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Alex Macpherson /

Ana Konjuh, the youngest player left in the draw, has made the second week at SW19 for the first time by ousting Dominika Cibulkova in three sets. 

No.27 seed Ana Konjuh has powered into the fourth round of Wimbledon with a 7-6(3), 3-6, 6-4 win over No.8 seed Dominika Cibulkova in two hours and 37 minutes.

Though the 19-year-old made her aggressive intentions immediately clear with a brace of big returns to open the match, she was initially unable to bring her power to bear on the big points, committing unforced errors on her opportunities to break in the first and fourth games. Cibulkova, meanwhile, was moving through the gears easily, coming up with her trademark sharp angles and targeting the more erratic Konjuh forehand to leap out to a 5-1 lead.

At that point, the Croat had hit 13 unforced errors. But the youngest player left in the draw had already done intermittent damage with her backhand, particularly on return, and she didn't deviate from her attacking game plan - instead, she cleaned it up to draw level with a string of massive serves and accurate winners to break last year's quarterfinalist twice and draw level at 5-5. In this passage of play, Konjuh committed just one unforced error. The Slovak continued to battle, and even held two set points at 6-5 - but hit a wild second service return on the first, before Konjuh hammered down a 112mph serve on the second.

It was the No.27 seed who hit the heights in the ensuing tiebreak: the backhand was the defining shot of her match, responsible for 15 of the 26 winners she struck in the first set, and four of those came when she most needed them in the deciding game, which she took 7-3.

With the wind picking up, an undaunted Cibulkova resumed her plan of avoiding that Konjuh wing as the second set began, breaking immediately. The next game proved crucial, though: lasting nearly 20 minutes and comprising 10 deuces, it saw the 28-year-old fend off six break-back points as her younger opponent oscillated wildly between stunning winners and inexplicable errors. In the end, Cibulkova found two of her biggest serves of the match to consolidate her break.

As is so often the case after such epic games, the intensity of the match dipped for the rest of the set: three holds to love followed, and though Cibulkova evoked memories of the opener when she failed to serve it out at 5-2, Konjuh's 15th unforced error and second double fault of the set conceded it limply in the subsequent game.

It turned out that Konjuh was merely keeping her powder dry for a brilliant show of power and variety in the final set, though. She stormed through the first two games for the loss of just two points, demonstrating delicious touch on the dropshot as well as strength from the baseline, then fought through three deuces on the next two to hold a 4-0 lead.

The pendulum hadn't quite finished swinging, though. With the finishing line just within reach at 5-1, Konjuh blinked, losing nine points in a row - including a disastrous and brief attempt to serve out the match - as a rejuvenated Cibulkova, possibly with revenge for the first set in mind, found her range with her forehand to pull back to 4-5. But it wasn't just the Croat's shotmaking ability, for which she has been known since her junior days, that defined the match: in her first-set comeback and her third-set revival, she'd also demonstrated real mental fortitude. This stood Konjuh in good stead as she conjured up a few more unreturnable serves to force her way into the second week of Wimbledon for the first time, where the youngest player left in the draw will face either the oldest, No.10 seed Venus Williams - or the second-youngest, fellow 19-year-old Naomi Osaka.


Ana continues her run of wins at Wimbledon. Having won her two matches in the singles competition (Sabine Lisicki and Irina Begu) and making it to the third round among the 32 best placed players, Ana has now made it to the second round in the women's doubles with the 21-years-old Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia.

Ana and Beatriz succeeded in defeating the sixth women's doubles seeds, the 36-year-old Slovenian Catherine Srebotnik and 35-year-old American Abigail Spears. To do so Ana and Beatriz, who played together for the first time, needed two hours and 36 minutes of play. The final result was 7:6 (4), 6:7 (3) and 6:4. Each of the three sets lasted almost an hour: the first 52 minutes, the second 56 minutes, and the third 51 minutes.

Ana will be back on court tomorrow Friday, July 7, when she will play Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova, ninth world player and eighth seed at Wimbledon in order to move on to the 4th round and the final 16. If she wins again, against a better ranked player, she will achieve her greatest success on the grass of the All England Club.


It was not easy, but it was sweet. Ana Konjuh managed to defeat Irina Begu after two hours and 17 minutes of play and made it to the 3rd round of Wimbledon, among the best 32. On Friday, in the 4th round, she will play against Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova, who is eighth seed of the tournament who defeated the American Jennifer Brady with 6:4, 6:4.

Ana avenged her defeat by Begu two years ago. Then, the Romanian won in the 2nd round of the Grand Slam tournament in Paris with 6:2 and 6:0. Seven years older Begu was a seed then at the French Open. This year, on English grass, it was 7:6 (3), 2:6 and 6:3 to Ana. Ana, the 27th seed, reached her best result at Wimbledon three years ago. On the first and only time until now, she played in the 3rd round of the world's most prestigious tournament in 2014 when she accomplished five consecutive wins starting from the qualifications.

In the third game of the first set, Ana had the first break opportunity in the match, but Begu was the first to make a break in the seventh game, where Ana had saved two break points, but not the third. In the next game, Ana had the chance to retrieve her loss but failed. Begu scored three points in a row and reached 5:3. The tenth game, was the last chance for Ana to save the first set. She had three break points and used the second one. Then she served and managed to win after 0:40. She was brilliant at that time, her serve was excellent. Begu could not do anything. The Romanian secured a tie break in the twelfth game, which Ana won with 7:3 and reached to 1:0 in the sets after 58 minutes of the match.

In the second set, Ana made more mistakes and Begu tied with 1:1 in sets after 36 minutes. Then in the first game of the third decisive set - Ana's break. In the second game Begu's break, who then led with 2:1 and 3:2, after which Ana won four games in a row and secured a 3rd round of Wimbledon.

Ana has already played against Cibulkova, once. Interestingly, as well as against Begu - it was in the 2nd round of Roland Garros. Against Begu in 2015, and against Cibulkova one year later. Cibulkova leads with 1:0. She was then better with 6:4, 3:6 and 6:0.


Ana played a great match at Wimbledon and sent home Sabine Lisicki after a one hour game. With 6:1 and 6:4 she was better then the player who was the finalist of Wimbledon in 2013. Two years before that Lisicki was a semi-finalist, and on three other occasions she has played in the quarter-finals on Wimbledon's grass courts.

In the past at the All England club, Lisicki has defeated Svetlana Kuznetsova, Caroline Wozniacki, Na Li, Samantha Stosur twice, Serena Williams, Agnieszka Radwanska and Ana Ivanovic. This year in the first round against eight years younger Ana Konjuh, she was unable to do much, especially in the first set, when 19-year-old Ana beat her in the first 19 minutes of the game. In the first set, Ana broke the German tennis player's service three times.

Then, in the second set, she continued with a great game and took 3:0 and 4:1. Lisicki, has won 27 out of 35 matches that she has played at Wimbledon, of which seven were against TOP 10 players, raised the game in the second set. She managed to use the only break opportunity in the match after which she served and tied at 4:4. However, after that, Ana has made few great points again. Lisicki served in the tenth game of the second set to stay in the match. She failed. She saved two match points but after the third she could only go to the net and wait for the Dubrovnik player and congratulate her on her win.

Ana will play in the 2nd round against Irina Camelia Begu, the 69th world tennis player, who defeated the British Naomi Broady (108th in the world rankings list) at the start of the tournament in England. Two years ago, they were rivals in the 2nd round of Roland Garros in Paris. Then the Romanian was successful but now Ana has the chance of revenge.


Sabine Lisicki from Germany is Ana's rival in the first round of Wimbledon, the third Grand Slam tournament of the season, which begins on Monday, July 3rd. Lisicki is eight years older than the 19-year-old from Dubrovnik. Although currently ranked 127th world tennis player, in 2013 Lisicki was a Wimbledon finalist, which is her greatest career success at a Grand Slam tournament. In the finals she was defeated by French Marion Bartoli with 6:1 and 6:4.

On five occasions, Lisicki was among the top eight player in Wimbledon (2009, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014). In addition to 2013, when she reached the finals, she managed to progress from the quarter-finals in 2011, when she was defeated by Maria Sharapova 6:4 and 6:3 in the semifinals. On the grass court of the All England Club, Lisicki managed to defeat Svetlana Kuznetsova, Caroline Wozniacki, Na Li, Samantha Stosur twice and Serena Williams in the 4th round. The same year she also bettered Agnieszka Radwanska in the semifinals, with 9:7 in the third set. She also defeated Ana Ivanovic when the Serbian player was 11th world tennis player in 2014. The last two years she has played in the third round.

Altogether Lisicki has played in the Wimbledon Main Event eight times. In 35 matches she won 27 times and in these she won against TOP 10 players seven times.

Ana Konjuh has played in the Wimbledon Main Event three times. The first time in 2013, she got there after three qualifying wins, after which she managed to get to the third round and play against Caroline Wozniacki. A year later she lost in the first round against Alize Cornet and last year she lost in the second round against Agnieszka Radwanska. This last performance Ana remembers for the missed match points and injuring herself after unfortunately standing on a ball. Overall Ana has played six matches in Wimbledon, out of which she won three. Otherwise, counting the qualifications and the junior tournaments (2012 and 2013), in the singles, Ana has played 18 matches since 2012 on Wimbledon's grass and won 13. In the women's doubles, Ana has achieved one victory and one defeat, and in the mixed pairs two wins and one defeat.

For the first time at Wimbledon Ana is a seed in the tournament (27th). The winner of the Konjuh - Lisicki match will play the winner of the match between Briton Naomi Broady (108th) and Romanian Irina Camelia Begu (69th) in the 2nd round.