Serena Williams, the odds-on favorite for the title, breezed past fellow mother Evgeniya Rodina 6-2 6-2 to reach the quarterfinals at her first Wimbledon since giving birth to daughter Olympia. It was a dominant performance by Williams, with 30 winners and only 10 unforced errors. It was a serving master-class by the American, firing in 10 aces, and winning 74 percent of points after her first serve.
As always, Serena showed her mental prowess on the big points, winning five out of six break points. With this win, Serena moves into the Top 100 on the live rankings, so she will not need wildcards or protective ranking to enter the main draw of most events. Williams' next opponent will be Camila Giorgi, who defeated Wozniacki-slayer Ekaterina Makarova
Top Seed Out
The highest seed left coming into Monday, Karolina Pliskova, was eliminated by 20th seed Kiki Bertens 6-3 7-6(1). Pliskova, seeded seventh, was the last one standing of the Top 10 seeds, all others out before the second week.
Because of her huge serve and flat groundstrokes, Pliskova was considered one of the favorites to win Wimbledon of the players left, but the Dutchwoman beat her in straight sets. Bertens has been talked about as one of the last clay-court specialists left, but she is defeating that stereotype by beating contenders such as Venus Williams and the aforementioned Pliskova to reach the quarterfinals.
Facing Bertens in the quarterfinals will be 13th seed Julia Goerges, another player who wasn't talked about much coming into Wimbledon. Goerges does have a huge serve and forehand, but her lack of previous success at Wimbledon has been written off as Goerges needing time to set up her strokes and not being comfortable on grass, but after cruising past Donna Vekic of Croatia 6-3 6-2, this quarterfinal is her best result at any slam. The German was thoroughly tested after she was taken to 10-8 in the third set by Barbora Strycova, but dismissed Vekic after just an hour and 16 minutes, hitting 30 winners in the process.
There was no reason for 11th seed Angelique Kerber to not be considered a contender for the Wimbledon title. Kerber is a former number-one, two-time slam champion, and has reached a final at Wimbledon before. Despite all that, the German was not talked about as a possible dark horse and the conversation hasn't really started still.
The draw was seemingly easy for Kerber on paper, but her first two opponents were former number-two Vera Zvonareva and 2017 Wimbledon Girls' champion Claire Liu. After that, Kerber defeated young guns Naomi Osaka and today Belinda Bencic in straight sets and she is now the highest seed left in the tournament. The form seemed great against Bencic, so seeing Kerber in the final shouldn't be a surprise. Next up for Kerber will be 14th seed Daria Kasatkina, who defeated Alison Van Uytvanck of Belgium.
Slovakia vs Latvia
A match that you might expect to see at the IIHF World Championships is actually a Ladies' Singles Quarterfinals clash at the All England Club. The Slovak part of it will be Dominika Cibulkova, who defeated Halep-slayer Su-Wei Hsieh 6-4 6-1. There were some question marks around Cibulkova before the match, as she is a well-known counterpuncher, thriving from her opponents' power, and that's exactly what she got in her previous two matches against Johanna Konta and Elise Mertens.
Cibulkova had to create the points, as Su-Wei Hsieh slices and slows down the ball every opportunity she gets, but she was obviously successful and is through to the quarterfinals. It has been a rough time for Cibulkova, the past 18 months. This is her best result since reaching the quarterfinals at Wimbledon in 2016, shortly after which she got married and won the WTA Tour Finals in Singapore. After that, she hasn't gone past the third round at a slam until now.
Representing Latvia, Jelena Ostapenko is clearly trying to earn redemption after the French Open, where her title defense ended in the first round. Ostapenko is the second-highest seed left at the tournament at No. 12, last year's quarterfinalist as well as 2014 Girls' champion. The Latvian must be considered one of the top favorites, confirming this status today after beating Kvitova-slayer Aliaksandra Sasnovich 7-6(4) 6-0. Ostapenko has faced different sorts of opponents, like the crafty Kirsten Flipkens or the powerful Sasnovich, so it will be interesting to see how she deals with Cibulkova's counterpunching style. The Slovak won their previous two meetings, one of them on grass in Eastbourne.