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Serena Williams reaches quarterfinals at Wimbledon

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WIMBLEDON, England – Even though she is short on matches this year, Serena Williams is still big on grass.

The seven-time Wimbledon champion reached the quarterfinals at the All England Club for the 14th time, beating Carla Suarez Navarro 6-2, 6-2 on Monday.

Williams, who missed about a year of play while she had a baby in 2017 but returned to the tennis tour in 2018, before Wimbledon had not played since the third round of the French Open – skipping the grass-court warm-up tournaments.

“I definitely haven’t had enough (matches),” said Williams, who had been dealing with an injured left knee. “I have more matches this week than literally the past five months. So, yikes.”

Williams reached the quarterfinals at the Australian Open, then retired from a match at Indian Wells, withdrew from matches in Miami and Rome, and then played at the French Open.

“I know that I can play, and now that I’m feeling better physically I almost feel a relief more than anything,” Williams said. “Like, OK, finally I can play tennis.”

Against Suarez Navarro, Williams won six straight games from 3-2 in the first set and broke for a 5-2 lead in the second. She easily closed it out from there.

Williams, who lost to Angelique Kerber in last year’s Wimbledon final, will next face Alison Riske, an unseeded American who upset top-ranked Ash Barty.

Williams’ last loss was also against American opposition, Sofia Kenin in the third round at Roland Garros.

“Well the last time I faced a fellow American I lost, so I definitely want to do well this time,” Williams said. “And yeah, she’s great on the grass. She took out the No. 1 player in the world who just won a grass-court tournament. I watched that match, so I’ll be ready for her.”

Riske ended Barty’s 15-match winning streak, and her chances of winning a second straight Glam Slam title.

Riske beat the French Open champion 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 and will play in the quarterfinals of a major tournament for the first time.

“I haven’t been starting out fantastic in all my matches, but I knew I had the confidence that if I could manage my service games I was going to get looks on her serve,” said Riske, whose best previous showing was reaching the third round at Wimbledon and the fourth round at the 2013 U.S. Open. “I had to play aggressive. I had to take it to Ash.”

Barty was playing her first tournament as the No. 1-ranked player, and she started off by winning points with her serve against Riske.

In the opening service game, the top-seeded Barty won all four points with aces. She won two more points in her next game with aces, as well. She finished the match with 12 of them.

But Riske took her chances when she got them, breaking Barty four times on four attempts, including to take a 5-3 lead in the deciding set before serving it out.

“I was sticking to how I wanted to play,” Barty said. “Then in the second set, I think my serve let me down. I let Alison get back into the match too many times, having looks at second serves.”

Also, No. 8 Elina Svitolina beat No. 24 Petra Martic 6-4, 6-2, Zhang Shuai defeated Dayana Yastremska 6-4, 1-6, 6-2, and Barbora Strycova came from a set and break down to beat Elise Mertens 4-6, 7-5, 6-2.

Svitolina won six straight games from 4-4 in the first set. Martic called for medical treatment on her left leg after the first game of the second set and her movement appeared to be hampered the rest of the way. She asked for treatment again at 4-1.

In the men’s draw, two-time champion Rafael Nadal beat Joao Sousa 6-2, 6-2, 6-2, and Roberto Bautista Agut defeated Benoit Paire 6-3, 7-5, 6-2.

Later on “Manic Monday,” 15-year-old sensation Coco Gauff, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic were on the schedule as Wimbledon resumes after its traditional day off.

Gauff will try to prolong her magical Grand Slam debut when she meets former No. 1 Simona Halep.

Ash Barty doing just fine at Wimbledon

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WIMBLEDON, England – If the pressure is getting to Ash Barty at Wimbledon, she’s doing a great job of hiding it.

The top-ranked Australian came into the grass-court Grand Slam tournament after winning the French Open and a Wimbledon warm-up event in Birmingham. And she’s now won two in a row at the All England Club to reach the third round and stretch her winning streak to 14 straight.

Barty beat Alison Van Uytvanck 6-1, 6-3 on Thursday, needing only 55 minutes on No. 2 Court to advance. And it could have been even quicker but she failed to serve out the match at 5-2 in the second set – the only time she was broken.

“Pretty sharp right from the start,” the top-seeded Barty said. “I was able to implement what I wanted to right away and put the pressure straight back on her.”

Barty is playing her first tournament as No. 1 but has never been past the third round at Wimbledon. She will next face Harriet Dart, a British wild-card entry making her second appearance at Wimbledon.

No. 9 Sloane Stephens of the United States and No. 15 Wang Qiang of China also advanced to third round. Stephens beat Wang Yafan 6-0, 6-2, and Wang ousted Tamara Zidansek 6-1, 6-2.

Sam Querrey, a Wimbledon semifinalist in 2017, reached the third round in the men’s draw. The unseeded American defeated Andrey Rublev 6-3, 6-2, 6-3.

Later, all eyes will be on the marquee matchup between Rafael Nadal and Nick Kyrgios.

It is a rematch from 2014, when a 19-year-old Kyrgios upset then-No. 1 Nadal at the All England Club.

Also, Serena Williams and Roger Federer will play their matches on Wimbledon’s second biggest court. They have won a combined 15 singles titles at the All England Club and are accustomed to playing most of their matches on Centre Court.

This time, Federer will be on No. 1 Court against 20-year-old Jay Clarke of Britain. Williams will follow in that arena, facing 18-year-old Kaja Juvan of Slovenia.

Andy Murray will make his debut at this year’s tournament, playing men’s doubles with Pierre-Hugues Herbert against Marius Copil and Ugo Humbert.

More AP tennis coverage: https://www.apnews.com/apf-Tennis and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Opelka pulls off another upset at Wimbledon, beats Wawrinka

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WIMBLEDON, England – In a Wimbledon tournament filled with early upsets, Reilly Opelka pulled off another one on Wednesday in the second round.

The 6-foot-11 (2.11-meter) American defeated three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka 7-5, 3-6, 4-6, 6-4, 8-6 on No. 2 Court.

Opelka is making his debut at Wimbledon, and playing in only his fourth Grand Slam tournament. He had never before reached the third round at any major. Wawrinka, who has won each of the other three major titles but has never been past the quarterfinals at the All England Club, also lost in the second round at Wimbledon last year.

On Monday, both No. 6 Alexander Zverev and No. 7 Stefanos Tsitsipas were eliminated. No. 5 Dominic Thiem, a French Open finalist the past two years, followed them out of the tournament on Tuesday.

The 21-year-old Opelka, who is unseeded, used his serve to get things done against Wawrinka. He finished with 23 aces, with several serves topping 140 mph. One, at 142 mph, tied with Zverev for the fastest of the tournament so far.

Two-time major champion Victoria Azarenka, third-seeded Karolina Pliskova and eighth-seeded Elina Svitolina all advanced in the women’s draw, but only two of them had an easy time getting to the third round.

Azarenka, who won the Australian Open title in 2012 and 2013, beat Ajla Tomljanovic 6-2, 6-0, while Pliskova defeated Olympic gold medalist Monica Puig 6-0, 6-4.

Svitolina, on the other hand, was two points from losing to Margarita Gasparyan in the second set but eventually won when her opponent retired with an injury at 5-7, 6-5.

Gasparyan was serving at 5-5, 0-15 in the second set when she was injured. She clutched her right thigh after a serve and eventually dropped to the court, lying along the baseline. A trainer attended to Gasparyan, and Svitolina came over to check on her opponent, bringing her a bottle of water.

“I know when there is cramps you need to drink lots of water. Your muscles are contracting. So it’s important just to drink lots of fluids,” Svitolina said. “So that’s why I gave her some water, because no one really did anything. I mean, we were trying to help, but, yeah, it’s tough to react straightaway.”

When play resumed, Svitolina broke to lead 6-5 and served for the second set, but Gasparyan retired from the match while trailing 40-15 in that game.

Later, American teenager Coco Gauff will try to follow up her upset win over Venus Williams with another victory in the second round.

The 15-year-old Gauff will face Magdalena Rybarikova on No. 2 Court at the All England Club.

Gauff would break inside the top 200 in the WTA rankings with a victory, having already become the youngest player since 1991 to win a match at Wimbledon.

Also, defending champion Novak Djokovic will face Dennis Kudla of the United States for the first time. Djokovic is seeking a fifth title at Wimbledon and 16th Grand Slam trophy in all.