Wimbledon 2024: Alexander Zverev overcomes fall, knocks out Norrie; Shelton survives Shapovalov test

London, July 6 (IANS) Alexander Zverev took a nasty tumble midway through the second set of his match against Cameron Norrie but recovered to defeat the home hope in straight sets while Ben Shelton survived his third five-setter of the fortnight to reach the fourth round at The Wimbledon on Saturday. Zverev tweaked his left knee and twice required treatment on Centre Court, but steadied to see off the British No. 2 6-4, 6-4, 7-6(15) following a marathon tie-break.
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Wimbledon 2024: Alexander Zverev overcomes fall, knocks out Norrie; Shelton survives Shapovalov test

London, July 6 (IANS) Alexander Zverev took a nasty tumble midway through the second set of his match against Cameron Norrie but recovered to defeat the home hope in straight sets while Ben Shelton survived his third five-setter of the fortnight to reach the fourth round at The Wimbledon on Saturday. Zverev tweaked his left knee and twice required treatment on Centre Court, but steadied to see off the British No. 2 6-4, 6-4, 7-6(15) following a marathon tie-break.

The 14th seed Shelton battled past the 2021 Wimbledon semifinalist Denis Shapovalov 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 in three hours and four minutes to become the first left-handed American man to make the fourth round at SW19 since John McEnroe in 1992. The win helped Shelton advance this far in Wimbledon for the first time and set up a clash against top seed Jannik Sinner.

Zverev converted on his sixth match point of the tie-break after saving five set points. Just three points went against serve in the tie-break, but Zverev was perfect on his deal after he fell behind 0/2. While Zverev was concerned about his knee and appeared slightly hampered in his movement for a stretch, his consistently brilliant serving allowed him to swing freely on return and threaten throughout the two-and-a-half-hour match.

The No. 4 in the ATP Rankings won 90 per cent (66/73) of his first-serve points and did not face a break point while converting on two of his eight break chances. He relied heavily on his delivery to escape trouble in the crucial tie-break, saving several set points with unreturnable serves.

After improving to 6-0 in his ATP head-to-head series with Norrie — including a five-set win at this year's Australian Open — Zverev will next meet 13th seed Taylor Fritz or 24th seed Alejandro Tabilo. Zverev has yet to lose serve or surrender a set this fortnight, with his opening wins against Roberto Carballes Baena and Marcos Giron also coming in straight sets. He saved five break points against Carballes Baena but did not allow Giron a break chance in the second round.

The 27-year-old is the fourth German man in the Open Era to reach the fourth round at Wimbledon at least three times. He also reached the last 16 in 2017 and 2021 but has not advanced further at the All-England Club. Zverev has reached at least the semifinals at each of the other three majors.

Federer watches Shelton survive

Shelton did it with a familiar face in the stands. Eight-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer was at No. 1 Court to check out the action with his parents and longtime agent Tony Godsick. Federer’s agency, TEAM8, manages Shelton.

The American rallied from two sets to one down in his first two matches against Mattia Bellucci and Lloyd Harris, respectively. On Saturday, he led by two sets to one and ultimately completed his victory by surging through his 15th set of the tournament.

Shelton won the match by dominating the short points, winning the rallies of zero to four shots by a 131-107 margin. He won 81 per cent of his first-serve points and struck 38 winners to make the fourth round at a third major, having already accomplished the feat at the Australian Open (QF) and the US Open (SF).

Sinner advanced to the fourth round on Friday, while Shelton and Shapovalov were unable to complete a set before rain suspended play for the evening. The Italian leads the pair’s ATP head-to-head series 2-1. All three of their clashes have come within the past 10 months.

Shelton is now 6-2 in five-setters after clawing post Shapovalov. The Canadian, No. 136 in the PIF ATP Live Rankings, showed he is on his way back to the form that helped him crack the world's Top 10.

--IANS

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