<
>

Venus Williams, Madison Keys fall at Wimbledon; Serena Williams advances

play
Venus fails to advance to fourth round at Wimbledon (0:52)

No. 9 Venus Williams loses in three sets to No. 20 Kiki Bertens in the third round. (0:52)

LONDON -- Five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams could not pull off a third consecutive comeback, instead joining the parade of top-10 seeds on the way out of the Grand Slam tournament.

No. 9 seed Williams lost to No. 20 Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands 6-2, 6-7 (5), 8-6 in the third round on Friday.

In each of her first two matches this week, Williams dropped the opening set before eventually winning in three. She couldn't do the same this time.

"Just ran out of time in the end," Williams said. "She played really well. You have to win the last point, and I didn't succeed in that today."

The 38-year-old American -- last year's runner-up at Wimbledon -- was the oldest entrant in the women's singles field.

Her exit, coupled with the loss earlier Friday by No. 10 Madison Keys, means eight of the top 10 seeded women are gone before the fourth round at the All England Club -- a first in the Open Era.

The only past Wimbledon champion remaining in the field? That would be Serena Williams, the 23-time Grand Slam titleholder, who fought off unseeded Kristina Mladenovic of France 7-5, 7-6 (2).

Serena, who is seeded 25th, had 13 aces en route to her 89th career match at Wimbledon, which ties her older sister for third at the All England Club in the Open Era. She also won her 18th consecutive match on grass courts dating to 2015 -- the second-longest streak of her career (20 from 2002 to 2004).

Seven of Williams' 23 Grand Slam singles titles have come at the All England Club, including the past two times she played in the grass-court tournament, in 2015 and 2016. She sat out Wimbledon last year while pregnant.

Williams and Evgeniya Rodina are the only remaining mothers of the six who had entered this event -- and they will face each other in the fourth round Monday.

"Serena is my idol," Rodina said. "So it will be great to play against her."

Rodina, a 120th-ranked Russian qualifier, upset Keys 7-5, 5-7, 6-4. The American fought back from a set and two breaks down only to falter near the end.

In a match full of big swings, Keys led 5-2 in the first set before Rodina won the next nine games to go 4-0 up in the second. But Keys won the next five games and broke again to level the set score. She then broke back to level the third set at 4-4, but Rodina immediately earned another break and served out the victory.

Keys admitted she was thinking ahead to facing Serena Williams while battling Rodina when she was leading in the first set.

"Honestly, I think today was a massive mishandle of nerves," Keys said. "I felt my mind go and move on. I don't think I did a good job of keeping in the moment and playing the person who was in front of me."

That was Rodina, a 29-year-old Russian who entered the day never having made it to the fourth round at any Grand Slam tournament, with a career tour-level winning percentage of .408 and an 0-15 record against anyone ranked in the top 20.

"Of course, I am surprised a little bit," Rodina said afterward, "because I won."

Karolina Pliskova came back from the brink of defeat to reach the fourth round for the first time with a 3-6, 7-6 (3), 6-1 victory over Romanian Mihaela Buzarnescu.

Having been a set and a break down, the seventh-seeded Czech lifted her game and took advantage of a spate of errors from her 29th-seeded opponent to turn the match around.

Pliskova is one of the two top-10 players left in the draw, with top-seeded Simona Halep in third-round action on Saturday.

Making her seventh appearance at the All England Club, 2016 U.S. Open runner-up Pliskova was playing in the third round for the first time and in her fourth-round debut will face 20th-seeded Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands.

Ekaterina Makarova of Russia also reached the fourth round, following up her victory over second-seeded Caroline Wozniacki with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 win over former semifinalist Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic.

Makarova, who has reached the round of 16 at the All England Club for the third time, next will face Italy's Camila Giorgi, who advanced after saving a match point while beating Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic 3-6, 7-6 (6), 6-2.

The 52nd-ranked Giorgi produced a backhand winner at 4-5, 30-40 in the second set, then won a tiebreaker to force a deciding set. Having made 18 unforced errors in each of the first two sets, Giorgi tightened up her game to make just eight in the third and advance to the last 16 at Wimbledon for the first time since 2012.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.