Federer, Pliskova, Nadal, del Potro enter Wimbledon fourth round


London, July 7: Defending champion Roger Federer eased to a record 175th grass-court victory with a straight-sets win over Jan-Lennard Struff in the third round at Wimbledon.
The 20-time grand slam champion surpassed Jimmy Connors’ tally by seeing off the unseeded German 6-3 7-5 6-2 in his 200th Tour-level grass-court match.
Federer struck 36 winners, making only eight unforced errors and not facing a solitary break point to achieve yet another record on Centre Court.
The top seed will take on Adrian Mannarino in the last 16 as he eyes a ninth Wimbledon title and a 99th of his astonishing career.
Karolina Pliskova came back from the brink of defeat to reach the fourth round at Wimbledon for the first time with a 3-6, 7-6 (3), 6-1 victory over Romanian Mihaela Buzarnescu.
Having been a set and a break down, the seventh-seeded Czech lifted her game and took advantage of a spate of errors from her 29th-seeded opponent to turn the match around.
Pliskova is one of only two top-10 players left in the women’s draw, with top-seeded Simona Halep in third round action on Saturday.
Rafael Nadal was kept on Centre Court longer than he would have liked but that did not stop him from putting baby-faced Alex de Minaur firmly in his place with a 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 win in the third round of Wimbledon on Saturday.
The 19-year-old Alicante-based Australian played his part in an entertaining duel as he chased after everything Nadal could throw at him but the world number one stuck to his own game plan to chalk up his third successive straight-sets win.
Nadal has endured his fair share of losing to young upstarts at Wimbledon, having lost to players ranked 100 or lower in four of his five previous appearances, but there was no danger of that happening on Saturday.
Fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro overcame service troubles and Benoit Paire’s fine serve-and-volley game to beat the Frenchman 6-4 7-6(4) 6-3 on Court Two and reach the fourth round.
The big Argentine world number four, who has yet to drop a set, looked on for a routine win before meeting sterner resistance in the second set from Paire, who delighted the crowd with his drop shots and a break of serve to go 4-2 up.
Del Potro, a semi-finalist in 2013, immediately broke back after a slip by Paire and fears he might have hurt his heavily bandaged knee, but the Frenchman resumed and saw the set through to the tiebreak, but lost it 7-4.
The 47th-ranked Paire, who reached the fourth round last year and won his only previous meeting with Del Potro in Rome in 2013, then had a rant at the umpire after a successful challenge to an out call. (Agencies)