Tennis

Zhang Shuai becomes first player to reach second week at Wimbledon

AFP-JIJI, AP

Zhang Shuai of China became the first player to reach the second week of Wimbledon after knocking out former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 6-2 in the third round on Friday.

Zhang set up her second match point with a backhand winner and converted it with a volley winner at the net to reach the fourth round for the first time.

Zhang, the world No. 60, is the first Chinese woman since Peng Shuai in 2015 to reach the second week at the All England Club.

Before this year, the 30-year-old Zhang had never won a main draw match at Wimbledon in five attempts.

It was a record that reflected her previous struggles — she was 0-14 at Grand Slams until she broke through to the 2016 Australian Open quarterfinals.

No. 14 seed Wozniacki led 4-0 in the first set and also broke Zhang in the opening game of the second before losing four straight games. The Dane repeatedly grew frustrated with the result of Hawk-Eye challenges, complaining to the chair umpire on several occasions that the calls made by the review system were wrong.

Wozniacki won the 2018 Australian Open but has never been past the fourth round at Wimbledon, losing at that stage on six occasions.

Zhang fired 26 winners against just eight for Wozniacki and goes on to face either Viktorija Golubic of Switzerland or Ukraine’s Dayana Yastremska.

Also Friday, former men’s finalist Milos Raonic ended Reilly Opelka’s Wimbledon run by beating the towering American in straight sets in the third round.

In a matchup of big servers, Raonic broke twice in each of the last two sets to win 7-6 (7-1), 6-2, 6-1 and reach the fourth round for the fifth time. Both players finished with 13 aces each but Raonic had only seven unforced errors to Opelka’s 31.

The 211-cm Opelka was making his Wimbledon debut and knocked out three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka in the second round.

Raonic lost to Andy Murray in the 2016 Wimbledon final.