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Wimbledon day four: Angelique Kerber through but Karolina Pliskova falls short

Germany's Angelique Kerber made it safely through but third seed Karolina Pliskova suffered a shock defeat. On the men's side, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic delivered straight sets wins at the All England Club.

Angelique Kerber took a step closer to a first Wimbledon title as she eased into the third round with a 7-5, 7-5 win over Kirsten Flipkens on Thursday.

The German was beaten by Serena Williams in last year's final and with the American star sidelined while she prepares to give birth, the world number one hopes to fill the power vacuum at the All England Club.

After winning the Australian and US Opens last year, Kerber has endured a miserable time in 2017, culminating in an embarrassing French Open first round loss to Ekaterina Makarova last month.

But the 29-year-old's chances of adding the Wimbledon title to her trophy cabinet improved signficantly over the last 24 hours as third seed Karolina Pliskova and two-time champion Petra Kvitova were eliminated.

Pliskova sent packing

The women's event was thrown wide open when third seed Karolina Pliskova suffered a shock defeat by world number 108 Magdalena Rybarikova.

Rybarikova won 3-6, 7-5, 6-2 on Centre Court, earning the Slovakian a last 32 clash with Ukraine's Lesia Tsurenko.

"For me, the tournament is over. So whatever happens happens. I'm not going to pray for somebody losing or winning. That's not my thing," said Pliskova who has yet to get beyond the second round at the All England Club.

Federer and Djokovic glide through

Wimbledon - Novak Djokovic (Getty Images/M. Steele)

Novak Djokovic lived up to his second seeding as he mowed down 136th-ranked Adam Pavlasek.

Seven-time champion Roger Federer showed his class on the grass to cruise past Serbian Dusan Lajovic, producing a runaway 7-6 (7-0), 6-3, 6-2 win into the third round.

The Swiss third seed who is aiming for the record books as he goes for a 19th grand slam title, lost the first six points of the match and his first service game before establishing his deadly rhythm.

The 35-year-old took command with a 7-0 tiebreak sweep and then had his way throughout in the Centre Court showpiece.

"I struggled to find the right rhythm at the start of the game but never panicked," Federer said. "I knew that I had time to find my marks.

"As I hoped, I managed to free myself, play more inspired. I then played a very good match."

Novak Djokovic lived up to his second seeding as he mowed down 136th-ranked Adam Pavlasek 6-2, 6-2, 6-1.

The Serbian former world number one, who ruled tennis for two seasons before his results started tailing off 13 months ago, seems to be continuing the comeback form which saw him win in Eastbourne last weekend.

Djokovic notched his 235th grand slam win against the outclassed Pavlasek, leaving the Serb second on the all-time match-win list ahead of Jimmy Connors (233).  

"I'm already enjoying the [comeback] process very much. especially in the last couple of months, Djokovic said, "Even though maybe results haven't been up to the standard that I have had in the last seven, eight years."

In contrast, German Mischa Zverev worked for more than three hours to complete a marathon defeat of Mikhail Kukushkin 6-1, 6-2, 2-6, 3-6, 6-4. Zverev's brother Alexander is also through after a straight sets win over American Frances Tiafoe.

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