LONDON, Great Britain – The first to play on this rare People’s Sunday at the Wimbledon Championships, No.27 seed CoCo Vandeweghe clinched a spot in the second week for the second year in a row, ousting No.6 seed Roberta Vinci, 6-3, 6-4.
Vandeweghe reached her first Grand Slam quarterfinal at this very tournament one year ago, and has only gotten more comfortable on the grass courts since, winning a second Ricoh Open title and reaching the semifinals of the Aegon Classic with a win over World No.3 Agnieszka Radwanska.
She played another emphatic match against the Italian on Centre Court, dropping just four points behind her first serve and hitting 21 winners to 17 unforced errors to earn the upset in just over an hour.
Along with the Williams sisters and Madison Keys, Vandeweghe became the fourth American woman to reach the second week at this year’s Championships.
Pavlyuchenkova Propels Into Round Four
Standing between the American and a second straight Wimbledon quarterfinal is No.21 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who surprised No.11 seed and 2015 quarterfinalist Timea Bacsinszky, 6-3, 6-2.
Heading into the Wimbledon fortnight, the Russian had never been past the third round, and hadn’t won back-to-back matches on grass since 2012, but overcame tough battles against Hsieh Su-Wei and Yulia Putintseva to play some of her best tennis against Bacsinszky to claim victory on her 25th birthday.
Maintaining a positive winner to unforced error differential at 24 to 20, Pavlyuchenkova had a stellar serving day of her own, winning 82% first serve points and missing just 14 first serves in the one hour and 18 minute encounter. The two-time Grand Slam quarterfinalist and former World No.13 lost her only previous match with Vandeweghe back at the 2014 Miami Open, though the match was played over two tight sets.
Makarova Meets Vesnina In Singles Face-Off
Backing up her big win over two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in an endlessly rain-delayed second round, Ekaterina Makarova showed no signs of a let down against 2014 Wimbledon quarterfinalist and Aegon Classic runner-up Barbora Strycova, knocking out the No.24 seed, 6-4, 6-2 to reach the fourth round.
Makarova’s superb start to the 2015 season had been derailed by a lower leg injury; unseeded at a major tournament for the first time in four years, the Russian veteran has played phenomenal tennis since reuniting with doubles partner Elena Vesnina at the Mutua Madrid Open.
It’s only right then, that the two have a full circle moment in the round of 16 at the All England Club. In the midst of her own singles reurgence, Vesnina began the year playing Grand Slam qualifying after 40 straight main draw appearances, but after a season of solid wins over Simona Halep, Venus Williams, Belinda Bencic, and Caroline Wozniacki, the Russian veteran is back in the Top 50 and into the second week of a major for the first time since the 2013 Australian Open.
Vesnina has never beaten her doubles partner in a WTA match, losing 12 straight sets to Makarova – including four in their two 2015 matches.
Four Russians through to R16 (Kuznetsova, Makarova, Pavlyuchenkova, Vesnina) the most at #Wimbledon since 2009
— Kevin Fischer (@Kfish_WTA) July 3, 2016
All photos courtesy of Getty Images.