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Rybarikova is on a high as her fairytale run continues

 

By Robert Jones

Unseeded Slovakian Magdalena Rybarikova stormed into the Wimbledon semi-finals by routing Coco Vandeweghe 6-3 6-3 yesterday in a rain-plagued match that was halted for hours before being moved beneath the roof of Centre Court.

The World No.87, who describes her Wimbledon adventure as a "fairytale", did not allow the disruption to shake her form or focus and produced a sparkling display to close out the quarter-final against the American.

Rybarikova is the lowest-ranked player for almost a decade to reach the women's last four, where she will face Spain's 14th seed Garbine Muguruza, and the first Slovak to do so.

"I can't believe it," she said. "I cannot believe I am a Wimbledon semi-finalist. I need to sleep on it to believe it."

Her quarter-final match started on Court One, but was suspended shortly after 4pm due to rain with the score at 2-2 in the second set. With no sign of the weather turning, the match was moved to Centre Court, the only court with a roof.

Play resumed at about 7.20pm and 28-year-old Rybarikova raced to the finish line.

The match was a thoroughly entertaining tussle and threw up a rare sight in the women's game - two players willing to abandon the security of the baseline and charge to the net. They even used serve-and-volley on occasion.

Big-hitting Vandeweghe's downfall was the careless mistakes that beset her game, leaving her increasingly frustrated. The 25-year-old American, seeded 24, notched up 30 unforced errors compared with her opponent's eight, and double-faulted several times on crucial points.

It has been a dream run for Rybarikova, who was out of action for the second half of 2016 due to wrist and knee surgery. The last time a woman ranked lower reached a Wimbledon semi-final was in 2008 - China's Zheng Jie, ranked 133.

• Top seeds Jamie Murray and Martina Hingis reached the quarter-finals of the Wimbledon mixed doubles with a rain-interrupted straight-sets win.

Britain's Murray and Swiss Hingis, who only announced their partnership last week, won 6-3 6-4 against Czech pair Roman Jebavy and Lucie Hradecka.

The match was twice stopped by rain before Murray, 31, and Hingis, 36, won in one hour and 11 minutes.

Next they could face British pair Ken Skupski and Jocelyn Rae, who meet 12th seeds Max Mirnyi and Ekaterina Makarova in their third-round match.

Hingis has won five Grand Slam singles titles - including at Wimbledon in 1997 - 12 Grand Slam women's doubles and five Grand Slam mixed doubles.

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