On her tenth visit to The Championships, American Alison Riske is into the last 16 for the first time in her career. Third round defeats in 2013, 2014 and 2017 are but a distant memory after her win on Saturday against No.13 seed Belinda Bencic 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.
The victory will be doubly satisfying since she came back from 3-0 down in the deciding set and missed four match points against the same player at the same tournament 12 months ago.
Riske, who began her grass season with back-to-back titles in Surbiton and ‘s-Hertogenbosch, will have to take her game to yet another level on Monday. She next faces world No.1 Ashleigh Barty in the last 16.
Petra Kvitova arrived in Wimbledon unsure whether she would be fit enough to play a match, let alone mount a serious challenge for a third title on the lawns of the All England Club.
A left arm injury had forced the world No.6 to withdraw from Roland-Garros and meant she hadn’t played a grass court match prior to her first round appointment in SW19.
Fast forward a week and she has three straight-sets victories ahead of a fourth round meeting with British No.1 Johanna Konta.
“Every match gets better,” the Czech said after a 6-3, 6-2 win over Poland’s Magda Linette on Saturday. “Matches are the best practice.”