Fourth-seeded American Jessica Pegula broke new ground at Wimbledon on Friday, booking a spot in the fourth round for the first time in her career with a 6-4, 6-0 win over Italy's Elisabetta Cocciaretto.
The grass-court Grand Slam marked the only major in which Pegula had not yet reached the second week, but the top-ranked American rectified that with a 75-minute win over the unseeded World No.43.
While Pegula broke new ground, No.32 seed Marie Bouzkova booked a spot in the last 16 for the second year in a row with a 7-6(0), 4-6, 7-5 win over No.5 seed Caroline Garcia. A 2022 quarterfinalist, Bouzkova finished off the upset under the roof on No.1 Court as darkness fell; the pair split the first two sets on Court 18 before moving inside, and the Czech came from a break down in the third to win.
“I think [it was] just [an] overall battle from first point to last. It was really about just really small margins,” Bouzkova said afterwards.
“Obviously such a big fight from both of us. I think we both had to play our best just to get through the match, and just super happy.”
Bouzkova saved a set point en route to winning a first set that lasted 47 minutes. Neither player was broken, but Bouzkova saved four break points overall in the set -- three in the fourth game, and a fourth in the 10th. After Garcia won the middle set by breaking early and holding the lead, the two moved to No.1 Court, where Bouzkova eventually trailed 3-2.
But she got back on serve right away, saved two crucial break points at 4-4, and won the match despite seeing two match points pass her by in the 10th game.
”It was a very tough match,” Garcia said. “Obviously, it's played on few points and few centimeters here and there on few decisions. I fought very hard and tried to have the good mindset all the way. It's very unfortunate, but today [it] didn't pay off.”
The No.32 seed will next face her compatriot Marketa Vondrousova in the hopes of returning to a Grand Slam quarterfinal for the second time.
For Pegula, she sprinted out to a 4-0 lead to start the match, as Cocciaretto took a medical timeout for foot problem in the match's second game, but eventually won the match's last seven games. Cocciaretto had earlier closed the gap to 4-2 -- and failed to convert two break points in the seventh game -- and also saved two set points in the ninth game before Pegula broke to take the set.
In search of continuing her best-ever Wimbledon, Pegula will next face former Top 30 player Lesia Tsurenko, whose 3 hour, 39-minute, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(18) win over Romania's Ana Bogdan featured the longest women's tiebreak in Grand Slam history.