Reigning U.S. Open champion Andy Murray reached the Wimbledon quarterfinals for the sixth consecutive year, beating 20th-seeded Mikhail Youzhny of Russia 6-4, 7-6 (5), 6-1 Monday.
The No. 2-seeded Murray is trying to become the first British man since Fred Perry in 1936 to win the title at the grass-court Grand Slam tournament. Murray was the runner-up to Roger Federer at Wimbledon last year, then defeated Federer a month later to win a London Olympics gold medal at the All England Club.
Murray found himself in a bit of trouble in Monday’s second set, trailing 5-2 against Youzhny, who was a 2012 Wimbledon quarterfinalist. But Murray broke when Youzhny served for the set at 5-4. Then, down 5-3 in the tiebreaker, Murray took the set’s last four points.
Sloane Stephens of the U.S. reached her second Grand Slam quarterfinal of the year, beating 19-year-old Monica Puig of Puerto Rico 4-6, 7-5, 6-1.
The 17th-seeded Stephens is the last American singles player left at the grass-court tournament. She finished her 2-hour, 4-minute victory shortly after defending champion Serena Williams’ 34-match winning streak ended with a three-set loss to Sabine Lisicki.
For the first time in 101 years, no men representing the U.S. even made it to Wimbledon’s third round.
Stephens, who is 20, eliminated Williams in the quarterfinals at the Australian Open in January to reach her first career major semifinal.
Next for Stephens in her second appearance at Wimbledon is a match against No. 15 Marion Bartoli, the 2007 runner-up, or 104th-ranked Karin Knapp.
Serena Williams joined a growing list of marquee names eliminated early at this wild and unpredictable Wimbledon.
The defending champion and five-time Wimbledon winner failed to close out a see-saw third set, dropping the last four games to Sabine Lisicki of Germany and losing 6-2, 1-6, 6-4 in the fourth round. The result ended Williams’ career-best 34-match winning streak.
Britain’s Laura Robson couldn’t recover from her missed chances in the first set and fell 7-6 (5), 7-5 to Kaia Kanepi of Estonia, failing to become the first British woman in the quarters of any Grand Slam since 1984.
Robson, the first British woman to reach the second week at Wimbledon since 1998, served for the first set at 5-4 but was broken, then led 5-2 in the tiebreaker. She double-faulted at 5-4, with neither serve coming close to going in – the first one went about five feet long, and the second bounced into the net.
”I had my chances here and there and I just didn’t take them,” Robson said. ”At that point, I was just trying to will myself to play unbelievable tennis when just making a serve would have been fine. But, as cliche as it sounds, it’s all part of the learning experience. The more I get myself into those kinds of situations, the more I’m going to benefit.”
Instead of a headline Williams vs. Robson matchup, Kanepi will now face Lisicki in the quarterfinals.
Former champion Petra Kvitova and No. 4 David Ferrer both avoided upsets to advance, as did sixth-seeded Li Na of China.
Top-ranked Novak Djokovic played his fourth-round match later.
On a busy day at Wimbledon with every round-of-16 match set to be played, Kvitova was the first player to reach the last eight, beating Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain 7-6 (5), 6-3 on Monday. She will play Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium, who reached her first career Grand Slam quarterfinal by ousting Flavia Pennetta of Italy 7-6 (2), 6-3 – a year after her ranking plummeted as low as 262nd because of injuries.
Poland will send two men into the quarterfinals for the first time after 24th-seeded Jerzy Janowicz and 130th-ranked Lukasz Kubot each won five-set matches.
The big-serving Janowicz outlasted Jurgen Melzer 3-6, 7-6 (1), 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, while Kubot defeated Adrian Mannarino 4-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. They’ll play each other Wednesday with the winner becoming the country’s first Grand Slam semifinalist.
Ferrer overcame another slow start to beat Ivan Dodig of Croatia 6-7 (3), 7-6 (6), 6-1, 6-1.
Having trailed twice in the previous round before winning in five sets, Ferrer struggled initially to create opportunities on Dodig’s serve and was two points from going two sets down against the Croat. But he dominated the final two sets, breaking Dodig five times and clinching the match with a forehand winner.