Hubert Hurkacz downs No. 2 seed Medvedev to secure 1st Grand Slam quarter-final berth

An overnight break helped No. 14-seeded Hubert Hurkacz of Poland rally past No. 2 Daniil Medvedev to earn the last quarter-final berth at Wimbledon.

Hurkacz won 2-6, 7-6 (2), 3-6, 6-3, 6-3. The players were on serve in the fourth set when the match was suspended Monday night because of rain.

The versatile Hurkacz won 50 points at the net, including 10 when playing serve and volley.

Hurkacz’s first Grand Slam quarter-final will come against Roger Federer, his idol and 20-time major champion, on Wednesday.

“Roger, what he does, the way he plays, the titles he has won — he has inspired so many people,” said Hurkacz, a 24-year-old from Poland. “It’s going to be fun. I’ll be hoping to get a little bit of support.”

Meanwhile, Karolina Pliskova’s tennis success is predicated on a big serve, which rewards her with plenty of easy points and can get her out of trouble when needed.

Thanks largely to that stroke, she is headed to the Wimbledon semifinals for the first time.

‘I’m improving with every match’

Pliskova claimed 24 of 26 points on her serve in one stretch, hit eight aces and saved the only three break chances she faced on the way to a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Viktorija Golubic on Tuesday at the All England Club.

“I feel like I’m improving with every match. … Everything today was working quite well,” said Pliskova, the 2016 U.S. Open runner-up and a former No. 1-ranked player. “I just feel my game is good the last two weeks, even in the practices.”

She averaged 106.5 miles per hour on her first serves, 20.5 mph faster than Golubic, with the retractable roof at No. 1 Court shut because of rain.

The crowd there, and at Centre Court, could be at full capacity Tuesday for the first time during the tournament after COVID-19 restrictions placed a 50 per cent cap on attendance when the fortnight began.

Pliskova has been broken only three times through five matches so far and she has not dropped a set. She also hasn’t played anyone ranked better than 47th yet but will meet No. 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka for a berth in the final.

Sabalenka, who has won more matches this year than anyone else in women’s tennis, used her attacking style to beat No. 21 Ons Jabeur 6-4, 6-3 on Tuesday.

Playing in her first major quarter-final, Sabalenka was aggressive with her strokes and court position but still had more winners than unforced errors. Until this year, she had never advanced beyond the second round at Wimbledon.

The other women’s quarter-finals, scheduled for later Tuesday, were No. 1 Ash Barty vs. Ajla Tomljanovic, and 2018 champion Angelique Kerber vs. No. 19 Karolina Muchova.

This is the first time in the Open era, which began in 1968, that there were six first-time women’s quarterfinalists at the All England Club. That group included both the eighth-seeded Pliskova, a 29-year-old from the Czech Republic, and the unseeded Golubic, a 28-year-old from Switzerland.

WATCH l Auger-Aliassime downs Zverev in upset 5-set victory:

Felix Auger-Aliassime blew a two-set lead and then endured a rain delay to power back and reach his first Grand Slam quarter-final. 5:03