X

Wimbledon 2018: Rafael Nadal Advances, Simona Halep Ousted in Saturday Results

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJuly 7, 2018

TOPSHOT - Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrates after winning against Australia's Alex De Minaur during their men's singles third round match on the sixth day of the 2018 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 7, 2018. - Nadal won the match 6-1, 6-2, 6-4. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE        (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)
BEN STANSALL/Getty Images

Juan Martin del Potro continued to make his case to be considered as a challenger for the 2018 Wimbledon title as he overcame Benoit Baire on Saturday.

The fifth seed served up another display of power and precision at SW19, winning the contest 6-4, 7-6(4), 6-3 against a potentially tricky opponent.

Other high-profile winners in the men's bracket included Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, while fourth-seeded Alexander Zverev was eliminated.

On the women's side, there were wins for 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko and 14th seed Daria Kasatkina. But top-seeded Simona Halep, who won her first major title at Roland Garros last month, got ousted by unseeded Su-Wei Hsieh.

Here's a recap of the early action from SW19, as the players involved battled to get into the second week of the prestigious tournament.

                

Selected Saturday Results

Men's Singles

(2) Rafael Nadal bt. Alex de Minaur: 6-1, 6-2, 6-4

Ernests Gulbis bt. (4) Alexander Zverev: 7-6(2), 4-6, 5-7, 6-3, 6-0

(5) Juan Martin del Potro bt. Benoit Paire: 6-4, 7-6(4), 6-3

(12) Novak Djokovic bt. (21) Kyle Edmund: 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4

(24) Kei Nishikori bt. (15) Nick Kyrgios: 6-1, 7-6(3), 6-4

Jiri Vesely bt. (19) Fabio Fognini: 7-6(4), 3-6, 6-3, 6-2

                

Women's Singles

Su-Wei Hsieh bt. (1) Simona Halep: 3-6, 6-4, 7-5

(11) Angelique Kerber bt. (18) Naomi Osaka: 6-2, 6-4

(12) Jelena Ostapenko bt. Vitalia Diatchnko: 6-0, 6-4

(14) Daria Kasatkina bt. (17) Ashleigh Barty: 7-5, 6-3

Dominika Cibulkova bt. (15) Elise Mertens: 6-2, 6-2

Aliaksandra Sasnovich bt. (26) Daria Gavrilova: 6-3, 6-1

Belinda Bencic bt. (27) Carla Suarez Navarro: 6-1, 7-6(3)

Alison Van Uytvanck bt. (28) Anett Kontaveit: 6-2, 6-3

            

For the results in full visit the Wimbledon website.

                

Saturday Recap

Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro returns to France's Benoit Paire in their men's singles third round match on the sixth day of the 2018 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 7, 2018. (Photo by
DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/Getty Images

Del Potro has looked in imperious form in the early stages of the tournament, although his encounter with the unorthodox Paire was the fifth seed's biggest test so far.

In the first two sets, he dealt with the challenge of the Frenchman well, edging the first 6-4 and then the second in a tiebreak, with Paire finding the Argentinian's massive serve tough to cope with.

As Jose Morgado noted, Paire was far from pleased with the way the chair umpire was officiating the contest:

José Morgado @josemorgado

Paire. "What are you doing? You never overrule. It's on the line". Just another day in Bernardes' life.

Del Potro raced into a 3-0 lead in the third, although his opponent showed there was still some fight left in him, getting back on level terms in the stanza. Yet in the end, the former U.S. Open champion proved too good for his rival, as he broke to go 5-3 up and served out the contest.

Nadal cruised past De Minaur with the type of efficient performance that should pay dividends as he attempts to make a deep run in the second week.

The 32-year-old Spaniard won 77 percent of points on his first serve, 72 percent on his second serve and nearly half (44 percent) in his return games. He completed the win in just over two hours, a pleasant sight for a star who's never afraid to grind out victories when needed.

He even showcased a little flair, as Wimbledon showcased:

Wimbledon @Wimbledon

The tweener lob, executed with perfection by @RafaelNadal... @HSBC_Sport Play of the Day is outrageous 😮 https://t.co/G48cMnI0c0

Nadal will face Vesely in the fourth round.

Meanwhile, Halep's exit came as a shock. Not only is she coming off the French Open triumph, but she played well through two rounds at the All England Club.

Her performance dropped off Saturday. She had four double faults and won just 41 percent of her second-serve points,giving Hsieh too many chances at breaks and the Taiwanese veteran took advantage, converting seven of her 12 break points.

Live Tennis noted the lack of top seeds left in the women's draw with Halep out:

Live Tennis @livetennis

1 Halep ❌ 2 Wozniacki ❌ 3 Muguruza ❌ 4 Stephens ❌ 5 Svitolina ❌ 6 Garcia ❌ 7 Pliskova ✅ 8 Kvitova ❌ 9 V. Williams ❌ 10 Keys ❌ Just one women's Top 10 seed remains going into the second week at Wimbledon!

That's terrific news for Serena Williams, who was granted the No. 25 seed in her return to Wimbledon after giving birth to her daughter last September. She's emerged as the favorite to win an eighth title in the event with so many big names already eliminated.

🚨 SPORTS NEWS ➡️ YOUR INBOX

The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.