All the key facts and talking points as fourth-round action gets under way on 'Manic Monday' at the Championships.
Alex Macpherson
July 9, 2018

LEARNING

Only two Top 10 seeds have made it to the last 16 - an Open Era first. Previously, the fewest number of Top 10 seeds to reach the fourth round was four, in 2013 and 2015.

Six mothers participated in this year's Wimbledon main draw - and the final two standing, Serena Williams and Evgeniya Rodina, play each other in a bid to become the first mother to reach the SW19 quarterfinals since Kim Clijsters in 2010. The match will be the first WTA Tour match between mothers since the Tashkent semifinals last September, when Kateryna Bondarenko defeated Vera Zvonareva 7-6(7), 4-1 ret. It will, however, be the first Grand Slam main draw match between mothers in the Open Era - although two mothers have faced each other in Grand Slam qualifying. In 2003, Lindsay Lee-Waters defeated Sybille Bammer 6-3, 6-0 in the first qualifying round of the Australian Open.

Nine unseeded players will compete in the last 16 - Hsieh Su-Wei, Dominika Cibulkova, Aliaksandra Sasnovich, Alison Van Uytvanck, Belinda Bencic, Donna Vekic, Evgeniya Rodina, Camila Giorgi and Ekaterina Makarova - the largest number of non-seeds at this stage of a Slam since the nine at Roland Garros 2001, and at Wimbledon since the nine in 2000. Wimbledon 2000 was the last Championships and Roland Garros 2001 the final major of the 16-seed era, which will return next year; during the 32-seed era, the most unseeded players to make the fourth round of a Slam was seven, at both the 2016 Australian Open and the 2017 US Open.

One former Wimbledon champion, Serena Williams, and one former runner-up, Angelique Kerber, remain. Three former quarterfinalists are also still alive: Dominika Cibulkova (2011, 2016), Jelena Ostapenko (2017) and Ekaterina Makarova (2014). Eight players have never previously reached the fourth round here before - Karolina Pliskova, Kiki Bertens, Donna Vekic, Julia Goerges, Evgeniya Rodina, Aliaksandra Sasnovich, Alison Van Uytvanck and Daria Kasatkina - of whom three, Vekic, Rodina and Sasnovich, are in the second week of any Slam for the first time.

Only two current Top 10 players are still in contention, Karolina Pliskova and Angelique Kerber, but a further six have career-high rankings in the Top 10: Serena Williams (1), Dominika Cibulkova (5), Jelena Ostapenko (5), Belinda Bencic (7), Ekaterina Makarova (8) and Julia Goerges (10).

Mirjana Lucic - Wimbledon 1999 - Getty
Mirjana Lucic-Baroni on her way to the 1999 Wimbledon semifinals as a No.134-ranked 17-year-old (Getty)

Serena Williams is the fourth lowest-ranked player to reach the Wimbledon fourth round in the Open Era, following No.683 Victoria Azarenka in 2017, No.217 Agnieszka Radwanska in 2006, No.210 Petra Kamstra in 1995 and No.195 Kim Clijsters in 1999. If Williams defeats Evgeniya Rodina today, she will become the lowest-ranked quarterfinalist at SW19 in the Open Era - previously No.134 Mirjana Lucic-Baroni in 1999.

The tie between No.120 Evgeniya Rodina and No.181 Serena Williams is the lowest-ranked Slam fourth round since No.108 Marta Marrero defeated No.151 Rossana De Los Ríos at Roland Garros 2000.

Four players have returned to the second week of a major for the first time in two years or more: former Australian Open finalist Dominika Cibulkova, last at this stage at Wimbledon 2016; Belinda Bencic, who reached one Slam quarterfinal and two Slam fourth rounds as a teenager, the most recent at the 2016 Australian Open; Alison Van Uytvanck, who reached the 2015 Roland Garros quarterfinals before being derailed by injuries; and Camila Giorgi, whose previous fourth-round Slam showings were at Wimbledon 2012 and the 2013 US Open.

Hsieh Su-Wei became the second player from Chinese Taipei to beat a World No.1 with her third-round upset of Simona Halep, following Chang Kai-Chen's defeat of Dinara Safina in the second round of Tokyo in 2009. Hsieh, who also reached the fourth round at the Australian Open in 2008 and 2018, is the first player from her country to reach the second week at Wimbledon.

Three further players are bidding to become the first Wimbledon quarterfinalist from their country this decade: Camila Giorgi, Kiki Bertens and Donna Vekic. The last Italian quarterfinalist here was Francesca Schiavone in 2009, the last Dutch quarterfinalist was Michaella Krajicek in 2007 and the last Croat quarterfinalist was Karolina Sprem in 2004.

Karolina Sprem - Wimbledon 2004 - Getty
The last Croat to reach the Wimbledon quarterfinals was Karolina Sprem, who defeated Venus Williams en route to the last eight in 2004 (Getty)

No.12 seed Jelena Ostapenko has beaten Aliaksandra Sasnovich in both of their previous meetings - but also suffered the loss of a breadstick set each time, winning 1-6, 6-2, 6-4 in the semifinals of the St. Petersburg ITF $50,000 event in 2015 and 6-0, 1-6, 6-3 in the first round of Wimbledon last year.

Belinda Bencic has never lost a set to Angelique Kerber in professional play, defeating the German 6-1, 7-5 in the third round of the 2014 US Open (en route to her own sole major quarterfinal to date), 7-5, 6-3 in the first round of Cincinnati in 2015, and 7-6(4), 6-3 in the first round of Fed Cup in 2016. Kerber did, however, defeat Bencic in the final of the Hopman Cup exhibition event in January.

No.14 seed Daria Kasatkina and Alison Van Uytvanck will reprise their second-round match in Eastbourne two weeks ago, their only encounter to date. The Russian came from a set down to win 5-7, 6-4, 6-1.

Today will mark the first time Karolina Pliskova and Kiki Bertens have played each other outdoors. In May, Pliskova scored a 6-2, 6-2 win on the Dutchwoman's favored clay in Stuttgart en route to her first Premier-level title on the terre battue; back in 2013, Bertens was a 6-4, 7-6(3) victor in the qualifying rounds of the indoor hard courts of Paris. Their very first meeting was in 2010, in the Glasgow ITF $25,000 event, which Pliskova took by retirement.

Dominika Cibulkova has beaten Hsieh Su-Wei in both of their encounters to date: 6-1, 6-2 in the second round of Kuala Lumpur in 2014 and 6-4, 7-6(8) in the second round of the 2017 Australian Open.

No.13 seed Julia Goerges defeated Donna Vekic 6-2, 6-2 in their only previous meeting, in the second round of Budapest on indoor hard courts last year.

TRENDING

The original Wimbledon hawk eye 🦅❤️ @rufusthehawk

A post shared by Naomi Broady (@naomibroady) on

READING

Hsieh Su-Wei scored her third and biggest Top 10 win at a major within the past 14 months over World No.1 Simona Halep on Saturday. In an extended paean to the 32-year-old's idiosyncratic talent for Tennis.com, Steve Tignor writes that "rarely has there been a player who shows us how much is possible with a tennis racquet" and "rarely has there been a player who is so fun to watch think".

On the day of London Pride, Alison Van Uytvanck flew the flag for LGBT representation in the second week of Wimbledon - the Belgian, who celebrated with girlfriend Greet Minnen after the match, says she has felt "liberated" since coming out, reports Charlie Eccleshare for the Daily Telegraph.

Daria Kasatkina reached her first Slam quarterfinal at Roland Garros a month ago - and now she feels as though she has "broken the wall" at majors, she tells Mark Hodgkinson in an interview for wtatennis.com.

After her third-round win over Kristina Mladenovic, Serena Williams said that playing other players at their best had only made her greater - an answer that was a "masterclass in unapologetic excellence," writes Alessandra Codinha in Vogue.

This year is the 20th anniversary of Jana Novotna's Wimbledon title run - one of The Championships' most iconic redemption stories, following the Czech's collapse in the final five years previously. Novotna herself did not live to see this anniversary, having died after a battle with cancer last November - but, writing in the Daily Mail, Mike Dickson discusses her career with Stefanie Graf, Novotna's conqueror in 1993, and her former manager Phil de Picciotto.

ORDER OF PLAY

All WTA matches on today's order of play can be found here.

For full Order of Play and to watch live streaming, visit Wimbledon's official site.