Top-seeded Serbian Novak Djokovic had an easy passage into the fourth round, overcoming Frenchman Gilles Simon. In nearly the same fashion, defending champion Andy Murray did not have to work too hard in his third round match against Roberto Bautista Agut. The biggest upset on day 5 was caused by Czech Republic’s Barbora Zahlavova-Strycova, who shocked no.2 women’s seed Li Na of China. The other top stars taking an exit route out of Wmbledon 2014 on Friday included; Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic, Fabio Fognini of Italy, Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine, Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia and Venus Williams of the United States.
Novak Djokovic fell on the court in his match against Gilles Simon and for a while, everyone thought he had suffered a major injury. This was the sixth game of the third set and the shoulder-clutching Serb received immediate attention. Once he was back on his feet, he needed just four games more to ward off the challenge from the Frenchman and finished with a 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 victory. Defending champion Andy Murray had a much easier game against the Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut, whom he beat 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 in a clinical finish, taking only 95 minutes on the court.
Day 5 at Wimbledon did not have any major surprises except the loss of China’s no.2 seed Li Na and men’s 6th seed Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic. For the Australian Open champion Li Na, this was the second successive early loss in the Grand Slam. Last month she became a first round victim to 103rd-ranked Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic, who beat the Chinese at Roland Garros 7-5, 3-6, 6-1 and yesterday, Li Na fell in the third round to the 43rd-ranked Barbora Zahlavova Strycova of the Czech Republic 6-7, 6-7 in hard fought duel. Her decision to skip the three grass court warm-up tournaments, just before Wimbledon, and the lack of grass court acclimatization could have cost her the match. It was the second upset at Wimbledon, caused by Zahlavova Strycova, who had beaten the Russian 32nd seed Elena Vesnina in a second-round match on Wednesday.
2010 finalist & 6th seed Tomas Berdych was the other major casualty on Friday, when he was upset by the 26th seed Marin Cilic of Croatia 7-6, 6-4, 7-6 in their 3rd round match. The match lasted until 9.38 PM, when there was very little light on the court and Berdych thought that the match should have been suspended for the next day but the referee didn’t agree with Berdych. Cilic raced to a 3-0 lead in the first set but the Czech leveled up soon. However the Croat still caused problems for Berdych and took the first set on tie-break. They traded breaks early in the second set but once Cilic had a 3-1 lead, the set went to serves and Cilic won 6-4. The third set went on serves and had to be decided on tie break for the second time in the match. Though Berdych took an early 3-1 lead in the tie break, he yielded the advantage to Cilic with a double fault, while Cilic continued to win on her serves and finished a winner.
After playing two nerve-wrecking five-set matches on the first four days, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga had it easy against Jimmy Wang of Chinese Taipei in his third round match on Friday. The energetic Tsonga easily disposed of his Asian opponent 6-2, 6-2, 7-5. David Ferrer’s conquerer in the second round Andrey Kuznetsov meekly surrendered 4-6, 6-7, 3-6 in the third to Leonardo Martin Mayer of Argentina.
Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia was another seeded player to tumble out of Wimbledon on Friday. The 10th seeded woman lost 4-6, 2-6, almost without a fight, to 23rd seed Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic. In another big match between two former champions, on Friday, Czech Republic’s Petra Kvitova engaged five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams in a marathon encounter that lasted two and half hours and went to three sets. Kvitova fought from the brink in the second set, when Venus Williams was just two points from a straight sets victory. The Czech woman frustrated the 34-year old American and drove her to the ends of her mental capabilities. The match sapped the strengths of both players, none of whom could build a match-winning momentum for a while. But finally, Kvitova drew on her remaining reserves in closing stages and upstaged the American to win the match 5-7, 7-6, 7-5.