LONDON • Angelique Kerber crashed out of the Wimbledon tennis tournament and lost her hold on the women's world No. 1 ranking, while five-time champion Venus Williams became the oldest All England Club quarter-finalist in 23 years on Monday (July 10).
Kerber was beaten 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 by Spanish 14th seed Garbine Muguruza as the German's fourth-round exit extended a miserable run for last year's Wimbledon runner-up.
The 29-year-old, who lost to Serena Williams in the final 12 months ago, has failed to make the last eight at any of this year's three Grand Slams.
Kerber had taken the top ranking from Serena in March, but her Wimbledon defeat leaves her with a dismal 0-9 record against top-20 opponents this year. She will be replaced by either No. 3 Karolina Pliskova or No. 2 Simona Halep.
Halep, who beat Victoria Azarenka 7-6 (7-3), 6-2 in the last 16, will be guaranteed top spot if she makes the semi-finals.
The Romanian next plays Johanna Konta, who became the first British woman to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals since Jo Durie in 1984 by beating Caroline Garcia of France 7-6 (7-3), 4-6, 6-4.
Muguruza, the 2015 Wimbledon runner-up, goes on to play Russian seventh seed Svetlana Kuznetsova for a place in the semi-finals.
Men's 4th rd: Andy Murray (Gbr) bt Benoit Paire (Fra) 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 6-4, Marin Cilic (Cro) bt Roberto Bautista Agut (Esp) 6-2 6-2 6-2.
Women's 4th rd: Svetlana Kuznetsova (Rus) bt Agnieszka Radwanska (Pol) 6-2 6-4, Magdalena Rybarikova (Svk) bt Petra Martic (Cro) 6-4 2-6 6-3, Coco Vandeweghe (USA) bt Caroline Wozniacki (Den) 7-6 (7-4) 6-4, Jelena Ostapenko (Lat) bt Elina Svitolina (Ukr) 6-3 7-6 (8-6), Johanna Konta (Gbr) bt Caroline Garcia (Fra) 7-6 (7-3) 4-6 6-4, Simona Halep (Rom) bt Victoria Azarenka (Blr) 7-6 (7-3) 6-2.
With only two women's matches scheduled for Wimbledon's two main show courts yesterday, Kerber was exiled to the less grand Court Two. It was a decision that brought criticism for Wimbledon's chiefs and Kerber was visibly frustrated by the state of the surface after she slipped on several barren patches of grass on the baseline.
Despite her complaints, she managed to take the first set, but Muguruza hit her stride as the Spaniard took the second.
The German twice led by a break in the final set, but could not close out the victory as Muguruza showed she has been absorbing the lessons of her coach Conchita Martinez, the only Spanish woman to win Wimbledon in 1994.
Granted show-court billing, Williams did not hang around as she crushed 19-year-old Croatian Ana Konjuh 6-3, 6-2 in 64 minutes on Centre Court.
The American made her Grand Slam debut at the 1997 French Open, seven months before Konjuh was born. At 37 years and 29 days, she is Wimbledon's oldest female quarter-finalist since Martina Navratilova in 1994.
Seven-time Grand Slam winner Venus, who clinched the last of her Wimbledon titles in 2008, will take on French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko, 20, for a place in the semi-finals.
The Latvian 13th seed advanced to her first Wimbledon quarter-final after finally converting her eighth match point to defeat Elina Svitolina 6-3, 7-6 (8-6).
Former US and French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova reached her first Wimbledon quarter-final in 10 years with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Polish ninth seed Agnieszka Radwanska.
Day 8: Singtel TV Ch114/115 & StarHub Ch208/209, 8pm