best of her in this topsy-turvy match.
“Honestly, I think today was a massive mishandle of nerves, said the American. “I felt good, was up 5-2,(in the first set) and then I feel like I kind of felt my mind go away, and played a couple of sloppy games. All of a sudden it’s 5-All, and that’s when nerves hit me. Then it was just kind of dealing with that.
“And then, I mean, when you’re down a set and 4-0, it’s a lot easier to be, like, oh, I probably should play better now and do that. And then in the third set I think I, you know, when I was down I would bring my level up and then go up to serve and would get nervous and, you know, just didn’t play well enough when it mattered.”
Serena’s sister, five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams could not come all the way back against No, 20 Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands. The No. 9 seed lost 6-2, 6-7 (5), 8-6 in the third round on Friday.
“Yeah, just ran out of time in the end,” said Venus.” She played really well. You have to win the last point, and I didn’t succeed in that today.”
“Probably just too many errors. But my opponents also played well.
“I think she was just a little bit luckier than I was in the end. Sometimes it takes luck and skill. You know, she definitely deserved that one.”
Venus’s loss means that just two top ten seeds remain in the women’s draw – No. 1 Simona Halep and No. 7 Karolina Pliskova.
Bertens’ last encounter with Venus was at the Miami Open when the Dutchwoman could not convert on one of three match points and lost.
“Of course that was going into my mind sometimes during the match,” said Bertens. “I just kept telling myself that I had, like, a chance today again. Like, I played a really good match, played aggressive, what I also did in Miami.
“I was just like, Okay, keep going for it, then you see. In the end, I was lucky enough to win today.”
Bertens admitted the Miami match kept going through her head during Friday’s match: “I want to say, like, it didn’t go into my mind, but of course it did, yeah. Already there I was, like, kind of a break up in Miami, then almost 4-2. Now I made the 4-2. I’m like, Okay, c’mon, let’s do this.
“She’s such a great player. She keeps on believing, keeps on playing her shots, so it’s really tough. I could not finish the second set. But I was like, Okay, just keep on trying, keep on going. Still anything can happen.
“That’s I think what you saw in the third, just a lot of fighting. Yeah, I won this time.”
“I think that even, like, when I had the chance to serve out the second set, it didn’t work out. Was a break down in the third, but I was keep doing my thing, keep trying to play aggressive. Sometimes that didn’t work out.
“But also in the last game, you saw, like, two times a deuce, I was really playing aggressive. Yeah, then it went my way.”
Bertens is known to not be a fan of playing on grass-courts. “Well, to be honest, coming to Wimbledon, like, being in the fourth round here, I would definitely sign already for that.
“But I think I can play really well on grass, like when my serve is going well, when I really play aggressive, when I believe in it, then I think I can play well.
“Yeah, it all has to come together. I think today was one of those days.”
Seventh seed Karolina Pliskova avoided an up set, coming back from a set and 4-1 down to beat Mihaela Buzarnescu 3-6, 7-6(3), 6-1. she reached the round of 16 at Wimbledon for the first time.
“First of all, I think she started to play so much better than me the beginning of the match,” Pliskova said. “Obviously a set and a half, she was so much better than me.
“But I just tried to hold my serve and wait for some chance because I was returning so bad her serve, even though it was not that fast. Just the lefty serve, I couldn’t get used to it. Finally when I got used to it, I got my chances. Started to be very open in the second set.
“I believe, because I was serving pretty well today, I have to say, a lot of first serves, a lot of points from the serve. I put little bit more speed on my shots. She started to miss little bit. I got my chances. Then obviously she was broken a little bit after the second set.”
As for 8 of the top ten seeds not reaching the second week of Wimbledon, Pliskova responded:
“I don’t care in the draw if they are seeded or not. It’s important to me that I’m in the draw. Even though they are not seeded, I think all the players are pretty strong and playing very good tennis. They wouldn’t be there without playing good level here.
“I think it’s very open with this. Every tournament there are some surprises that some seeded players are losing. I think there’s always quite big pressure on the seeded players.
“Yeah, I think it’s very lucky that almost all of the top 10, only me and Simona, we are in. It’s tennis. Everything is possible. You can see, like, everybody is playing great tennis. Even today I could lose. There’s so many close matches. For me it’s important I’m in the draw still.”
Ekaterina Makarova of Russia backed up her win over No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki on Wednesday and beat former semifinalist Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 to reach the round of 16 for the third time.
The Championships, Wimbledon
July 2-15, 2018
Wimbledon, Great Britain
Singles – Third Round
 Ka.Pliskova (CZE) d.  M.Buzarnescu (ROU) 36 76(3) 61
 K.Bertens (NED) d.  V.Williams (USA) 62 67(5) 86
[Q] E.Rodina (RUS) d.  M.Keys (USA) 75 57 64
 J.Goerges (GER) d.  B.Strycova (CZE) 76(3) 36 108
 S.Williams (USA) d. K.Mladenovic (FRA) 75 76(2)
E.Makarova (RUS) d. L.Safarova (CZE) 46 64 61
D.Vekic (CRO) d. Y.Wickmayer (BEL) 76(2) 61
C.Giorgi (ITA) d. K.Siniakova (CZE) 36 76(6) 62
Doubles – Second Round
 A.Klepac/M.Martinez Sanchez (SLO/ESP) d. I.Bara/A.Cornet (ROU/FRA) 75 67(3) 63
A.Rosolska/A.Spears (POL/USA) d.  L.Chan/S.Peng (TPE/CHN) 64 64
 G.Dabrowski/Y.Xu (CAN/CHN) d. S.Aoyama/J.Brady (JPN/USA) 61 46 63
C.McHale/J.Ostapenko (USA/LAT) d.  H.Chan/Z.Yang (TPE/CHN) 63 62
 E.Mertens/D.Schuurs (BEL/NED) d. E.Makarova/V.Zvonareva (RUS/RUS) 64 64
T.Maria/H.Watson (GER/GBR) d.  R.Atawo/A-L.Groenefeld (USA/GER) 63 61
 K.Flipkens/M.Niculescu (BEL/ROU) d. S.Kenin/S.Vickery (USA/USA) 62 16 64
 L.Hradecka/S.Hsieh (CZE/TPE) d. V.Kudermetova/A.Sabalenka (RUS/BLR) 46 64 63
 V.King/K.Srebotnik (USA/SLO) d. [Q] X.Han/L.Kumkhum (CHN/THA) 63 36 63
G.Garcia Perez/F.Stollar (ESP/HUN) d. M.Minella/A.Sevastova (LUX/LAT) 61 62