Dominant Pegula into first Wimbledon quarters

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Jessica Pegula enjoyed one of her strongest days at Wimbledon as her racket powered winners left, right and center during a 6-1, 6-3 fourth-round win over Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko on Sunday that sent the American player to the quarterfinals at the All England Club for the first time.

The fourth-seeded Pegula will next try to record her first Grand Slam quarterfinal win when she faces Marketa Vondrousova. Pegula is 0-5 in major quarterfinals in her career, with only three women having more losses in that round without a win.

Sixteen-year-old Mirra Andreeva, the latest teen sensation in tennis, also won Sunday as she continued her strong debut at the All England Club, earning a spot in the fourth round with a 6-2, 7-5 victory over 22nd-seeded Anastasia Potapova on No. 3 Court.

Andreeva is the youngest player since Coco Gauff in 2019 to reach the women’s fourth round at Wimbledon. She reached the third round at this year’s French Open in her first major tournament.

“I came back from 1-4, so of course I feel great,” Andreeva said on court before explaining how she keeps her cool. “Today, honestly, even if I wanted to show some emotions, I honestly, I couldn’t because I was out of breath almost every point. I really couldn’t show any emotions.”

They came out after, though, when Andreeva sat in her chair and pulled her purple Wimbledon towel up over her face for a few seconds to regain her composure. She will next face No. 25 Madison Keys for a spot in the quarterfinals.

Tsurenko also showed her emotions during Sunday’s loss, slapping her thighs and talking animatedly into her racket. Pegula took full advantage of her opponent’s woes as she walloped thunderous winners from the baseline to streak into a 5-0 lead in 18 blinding minutes.

Perhaps still feeling the effects of the mammoth effort she put into overcoming Ana Bogdan in the previous round, when she won the longest women’s singles tiebreak (20-18 in the third set) at a Grand Slam in the Open era, Tsurenko could do little to stop Pegula’s charge.

Tsurenko was nearly shut out in the opening set before Pegula missed a set point in the sixth game. That blip allowed Tsurenko to finally register her name on the scoreboard, earning a round of sympathetic applause from the Court 1 crowd.

That respite, however, was brief as Pegula went on another three-game winning spree.

The mounting errors left Tsurenko trailing 5-1 in the second set as well, and while she managed to break Pegula’s serve two games later, it seemed her body had faced enough punishment for the day.

After saving two match points, the 34-year-old Tsurenko winced in pain on the baseline before removing her right shoe and sock, revealing a bloody underfoot blister. The on-court intervention from the trainer only delayed the inevitable, as two points later Pegula was celebrating with a clenched fist.

Vondrousova defeated 32nd-seeded Marie Bouzkova 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 to set up her match with Pegula. Vondrousova looked uncomfortable throughout the contest, committing 44 unforced errors, but held her nerve to grind out a win despite dropping the first set.

This year is only the second time play is officially scheduled for the middle Sunday at Wimbledon. Four times in the past, in 1991, 1997, 2004 and 2016, organizers used the day to deal with a backlog of matches.

Later Sunday, top-seeded Iga Swiatek was scheduled to face Belinda Bencic on Centre Court. Seven-time champion Novak Djokovic will follow that match against Hubert Hurkacz.

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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