Two former Wimbledon champions took to the court for third-round action on Saturday, with differing results.
The 2019 champion Simona Halep on Saturday moved into the Wimbledon Round of 16. The No.16 seed from Romania eased past Poland’s Magdalena Frech 6-4, 6-1 on No.2 Court.
But in a Centre Court tussle, No.4 seed Paula Badosa of Spain edged two-time champion and No.25 seed Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic 7-5, 7-6(4).
Halep and Badosa will now face each other on Monday in a showdown for a quarterfinal spot. In their lone previous meeting, Halep dismissed Badosa 6-3, 6-1 on the clay courts of Madrid two months ago.
Simona surging: Former World No.1 Halep, who defeated Serena Williams in the 2019 Wimbledon final for her second Grand Slam title, needed just 66 minutes to oust World No.92 Frech.
"I'm happy about it," Halep said afterward. "I'm trying just to play more offensive and I'm pushing myself to do that. So it was a good match.
"This tournament back in 2019, it's been the best tournament of my career. The matches that I played here were perfect. So I always have those memories and I have always have confidence that my game is pretty good on grass."
Fast facts: Frech had already posted a career-best major result in just her sixth Grand Slam main-draw appearance and first Wimbledon main draw. The 24-year-old Polish player defeated No.21 seed Camila Giorgi and Anna Karolina Schmiedlova to reach a Grand Slam third round for the first time.
But Halep would not be denied her fifth trip into the second week of Wimbledon, in her 10th main-draw showing at SW19. Halep now holds a 3-0 head-to-head lead in her rivalry with Frech, and she has knocked the Pole out of two majors this season, including the 2022 Australian Open.
"It was not an easy match back in Australia," Halep said of Frech. "She's a good opponent. She's a good player. It's never easy to play with her. She's changing rhythm. She's doing well. It was a good match."
By the numbers: Halep dictated play Saturday, with 24 winners to just five from the racquet of Frech. The 30-year-old Halep converted six of her 10 break points to improve her Wimbledon win-loss record to 27-8.
Frech fell to 0-9 against Top 20 opposition over her career with the loss. Frech did break Halep on two out of her three chances, but the unseeded player only won seven of her 20 second-service points in the match.
Key moments: Halep took an early 4-0 lead and served for the first set at 5-2, but a double fault on break point allowed Frech to claw one break back and tighten up the opener. However, on the second time of asking, Halep served out the set at love, stopping the Frech comeback.
After an exchange of breaks in the first two games of the second set, Halep gritted out another tough break for a 2-1 lead, ending the game with a backhand winner after a grueling rally on her third break point. Halep took charge from that moment on, reeling off the last five games.
Badosa stops Kvitova
Later on Saturday, Badosa took just over two hours to outlast Kvitova, who won the Wimbledon title in both 2011 (beating Maria Sharapova in the final) and 2014 (defeating Eugenie Bouchard for the championship).
Badosa came into Wimbledon having lost her sole grass-court match of the season to 169th-ranked Jodie Burrage at Eastbourne. But the Spaniard rounded into form with wins over Louisa Chirico and Irina Bara in the first two rounds this week.
Now, Badosa has picked up her biggest grass-court victory yet over last week's Eastbourne champion Kvitova, and the World No.4 finds herself in the Round of 16 at Wimbledon for the second year running.
Badosa withstood 34 winners from powerful Kvitova to eke out two tight sets. Badosa gritted out two service breaks from nine opportunities, while Kvitova's 11 break points resulted in only one solitary service break.
Kvitova served for the first set at 5-4, but Badosa was able to obtain a crucial break there, and she ultimately won the last four games of that set.
In the second set, Badosa fended off five break points at 1-1 and four more at 3-3 to keep herself in front, eventually prevailing in the tiebreak.