LONDON, Great Britain -- Magda Linette of Poland threw a wrench into a strong Fourth of July for American players, as she upset No.25-seeded teenager Amanda Anisimova, 6-4, 7-5, to reach the third round of Wimbledon for the very first time.
World No.75 Linette had never won a match at Wimbledon prior to this week, having gone 0-4 in the main draw previously (and 0-3 in qualifying matches as well). But she broke that duck with a first-round win over Russian qualifier Anna Kalinskaya, and continued her run with her straight-set victory over Anisimova, who had reached the semifinals of Roland Garros last month.
In the first meeting between the two players, Linette earned her 95-minute victory with 25 winners to 23 unforced errors. Anisimova had 19 winners but was undone by 29 unforced errors, as she was unable to pick up an Independence Day win alongside her compatriots Sloane Stephens, Alison Riske, and Lauren Davis, who all earned victories earlier in the day.
Linette will have to knock off a two-time Wimbledon champion in the next round if she wants to keep her run going: the Pole will face No.6 seed Petra Kvitova, the 2011 and 2014 titlist. Kvitova defeated Kristina Mladenovic in their second-round match earlier on Thursday.
Linette went up early in the match when an error-prone Anisimova dropped serve to be broken at 1-1. Linette held through to 4-2 and had break points for 5-2 before Anisimova steered her way to a hold and stayed within touching distance.
Anisimova was in trouble on serve again at 5-3, having to erase a set point with a forehand winner before holding for 5-4. But Linette would not falter in this instance, claiming the one-set lead on her third set point in the subsequent game.
Linette started the second set off with a bang as well, clinching a break lead for 3-2 after a long miscue by Anisimova. The Pole then fended off four break points in a nine-deuce game to hold on for 5-3 and put herself on the precipice of another Wimbledon win.
However, serving for the match at 5-4, Linette blinked, and Anisimova took advantage. The 17-year-old fired a forehand passing winner off a drop volley to reach triple break point, and earned the service break two points later, putting herself level in the set at 5-5.
But Anisimova’s resurgence was short-lived, as she squandered a 30-0 lead in the next game, eventually dropping serve with a netted forehand to give Linette a second chance to serve out the match. Linette had to erase one more break point before maneuvering to match point, but the Polish player converted her first chance with a forehand winner.
More to follow....