Laura Robson became the first British woman in 15 years to reach the Wimbledon fourth round Saturday as journeymen Lukasz Kubot and Kenny De Schepper capitalised on the culling of All England Club seeds.
Robson came from a set and 3-5 down to defeat New Zealand’s Marina Erakovic, 1-6, 7-5, 6-3 and goes on to face either Alison Riske of the United States or Kaia Kanepi of Estonia, a former quarter-finalist.
Sam Smith, in 1998, was the last British woman to make the last 16.
Robson, currently ranked 38 in the world, will also move into the top 30 after the tournament, the first British woman to break that barrier since Jo Durie in April, 1987.
“I was getting my butt kicked in the first set,” said Robson.
“I was struggling to return her serve in the first set and Marina was playing really well.
“But I told myself just to keep working hard, she will get nervous and that’s what happened.”
Kubot, the 31-year-old world number 130, defeated French 25th seed Benoit Paire 6-1, 6-3, 6-4 to reach the last-16 for the second time and celebrated his achievement with an impromptu can-can on Court 18.
De Schepper, the 26-year-old world number 80, beat Argentine 22nd seed Juan Monaco, 6-4, 7-6 (10/8), 6-4 to book a last-16 spot at a major for the first time.
Kubot, who also made the fourth round in 2011, is the second Pole to reach the last-16 after 24th seed Jerzy Janowicz also booked his place on Friday.
Kubot next faces French world number 111 Adrian Mannarino who has made the last-16 at a major for the first time in 14 attempts.
Left-hander De Schepper will face experienced Fernando Verdasco in Monday’s fourth round after the Spanish former top 10 player, now at 54 in the world, cruised past temperamental Latvian Ernests Gulbis, 6-2, 6-4, 6-4.
Russian 20th seed Mikhail Youzhny, a quarter-finalist in 2012, defeated Serbia’s Viktor Troicki 6-3, 6-4, 7-5 and goes on to face British second seed Andy Murray.
In the top half, Czech seventh seed Tomas Berdych, the runner-up in 2010, claimed his ninth win in nine meetings with South Africa’s Kevin Anderson, coming through 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-5.
Berdych takes on unseeded Australian Bernard Tomic, a quarter-finalist in 2011, who put out French ninth seed, Richard Gasquet, 7-6 (9/7), 5-7, 7-5, 7-6 (7/5).
Meanwhile, Ivan Dodig of Croatia reached his first fourth round at Wimbledon when Dutchman Igor Sijsling quit trailing 6-0, 6-1, 1-0.
Sijsling’s withdrawal equalled the injury pullouts record of 13 from 2008.
Women’s 2011 champion Petra Kvitova, the eighth seed and highest ranked player in her half after the exits of Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka, reached the fourth round with a 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 defeat of Russian 25th seed Ekaterina Makarova.
Czech star Kvitova had trailed 1-2 in the final set when the tie was halted overnight but in sunny, fast conditions on Court One, she stormed past Makarova whose defeat means that for the first time in 13 years at any Grand Slam there are no Russian women in the last-16.
“I had still in my mind the match from yesterday so I didn’t sleep very well but I fought for every point and I won,” said Kvitova.
Later Saturday, top seeds and title favourites Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams aim to move into the fourth round.
World number one Djokovic takes on French 28th seed Jeremy Chardy who he has defeated six times in six meetings without dropping a set.
The Serb has yet to drop his serve at Wimbledon this year.
Defending women’s champion Williams and Japan’s Kimiko Date-Krumm, two players with a combined age of 73, will clash in a battle of Wimbledon senior citizens.
Williams is on a winning streak of 33 matches and is widely tipped to clinch a sixth Wimbledon title next weekend now that Sharapova and Azarenka are out.
Victory will also give the American her 600th tour victory.
Date-Krumm, 42, has reached the Wimbledon third round 17 years after she last did so to become oldest woman to achieve the feat.
Fourth seed and 2012 runner-up Agnieszka Radwanska meets highly-rated American, Madison Keys, while China’s sixth seed Li Na takes on Czech 32nd seed, Klara Zakopalova.
Also looking for fourth-round spots in the men’s singles is fourth-seeded Spaniard David Ferrer who plays Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov.Published 29 Jun 2013, 21:47 IST