Tennis ace Philipp Kohlschreiber has become the fourth German to reach the last 16 of Wimbledon. It's Germany's best showing at the All England Club since 1995, back in the country's golden tennis era.
By beating the tall Czech Lukas Rosol in straight sets on Saturday, Kohlscreiber has joined fellow Germans Florian Mayer, Angelique Kerber and Sabine Lisicki in the last 16 of the prestigious tennis tournament in London. The last time four Germans made it this far in the Wimbledon singles draw was in 1995, during the "golden era" of winners such as Steffi Graf, Boris Becker and Michael Stich.
Kohlschreiber, who is almost neck and neck with Mayer in the men's rankings, won Sunday's game 6-2, 6-3, 7-6 (8-6 in the tiebreaker), securing the victory on his fourth match point. His opponent, Rosol, had ousted the Spanish superstar Rafael Nadal in the previous round.
"From start to finish, that was an almost perfect match," Kohlscreiber said after the win. "And if I can carry that through to the quarterfinals, of course it would be inhumanly awesome!"
The 28-year-old from Augsburg faces US qualifier Brian Baker in the fourth round, a draw that is favorable at this late stage in a major open tournament.
"It's a fantastic chance if you reach the last 16 and are not facing Roger Federer, Nadal or Andy Murray - one of the big boys," said Kohlschreiber, the No. 27 seed, referring to three of the four established powers at the top of the men's game.
Three more German hopes
After defeating Poland's Jerzy Janowicz, Mayer, seeded No. 31, faces France's Richard Gasquet, the 18th seed.
Germany's best chances on the fabled grass courts, however, are arguably in the women's competition. The drawback is that both the German hopefuls have to find their way past players once ranked No. 1 in the world.
No. 8 seed Angelique Kerber is up against Belgium's Kim Clijsters in the last 16. Clijsters is set to retire for the second time later this year, and is still seeking her first Wimbledon title.
Sabine Lisicki is looking to reach the final four at Wimbledon for the second year in a row. To get there, however, the 15th seed has to find a way past top-seeded Russian and world No. 1 Maria Sharapova, who eliminated Lisicki in the semis last year.
Julia Görges on Saturday failed to make it a German quintet in the fourth round, losing in three sets to the Serb Ana Ivanovic.
The last German player to win Wimbledon was Steffi Graf in 1996. She won Wimbledon a staggering seven times. Michael Stich won the last men's title in 1991, not long after Boris Becker's hat trick on the grass courts in the '80s.
msh/mkg (dpa, SID)