LONDON, Great Britain – Karolina Muchova has set up a fourth-round Wimbledon clash with compatriot Karolina Pliskova thanks to a 7-6(7), 6-3 win over No.20 seed Anett Kontaveit.
The 22-year-old WTA World No.68 is in the midst of her first visit to the All England Club and has progressed to the last-16 of a major tournament for the first time, having previously reached the third round of her debut Grand Slam, the 2018 US Open.
Muchova has yet to drop at set at The Championships, having overcome Aleksandra Krunic and Madison Brengle in straight sets in rounds one and two respectively, but she required exactly an hour to grind out the opener against the Estonian.
The players exchanged breaks early in the match but it was deadlocked thereafter, setting up a thrilling tiebreak in which Muchova twice manufactured set-point opportunities only to be shutdown on each occasion by her opponent. At the third time of asking, though, she completed the job.
The second set was similarly tight, with just a single break point in the opening seven games - and that was saved by Kontaveit.
Muchova was clinical when given another chance but wobbled when asked to serve out the match. Kontaveit made her first serious inroads on her opponent’s delivery since the fourth game of the match but could not close out either of her break chances and saw the Czech string together four points in succession to seal a place in the last 16.
“We played in Australia in the first round,” Pliskova said during her press conference, reflecting upon a match she won 6-3, 6-2. “Of course she's improving with every month or with every tournament. But I have my serve, I have my game.”
She will be joined in the second week of the tournament by Dayana Yastremska, the WTA World No.35, who booked a match against Zhang Shuai thanks to a 7-5, 6-3 victory over Viktorija Golubic.
The 19-year-old had never been in the Wimbledon main draw prior to 2019 but only the WTA World No.50, a player she beat in Hong Kong last year, stands between her and a spot in the quarterfinals.
No.24 seed Petra Martic safely negotiated her way by Danielle Collins in a two-hour clash.
Martic took the opening set 6-4 but the American WTA World No.34 hit back in the second, taking it 6-3, but the Croat broke in the first game of the decider and dropped only three points on her serve in the remainder of the set as she took it 6-4.