Gauff crashes at Wimbledon as Alcaraz, Sinner locked on collision course

LONDON: World number two tennis player Coco Gauff was eliminated from Wimbledon on Sunday by fellow American Emma Navarro, while Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner were on a collision course in the semi-finals at the All England Club.

Gauff’s 6-4, 6-3 defeat in the fourth round means that only two of the top 10 players remain in the tournament.

Elsewhere, little-known Lulu Sun became the first New Zealander to reach the round of 16 at Wimbledon, while Madison Keys left her round of 16 match in tears.

Navarro, ranked 19th, reached the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time, defeating US Open champion Gauff.

Gauff, who reached the semifinals of this year’s Australian Open and French Open, has yet to advance to the round of 16 at Wimbledon, the tournament where she made her breakthrough as a 15-year-old in 2019.

Her shock defeat followed an unexpected third-round exit by world number one Iga Świątek on Saturday.

“I think I played really aggressively. Coco is an incredible player and I have a lot of respect for her,” Navarro said.

Only fourth-placed 2022 champion Elena Rybakina and world number seven Jasmine Paolini remain in the women’s top 10.

Paolini will be Navarro’s opponent in the quarterfinals.

World number three Alcaraz defeated 16th-seeded Frenchman Ugo Humbert 6-3, 6-4, 1-6, 7-5 to reach the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam for the ninth time in just 14 appearances.

However, it was another unpleasant afternoon for the Spaniard, who needed five sets to beat Frances Tiafoe in the third round.

His erratic play on Sunday resulted in five missed serves and 33 unprovoked errors, which is uncharacteristic for him.

The 21-year-old, who was looking to become just the sixth player to win the French Open and Wimbledon back-to-back titles, easily won the first set under the roof of Centre Court before saving four break points in the fifth game of the second match.

Humbert responded with blows and broke the champion three times in the third set, and Alcaraz spectacularly lost control of the game.

However, Humbert gave away a break of serve in the 11th game of the fourth set and Alcaraz took full advantage to quickly seal the tie.

“I will be there fighting until the last ball,” said Alcaraz, who is seeking a fourth Grand Slam title.

Alcaraz will face 12th-seeded American Tommy Paul, who defeated Roberto Bautista Agut 6-2, 7-6 (7/3), 6-2.

On court one, number one seed Sinner advanced to the quarterfinals, defeating 14th seed American Ben Shelton 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 (November 9).

Sinner, who won his first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open this year, will face fifth-seeded Russian Daniil Medvedev in a rematch of their Melbourne final to see who advances to the semi-finals.

“It was a tough match, especially the third set. I had to save set points all the time,” said Sinner, a semifinalist in 2023.

Medvedev, who also reached the semifinals last year, advanced after tenth-ranked Grigor Dimitrov withdrew in the first set of his round of 16 match due to a knee injury.

Sun made history in New Zealand by defeating Emma Raducanu in three sets, ending the hopes of the local players ending a 47-year wait for a British champion.

The 23-year-old qualifier, ranked 123rd, won 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 against the 2021 US Open winner.

Sun scored 52 points to beat Raducanu, who took a medical timeout in the third set to treat ankle and back problems.

“It was a great match with Emma. I really tried to win,” Sun said.

Sun will next face Croatian Donna Vekić, the 37th-ranked player in the world, who defeated Spain’s Paula Badosa 6-2, 1-6, 6-4 after 33 wins.

The 12th-seeded American Keys was one match away from reaching her third quarter-final at the All England Club before she was forced to forfeit her match against Paolini.

After losing the first set, Keys responded and leveled the score 3-6, 7-6 (8/6).

The 2017 US Open runner-up had taken a 5-2 lead in the deciding match when she injured her left leg in the eighth game.

At 5-4, she took a medical timeout, returned to the court with her left leg bandaged but her movements severely restricted. She burst into tears on the court, then finished the match at 5-5.

“I feel so sorry for her, it’s sad,” said Paolini, the French Open runner-up who had never won a match on grass until two weeks ago.

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