Wimbledon: Magdalena Rybarikova prevails in the clash of underdogs

The lone unseeded match-up in the fourth round of the Wimbledon Championships saw Magdalena Rybarikova reach her first ever Grand Slam quarterfinal as she defeated Petra Martic in a tight three-set match, prevailing after 1 hour and 49 minutes of play to set up a meeting with Coco Vandeweghe in the quarterfinals.

Rybarikova overcomes 2-4 deficit to win the first set

Martic made the perfect start as she came into the match firing on all cylinders, exposing the vulnerability of Rybarikova’s serves and managed to get the break of service in the opening game, jumping out to an early lead. The Slovakian looked to have some early jitters as she was unable to find her best tennis, continuously hitting unforced errors which eventually allowed Martic to consolidate the break for a two-game advantage. With some powerful serving, Rybarikova then finally got herself onto the scoreboard and lessened the deficit, keeping the scores tight. Fending off a break point in the process, Martic played some unbelievable aggressive tennis and stepped up on the crucial points, hanging onto her lead. ​

Petra Martic in action during the match | Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images Europe
Petra Martic in action during the match | Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images Europe

Closing her service game with an ace, Rybarikova gradually turned solid on her serve and seemed closer than ever to breaking back and level the scores. Martic once again got herself out of trouble as this time she came back from the brink, coming back from 0-40 down to hold her serve narrowly. It was from then when the momentum shifted hands as Rybarikova won eight of the next 10 points to return level all of a sudden, taking advantage of a slight slip-up from her opponent. With some inspired play, Rybarikova won her fourth game in succession as she broke serve for the second straight time, sealing the first set 6-4 in 43 minutes despite being 2-4 down.

Martic fights back to send the match into a deciding set

Similar to the first set, Martic started the second set the best way possible as she claimed the service break in the opening game, jumping out to an early lead. Some consistent play from the Croatian then allowed her to consolidate the break, opening a two-game advantage as she looked to send the match into a deciding set. Rybarikova then got herself onto the scoreboard with a forehand smash-winner on game point, outhitting Martic with the help of her powerful serves.

Magdalena Rybarikova in action during the match | Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images Europe
Magdalena Rybarikova in action during the match | Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images Europe

Unexpectedly, Martic lost the break in the next game as the Slovakian managed to return level on the scoreboard, with a straight set win looking possible especially after gaining the momentum. However, there was more in store for the fans as Rybarikova played a sloppy game to allow Martic to regain the lead immediately. This time, Martic was playing much better as she earned yet another break of serve in the seventh game, with the Slovakian already having her sights on a deciding set. Winning the last 12 points of the set, Martic eventually closed out the set 6-2 in just 30 minutes of play.

Rybarikova seals the win in three sets

Rybarikova made a solid start to the final set, holding serve in the opening game. With some impressive shot-making, the Slovakian broke serve and jumped out to a 2-0 lead to get the advantage, looking poised for the victory. However, Martic produced an immediate reply as she broke straight back with a backhand winner on break point. The Croatian then had her first service hold of the crucial deciding set, fending off two break points along the way.

Magdalena Rybarikova celebrates her hard-fought victory | Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images Europe
Magdalena Rybarikova celebrates her hard-fought victory | Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images Europe

After an exchange of service holds, Rybarikova managed to regain the lead in the sixth game as Martic put in some inconsistent play, hitting a couple of unforced errors as she went down in the set once more. Fending off two break points, the Slovakian consolidated the break to place herself just one game away from the win. Unfazed by the massive amount of pressure, Rybarikova successfully served out the match without facing any problems as the player ranked outside the Top 400 back in May progressed to the first Wimbledon quarterfinal of her career.

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