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Goerges and Vekic break new ground

 

By Steve Simpson

In an epic encounter, No.13 seed Julia Goerges of Germany overcame No.23 seed Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic 7-6(3) 3-6 10-8 in two hours and 55 minutes to advance to the fourth round of Wimbledon for the first time in her career.

In her 11th appearance in the main draw, Goerges will finally play the second week of Wimbledon after her marathon encounter against a plucky Strycova.

Goerges has thus levelled her head-to-head record against her frequent rival Strycova at six wins apiece.

Goerges will now take on unseeded Croatian Donna Vekic in the fourth round.

Vekic, who upset No.4 seed Sloane Stephens in the first round, blasted her way to a 7-6(2) 6-1 victory over Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium.

This is Vekic's first fourth-round appearance at a Grand Slam event in her career.

Neither Goerges nor Vekic has ever made a Grand Slam quarter-final - but that statistic will end for one of them.

Goerges, who leads the WTA in aces so far this year, was dominant on serve in the opening frame, never facing a break point.

But Strycova was also stellar when she stepped to the line, facing a single break point throughout the set, which she repelled at 2-2 with a beautiful serve which the German returned long.

Both players were averaging serve speeds over 99mph as they raced through their service games with aplomb.

Strycova frequently relied on her grass-court acumen, but Goerges countered with fearsome forehands to end points.

The opener went into a tiebreak, and Goerges took the early lead when Strycova shoved a volley long at 2-2. Strycova reclaimed the mini-break with an overhead to pull to 3-4, but Goerges took both of Strycova's subsequent service points. The German clinched the set on the next point with an ace.

Strycova hit back to take the second, but it was Goerges who prevailed after an epic third set.

Belfast Telegraph

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