Again the ladies showed the gentlemen how to put on a show. Home talent Heather Watson (GBR) and returning former semi-finalist Victoria Azarenka (BLR) left it all on court in a 3 set battle of highs and lows. Watson stormed the first set 6-3, and in a closer fought second set than the score suggested, Azarenka took it 6-1. The final set was always going to be difficult for Watson with her relative inexperience at this stage. Watson serving at 3-3 had to endure 10 minutes of serving, being broken in the end. Azarenka showed some nerves as she served to consolidate the break and Watson broke straight back. The effort drained Watson of her focus and she was quickly facing break points at 4-4. As she settled to serve, the chair umpire gave her an unnecessary time violation, earning the umpire some rightful boos. It was too much for Watson and Azarenka broke again. This time Azarenka was serving for the match and though she served a double fault to start, her experience and belief saw her over the line. Final score 3-6 6-1 6-4. Azarenka will face most people’s favourite to win, 2nd seed Simona Halep (ROU) who continues into the fourth round without dropping a set against Shuai Peng (CHN) 6-4 7-6.
Britain’s 6th seed Johanna Konta (GBR) sailed through in straight sets against Maria Sakkari (GRE). The impressive display ended 6-4 6-1. She’ll now face 21st seed Caroline Garcia (FRA) who has come through the draw without dropping a set, beating Madison Brengle (USA) in straight sets 6-4 6-3.
In the battle of the hard hitting oddballs, French Open Champion and 13th seed Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) beat Camila Giorgi (ITA) who put out 17th seed Madison Keys (USA). She came back from behind twice to win 7-5 7-5. She’ll face 4th seed and possible champion Elina Svitolina (UKR) who breezed past Carina Witthoeft (GER) in straight sets 6-1 7-5.
The youngest player left in the draw, 19 year old 27th seed Ana Konjuh (CRO) advanced into the fourth round, beating notoriously competitive 8th seed Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) in a tough 3 sets 7-6 3-6 6-4. She’ll play 10th seed and 5 time champion Venus Williams (USA) after she saw off the 19 year old Naomi Osaka (JPN) in straight sets 7-6 6-4.