Defending Wimbledon champion Andy Murray showed another dominant display in overpowering Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut to move to the fourth round.
“It’s been a good first week, now I can rest up and be ready for Monday,” the third-seeded Briton said in a televised interview, after firing 44 winners past the 27th-seeded Spaniard on Centre Court yesterday on the way to a 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 victory.
Murray has dropped only 19 games so far, the fewest in reaching the fourth round of Wimbledon in nine years. The Scotland-born right-hander, who hasn’t lost a match at Wimbledon since the 2012 finals, faces six-foot-eight (2.03 meters) Kevin Anderson in the next round.
“He’s playing the best tennis of his career so far,” said Murray, who is tied one-all in career meetings with the South African who is his occasional training partner. “He’s a big guy with a big game, I have to be sharp in that one.”
Unlike Murray’s opponents in the first two rounds, Bautista Agut came into Wimbledon with a grass-court title under his belt, winning his first title in ’s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands, the week before Wimbledon.
Today, five-time champion Serena Williams faces France’s Alize Cornet, who beat the top-seeded American this year. Maria Sharapova, who won Wimbledon 10 years ago, plays American Alison Riske. Sharapova won their previous meeting in 2010.
No. 3 Simona Halep of Romania, the runner-up to Sharapova at this year’s French Open, meets Swiss teenager Belinda Bencic. Both women had to complete their second-round matches Friday after rain interrupted play on Thursday.
In the men’s draw, second seed Rafael Nadal plays Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan while seven-time winner Roger Federer meets Colombian Santiago Giraldo.
Earlier yesterday on Centre Court, Petra Kvitova, the 2011 winner from the Czech Republic, defeated five-time champion Venus Williams.
“She played well,” the 34-year-old Williams of the U.S., the oldest female competitor in the third round, said in a news conference. “I gave it my all. Sometimes it’s not enough.”
Kvitova may have an easier time in her next match against Peng Shuai of China, whom she has beaten in all four of their meetings.
Top men’s seed Novak Djokovic overcame a third-set tumble to move to the fourth round while women’s No. 2 Li Na of China became the highest-ranked player to exit the grass-court tennis tournament this year.
Djokovic defeated Gilles Simon of France 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 on Centre Court. Li, the current Australian Open champion, lost in straight sets 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-5) to Barbora Zahlavova Strycova of the Czech Republic.
She will play former top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark, who ended the run of Croatian Ana Konjuh, at 16 the youngest player in the women’s draw. Wozniacki has won all three matches against Zahlavova Strycova.
Djokovic was leading 3-2 in the third set when he reached for a forehand before falling to the ground clutching his left shoulder.
“It was obviously a scary fall,” Djokovic said in a news conference. “I feared, maybe it might be a dislocated shoulder or something like that, or joint problem.” An ultrasound revealed no significant damage, he said, adding, “it’s all looking good.”
Djokovic will play 14th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga next after the Frenchman beat qualifier Jimmy Wang of Taiwan.
Grigor Dimitrov, the 11th-seeded Bulgarian who won a Wimbledon warm-up event at Queen’s Club in London this month, came through in five sets against Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov. He’ll play Argentina’s Leonardo Mayer in his first time in the fourth round here.
Agnieszka Radwanska, a former runner-up from Poland, beat Michelle Larcher de Brito, 6-2, 6-0.
Jerzy Janowicz of Poland, a semifinalists last year, beat 2002 champion Lleyton Hewitt in five sets. Hewitt fought back from two sets down to even the match before succumbing to his decade-younger opponent. It was the 42nd five-set match of the Australian’s career, the most since tennis turned professional in 1968.