Croatia’s best female tennis player Petra Martić (WTA – 80) advanced to the 3rd round of Wimbledon for the fourth time in her career, defeating Slovak Kristina Kučová (WTA – 91) 7-6 (4), 6-3 after one hour and 42 minutes, reports Gol.hr.
For a spot in the round of 16, the 31-year-old will play against the 8th seed American Jessica Pegula (WTA – 9), who defeated Harriet Dart (WTA – 94) 4-6, 6-3, 6-1. In the first round, she was better than Donna Vekić in two sets.
Martić and Pegula will be scheduled for Saturday, and it will be their sixth mutual match. In the previous five, Martić achieved four victories, two of which were on hard courts and two on clay.
In the duel against 32-year-old Kučová, Martić showed a great deal of patience, and in the key moments of the match, Kučová’s mistakes came in handy.
Martić took a 3-1 lead in the first set, but lost the advantage she gained already in the next game. Along the way, she spent all three challenges checking the decisions of the referees. That, in the end, didn’t cost her.
The first set went to a tie-break in which the first six points were won by the tennis players on the serve. Martić came to the first advantage and took a 5-3 lead. She lost the next point and earned two set points with an excellent defense. She only needed one, as Kučová finished the set with her sixth double fault.
Such an outcome did not affect the fighting spirit of the Slovak player, who won the first two games in the second set. However, in the next four games, Martić left only three points to her rival and thus came to a key advantage.
When Kučová served at 3-5 to extend the match, Martić reached the match point at 30-40. She decided to wait for her opponent’s mistake. Two points later, the scenario was the same, but with a different ending – Kučová sent the ball into the net and ended the duel with 30 unforced errors.
Martić had two unforced errors less (28) but had a big advantage in direct points (33-20). Petra scored 10 aces, with three double faults, and had an excellent first-serve percentage of 85%. She took advantage of three of the six break points.
For more, make sure to check out our dedicated sports section.