Li Na out of Wimbledon; Novak Djokovic advances
LONDON — Australian Open champion and second-seeded Li Na was eliminated 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5) on Friday by Barbora Zahlavova Strycova in the first major upset at Wimbledon.
Li looked out of sorts for most of the third-round match on Court 1 and blew a set point in the second set.
In men’s play, top-seeded Novak Djokovic overcame a hard fall in the third set to advance to the fourth round with a 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 Centre Court win over Gilles Simon.
Leading 3-2 in the third set and with Simon serving, Djokovic lunged for a forehand shot and fell hard to the grass, rolling over and grabbing his upper left arm and grimacing in pain.
But after taking a medical timeout and receiving treatment by a trainer, he recovered to play out the final four games of the match, breaking Simon’s serve in the final game, his seventh break in the match.
“It was a sharp pain,” Djokovic said. “It was an awkward fall. I was just hoping there is nothing really bad with the joint. Luckily there is nothing damaged. I could play. Just the muscle was quite sore because of the impact. All in all I’m just glad to get through.”
Djokovic will play Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who beat Jimmy Wang of Taiwan 6-2, 6-2, 7-5, in the fourth round on Monday. Due to rain delays, Tsonga has played on all five days of the tournament.
“There is two days off, I’m going to try to recover and get ready,” Djokovic said.
Zahlavova Strycova called her win over Li the biggest of her career. Li won the first of her two Grand Slam titles at the French Open in 2011 and had reached the quarterfinals at Wimbledon three times.
“When you go on court you have to believe in yourself,” the 43rd-ranked Zahlavova Strycova said. “I thought I could do it and I was pushing myself a lot.”
The Czech player thought she had won the match and went to the net to shake Li’s hand after a forehand was called out. But Li challenged the call and the ball was ruled in, continuing the match — until Li double-faulted on match point.
“I was so happy already that the match is over, and then suddenly she took the challenge and I had to get back to my concentration,” Zahlavova Strycova said.
In other matches, French Open finalist Simona Halep and former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki won their matches after rain delayed the start of play for about 30 minutes.
Halep, who lost the Roland Garros final to Maria Sharapova, advanced with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 win over Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine in a second-round match. Wozniacki moved into the fourth round following a 6-3, 6-0 win over Ana Konjuh of Croatia.
No. 22-seeded Ekaterina Makarova of Russia beat Caroline Garcia of France 7-5, 6-3, and Belinda Bencic of Switzerland defeated Victoria Duval of the United States 6-4, 7-5.
In other men’s play, No. 19 Feliciano Lopez of Spain beat Ante Pavic of Croatia 6-4, 7-6 (4) 7-5 in a second-round match and Kevin Anderson beat Fabio Fognini of Italy 4-6, 6-4, 2-6, 6-2, 6-1 to reach the fourth round.
Anderson, who won 10 of the last 11 games, is the first South African to advance to the fourth round at Wimbledon since Wayne Ferreira in 2000. He’s reached the fourth round of his last three Grand Slams.
In a second-round match carried over from Thursday due to rain, Santiago Giraldo of Colombia beat No. 30 Marcel Granollers of Spain 4-6, 7-6 (2), 1-6, 6-1, 7-5.
Later Friday, defending champion Andy Murray took a 15-match winning streak at the All England Club into the third round against 27th-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain.
Murray won six matches in a row at the place to earn a gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics, then seven in a row during Wimbledon last year en route to the title, plus another two so far this week.