Kerber elimination puts top-rank pressure back on Halep

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A wide-open women's draw at Wimbledon grew more stretched on 'Manic Monday', while a change of the world number one spot was guaranteed by Angelique Kerber's elimination.

Garbine Muguruza outlasted the top seed in a three-set epic, as Kerber's struggle to match her stellar 2016 goes on.

Simona Halep is one of two women who can capitalise, but the darling of SW19 Johanna Konta stands in her way.

Meanwhile, the absence of Serena Williams may have left this draw as anyone's to win. Could a resurgent Venus be the one to take control?

 

NUMBER ONE ALL DONE... 

Kerber's standing as world number one was rocky before she came to SW19 and the German will no longer rule women's tennis after next week after she was undone in three sets by Muguruza.

Defeat confirmed Kerber will be replaced by Karolina Pliskova or Halep in the number one ranking, however, last year's beaten finalist took solace from playing some of her best tennis of a stuttering year at the All-England Club.

"It was for sure the best match for a long time for me. I think I'm still in a good way," Kerber said.

"When I came here, I was telling myself, I was practicing good after Paris. For me, I'm still looking for the next months, next weeks. I think I'm again on a good way to playing tennis on a high level."

Muguruza will meet Svetlana Kuznetsova in the last eight, where many eyes will be on Halep's match with home favourite Konta...


TWO GOES THROUGH

Halep will take the number-one ranking with a win over the British sixth seed, but will put it to the back of her mind after failing to win the French Open final - when she was too a win away from top spot before losing to Jelena Ostapenko.

"I'm not thinking about that because I was in that situation one more time," she said. "So I feel that I have more experience and I hope I will not think that much during the match. I just want to go there and to win it."

Konta became the first British female to reach the quarter-finals at Wimbledon since 1984 and has been backed to go all the way by 1977 winner Virginia Wade.

"It's humbling that I have such champions thinking so highly of me," Konta said. "Again, there's a lot of work to be done between then and being in a position to be playing for the Wimbledon title.

"I haven't really looked that far forward. I'm unable to because right now my next battle is tomorrow, and I'm looking forward to that."


VENUS AND OSTAPENKO'S CLASH OF AGES

A five-time title winner on these famous courts, Williams backed up last year's semi-final run by making the last eight with a simple win over Ana Konjuh in just over an hour.

Her last two opponents have been aged 19, while Ostapenko, 20, is another young gun lying in wait.

Ostapenko saw seven match points go to waste before seeing off Elina Svitolina, but may have unintentionally laid down the gauntlet when admitting her favourite of the feted Williams sisters growing up was Serena.

Asked for her early memories of seeing Venus play, Ostapenko said: "I think I was watching more her sister's matches, because she was kind of my idol. Maybe I saw a couple of finals, she was playing the Grand Slams. Honestly, I don't remember that."


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