China's Zhang Shuai returns to France's Caroline Garcia during their women's singles third round match on day five of the Wimbledon tennis championships in London on July 1, 2022. (KRISTY WIGGLESWORTH / AP)
LONDON - China's top-ranked player Zhang Shuai was defeated 7-6 (3), 7-6 (5) by France's Caroline Garcia here on Friday, putting an end to her singles journey at the Wimbledon Championships.
Zhang Shuai took an early 2-0 lead in her third round singles match, but Caroline Garcia quickly overturned the court by winning three straight games and maintained her momentum to win the first set tiebreak
On the same day, China's Han Xinyun and Zhu Lin were eliminated in the women's doubles second round, while their fellow Chinese Yang Zhaoxuan suffered a first-round exit with her mixed doubles partner Santiago Gonzalez of Mexico.
Han and Zhu lost 6-1, 6-4 to the combination of American Asia Muhammad and Japanese Ena Shibahara, and Gonzalez and Yang were beaten 6-2, 7-5 by Matwe Middelkoop from the Netherlands and Ellen Perez from Australia.
Zhang Shuai took an early 2-0 lead in her third round singles match, but Garcia quickly overturned the court by winning three straight games and maintained her momentum to win the first set tiebreak.
In the second set, the two players held serve for the first twelve games, but in the deciding one, Garcia seized the opportunity and won the tiebreak 7-5.
"We provided Wimbledon with a brilliant match. I gave it my all, but today's opponent is the better one, and she deserves the victory in the end," Zhang commented after the match.
Zhang Shuai (left)/Elise Mertens react during the women's doubles first round match between Zhang Shuai (China)/Elise Mertens (Belgium) and Anna Bondar (Hungary)/Greet Minnen (Belgium) at Wimbledon Tennis Championship in London, Britain, on June 30, 2022. (PHOTO / XINHUA)
Despite the defeat on singles court, Zhang Shuai will continue her campaign at this year's grass-court Grand Slam in doubles events. On Saturday, she will compete in the women's doubles second round alongside with Elise Mertens and the mixed doubles opening round with Nicolas Mahut
With the victory, Garcia extended her winning streak on grass to eight matches and reached the women's singles last 16 of Wimbledon after five years.
"This girl is just fantastic. Thank you for being who you are and bringing your positive energy to our tour," Garcia praised Zhang on her social media.
Despite the defeat on singles court, Zhang Shuai will continue her campaign at this year's grass-court Grand Slam in doubles events. On Saturday, she will compete in the women's doubles second round alongside with Elise Mertens and the mixed doubles opening round with Nicolas Mahut.
In the men's singles third round, defending champion Novak Djokovic defeated Serbian compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic 6-0, 6-3, 6-4 in an hour and 53 minutes.
After this game, Djokovic reached the last 16 of Wimbledon for the 14th time and achieved his 330th Grand Slam victory.
"I expect high standards from myself. You always want to raise the level and things are shaping up well," the top-seeded player said.
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Djokovic will meet Dutch wild card Tim van Rijthoven in the next round.
Also on Saturday, Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz swept past Germany's Oscar Otte to reach the fourth round of Wimbledon for his first time, and he will face 10th seed Jannik Sinner.
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