American women are having their best Wimbledon in 11 years, in large part thanks to their booming serves.
Madison Keys, the No. 21 seed, is the women’s tournament ace leader with 47, followed by five-time champion Serena Williams with 38 and unseeded Coco Vandeweghe with 37. All three are into Tuesday’s quarterfinals, the best performance for the U.S. since Williams, Lindsay Davenport and Jennifer Capriati reached the last eight in 2004.
“Three out of eight is pretty good,” Williams said Monday after she fired 10 aces on her way to topping her sister and five-time champion, Venus Williams, 6-4, 6-3.
Serena Williams, in possession of the best serve in tennis according to John McEnroe, will need her strongest shot to work well in Tuesday’s quarterfinals against Victoria Azarenka, a former top-ranked player from Belarus who almost beat her at last month’s French Open.
“I’ve had a couple of tough matches with Victoria,” Serena Williams said. “She’s due to win big and to do really well. Incidentally, so am I,” added the 33-year-old, who is one major title shy of holding all four simultaneously for the second time in her career.
Keys struck five aces Monday and overcame a slow start against qualifier Olga Govortsova of Belarus 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.
“It’s been a while since there has been that many Americans in the second week, and it’s just really exciting,” Keys said. “It’s going to kind of inspire everyone else to keep doing well and keep working hard.”
The 21-year-old, who is coached by former Wimbledon champion Davenport, plays 2012 finalist Agnieszka Radwanska in her first quarterfinal at the All England Club on Tuesday.
Vandeweghe, ranked 47th, upset No. 6 Lucie Safarova, a French Open finalist from the Czech Republic, 7-6 (7-1), 7-6 (7-4). She’ll open play on Centre Court on Tuesday against 2004 champion Maria Sharapova of Russia.
“Grass definitely suits me very well as well as hard courts,” Vandeweghe, 23, who had nine aces in her victory, said in a news conference.
The remaining women’s quarterfinal is between Spain’s No. 20 seed Garbine Muguruza and Switzerland’s Timea Bacsinszky.
Novak Djokovic of Serbia, the defending men’s champion, will finish his match against South Africa’s Kevin Anderson after it was suspended for darkness at 9:01 p.m. local time at two sets each. Djokovic lost the first two sets in tiebreakers.
Seven-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer reached the quarterfinals for the 13th time, defeating Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut 6-2, 6-2, 6-3. The Swiss, who won his most recent title at the All England Club in 2012, will play Gilles Simon, who upset No. 6 Tomas Berdych. Federer has won his last five meetings with Simon.
“I’m not going to look further than Gilles Simon, who has caused me difficulties in the past,” said Federer, who has gone to five sets against the Frenchman at the Australian and French opens. “This is really when it gets much more interesting. Obviously your opponents are going to get tougher and tougher.”
Andy Murray, the 2013 winner from Britain, dismantled the serve of 6-foot-11 (2.11-meter) Ivo Karlovic, 7-6 (9-7), 6-4, 5-7, 6-4. The Croat hit 29 aces, taking his tally for the tournament to 165.
“I’m happy that I got that match under my belt, managed to win it, because it could easily have gone the other way,” Murray said in a news conference after he won in just over three hours. “Often he comes out on top in matches like that.”
Murray plays Vasek Pospisil next after the unseeded Canadian beat Serbia’s Viktor Troicki in five sets.