LONDON • Kiki Bertens ensured a record exodus of seeds at Wimbledon yesterday when she added Czech Karolina Pliskova to the list of big names to perish before the quarter-finals.
The Dutchwoman's 6-3, 7-6 (7-1) win means that, for the first time since seedings were introduced at Wimbledon in 1927, none of the top eight in the women's draw made the quarter-finals.
Bertens, the first Dutchwoman to reach the last 16 since Michaella Krajicek in 2007, built on her momentum following her shock victory over Venus Williams in the third round.
Pliskova, seeded seven, was the highest-ranked player to reach the fourth round after an extraordinary first week of upsets but her hopes of further progress evaporated on a stiflingly hot Court Two.
She bridled at suggestions that she had wasted an opportunity to have a real tilt at the title.
"It's not that there is a free (run) until the final," the 26-year-old said.
DAY 7 SELECTED RESULTS
4th rd: Milos Raonic (Can) bt Mackenzie McDonald (USA) 6-3 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 6-2.
4th rd: Dominika Cibulkova (Svk) bt Hsieh Su-wei (Tpe) 6-4 6-1, Jelena Ostapenko (Lat) beat Aliaksandra Sasnovich (Blr)7-6 (7-4) 6-0, Angelique Kerber (Ger) bt Belinda Bencic (Sui) 6-3, 7-6 (7-5) . AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
"You still have to beat the players. I don't think the draw is open. This was a match which I maybe should have won, if I maybe play a little bit better I can win. It's not that you get something for free.
"Disappointing is that I lost, but not the draw."
The exit of former world No. 1 Pliskova came after the women's draw was blown wide open by surprise defeats earlier in the tournament for top seed Simona Halep, Caroline Wozniacki (2nd), Garbine Muguruza (3rd), Sloane Stephens (4th), Elina Svitolina (5th), Caroline Garcia (6th), Petra Kvitova (8th), Venus (9th) and Madison Keys (10th).
Germany's Angelique Kerber, seeded 11th, is the highest-ranked player remaining following her 6-3, 7-6 (7-5) win over Belinda Bencic yesterday.
In other matches, Dominika Cibulkova advanced to the quarter-finals with a 6-4, 6-1 rout of Taiwanese giant-killer Hsieh Su-wei, who defeated Halep in the previous round.
Cibulkova also expressed her opinion on the exodus of the women's top seeds this year.
"It's showing that all the girls - top 10, top 50, top 100 - the tennis is really, really even," she said.
In the men's draw, defending champion Roger Federer defeated Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 6-0, 7-5, 6-4 in the fourth round.
The Swiss maestro is seeking his ninth title and is likely to advance to Sunday's final, which will start at its traditional time despite it clashing with a potential World Cup final for England.
Wimbledon chiefs have confirmed that the finale will start at 2pm as usual. The football showpiece in Moscow kicks off at 4pm in the UK.
Should England defeat Croatia in tomorrow's semi-final then the national team will feature in a World Cup final for the first time since lifting the trophy in 1966.
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS
Day 8: Singtel TV Ch114/115 & StarHub Ch208/209, 8pm