WIMBLEDON, ENGLAND - A week ago, Petra Kvitova wasn’t even sure if she could hold a racket in her left hand, never mind play against some of the best tennis players in the world at Wimbledon.
She can do both.
The two-time Wimbledon champion reached the second week at the grass-court Grand Slam for the first time since her last title at the All England Club in 2014, beating Magda Linette 6-3, 6-2 on Saturday on No. 2 Court.
Kvitova, seeded sixth, broke her opponent three times while never giving Linette a chance to break back even once.
The 29-year-old left-hander from the Czech Republic was attacked in her own home in 2016, needing surgery on her playing arm. She reached the Australian Open final at the beginning of this year but then pulled out of the French Open with an injured left forearm.
She only decided to play at Wimbledon at the last minute.
On Monday in the fourth round, Kvitova will face either 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens or Johanna Konta, who reached the Wimbledon semifinals in 2017.
Also, Carla Suarez Navarro made it to the fourth round at Wimbledon for the third time, but she has never progressed any further.
Suarez Navarro, who has yet to drop a set this week, beat unseeded American Lauren Davis 6-3, 6-3.
Seven-time champion Serena Williams, meanwhile, reached the fourth round here for the 16th time, defeating Germany’s Julia Goerges 6-3, 6-4. Williams will next Suarez Navarro for a place in the quarterfinals.
Eleventh seed Williams, who defeated Goerges in last year’s semifinals, is bidding to equal Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 Grand Slam titles.
It was her fifth win in five meetings with Goerges and just her second victory over a top-20 player in 2019.
In a later match, world No. 1 Ash Barty reached the last 16 at Wimbledon for the first time, overwhelming British wild card Harriet Dart 6-1, 6-1.
The 23-year-old Australian, bidding to become the first Wimbledon women’s champion from her country since Evonne Goolagong Cawley won her second title in 1980, will play unseeded American Alison Riske for a place in the last eight.
Barty did not allow Dart a look-in from the outset and the 182-ranked Briton only managed to get on the board in the first set at 5-0 down.
It was pretty much a similar story in the second, Barty cruising to a 4-1 lead only for Dart to finally find her feet and carve out four break points.
Barty, though, held her nerve and saved all of them to win the game before breaking Dart in the following game to take the match after just 53 minutes on Centre Court.