Prefer to be No. 1 than No. 2: Nadal

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Simona Halep is too independent to be a follower of fashion, but the exit of the No 1 seed at the hands of the Taiwanese player Hsieh Su-Wei on Court One yesterday merely confirmed the prevailing trend in the women's singles at these topsy-turvy championships.

Hseih was down 2-5 in the last set, but saved a match point then pushed back with a five-game winning streak to seal the win.

The world number 48 will face Slovakia's Dominika Cibulkova, a 6-2 6-2 victor over 15th seed Elise Mertens, in the fourth round.

The 20-year-old Tiafoe said he started feeling badly late in the third set after taking the opening two against Karen Khachanov of Russian Federation before fading to a 4-6, 4-6, 7-6 (3), 6-2, 6-1 loss.

Halep essentially wilted after leading 5-2 in the third set.


In a sport often dominated by baseline bashers Hsieh brought so much more to the party. "I think because I was exhausted, because I'm exhausted, I couldn't stay focused for every ball", Halep said. She wouldn't win another game.

(It's worth noting that the diminutive Hsieh served at an average speed of 82 miles per hour.) At the realization she'd won the match, Hsieh let go a scream and then a steady stream of tears. I just want to feel free and enjoy the match. The recently crowned French Open champion did not crumble despite losing the last five games of the third set.

Asked how she would celebrate her success, the quirky Hsieh revealed her love of checking out London's gastronomic delights. "For me, I just try to enjoy the tennis and enjoy the city, enjoy the food", she said.

A curious match began untidily with five successive breaks of serve before Halep steadied to hold for a 4-2 lead and went on to clinch the opening set. I'm not hard. I'm just realistic and honest with myself. I think because I was exhausted, because I'm exhausted, I couldn't stay focussed for every ball.

"A positive match against a player with a lot of energy, some tough moments", the world No.1 told the BBC.


Now only No. 7 Karolina Pliskova remains among the Top 8 seeds.

Far less so in the men's bracket, although No. 4 seed Alexander Zverev did depart Saturday with a 7-6 (2), 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-0 loss to Ernests Gulbis, a Latvian ranked 138th who is the first male qualifier since 2012 to reach Wimbledon's fourth round.

Dominika Cibulkova, who was edged out of the seedings to accommodate new mum Serena Williams, continued her impressive progress by defeating 15th seed Elise Mertens 6-2 6-2 Latvia's 12th seed Jelena Ostapenko and 2017 French Open champion needed just 62 minutes to put away Russia's Vitalia Diatchenko in a 6-0 6-4 victory.

In that moment, Hsieh thought back to a fourth-round match against Lucie Safarova at Nottingham a year ago, which she lost in a third-set tiebreak. "I still think the top players, their average level is higher than, let's say, sub-top players, but anyone on a good day can beat anyone, for sure".


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