Halep knocked out at Wimbledon, Nadal advances
LONDON — Top-ranked Simona Halep couldn’t capitalize on her chances and was knocked out by Hsieh Su-Wei of Taiwan at Wimbledon on Saturday, losing 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 in the third round.
Halep served for the match at 5-3 in the final set and had a match point in the next game, but the French Open champion faltered both times. The 48th-ranked Hsieh saved the match point with a backhand winner before holding for 5-5 and broke Halep in the next game. The Romanian then had two more break points at 6-5 but couldn’t take advantage.
The top-seeded Halep’s exit means only one of the women’s top-10 seeds remains in the tournament — No. 7 Karolina Pliskova — and leaves Serena Williams as the big favorite to win her eighth Wimbledon title.
Rafael Nadal had no such problems, and guaranteed he will stay No. 1 in the men’s rankings after Wimbledon as he reached the fourth round with a 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 victory over 19-year-old Australian Alex de Minaur.
Nadal hasn’t dropped a set so far in the tournament. Against de Minaur, he faced only three break points and saved them all, while producing nearly twice as many winners, 30-17.
This is Nadal’s eighth trip to the round of 16 at the All England Club, where he has won two of his 17 Grand Slam titles. A year ago, the Spaniard lost at that stage.
He and Roger Federer have swapped the No. 1 ranking a half-dozen times this season, the most since there were eight changes in 1999.
Fifth-seeded Juan Martin del Potro and former finalist Milos Raonic also advanced.
Del Potro overcame a hot-tempered display from Benoit Paire to win 6-4, 7-6 (4), 6-3. Paire slammed his racket and shouted loudly at the chair umpire and at himself after losing the second set, and his antics had del Potro shaking his head in return. The Argentine, who had crossed the net to help Paire back on his feet after a fall during the second set, still took a 3-0 lead in the third before the Frenchman fought back to level it at 3-3.
The match was then interrupted for about 10 minutes with Paire facing another break point at 4-3 while medical staff treated a spectator who had fainted in the heat. When play resumed, Paire saved that point with a service winner but was eventually broken when he netted a backhand, allowing del Potro to serve out the match.
Raonic reached Wimbledon’s fourth round for the third consecutive year by finishing off a 7-6 (5), 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 victory over 171st-ranked qualifier Dennis Novak of Austria in a match suspended because of fading light the night before.
Play was halted with Novak about to serve while trailing 6-5 in the third set, and Raonic got off to a perfect start when they resumed Saturday by breaking to take that set.
The 13th-seeded Canadian was the runner-up at the All England Club in 2016, losing to Andy Murray in the final. Raonic lost to eventual champion Roger Federer in last year’s quarterfinals.
On Monday, Raonic will face 103rd-ranked Mackenzie McDonald of the United States for a quarterfinal berth.