Wimbledon: Pliskova and Kerber survive seed cull as Williams threatens

Angelique Kerber celebrates her win against Naomi Osaka on day six of the Wimbledon Championships. At seed 11, she is the second highest seed left in the tournament. (Picture: PA)
Angelique Kerber celebrates her win against Naomi Osaka on day six of the Wimbledon Championships. At seed 11, she is the second highest seed left in the tournament. (Picture: PA)
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Karolina Pliskova admits to feeling the pressure of being the only top 10 seed left going into the second week of Wimbledon.

The women’s top players were decimated in the first week, with only seven of the 32 seeds remaining in the draw.

The likes of Simona Halep, Caroline Wozniacki, Garbine Muguruza, Sloane Stephens, Elina Svitolina and Venus Williams were all dumped out in the first three rounds, making it one of the most open women’s draws in recent memory.

Pliskova at seven is the highest seed left in the tournament, and even she nearly went home as she trailed by a set and a break in her win over Mihaela Burzarnescu on Friday.

“It’s important to me that I’m in the draw,” said the Czech, who plays Kiki Bertens in the next round today. “Even though they are not seeded, I think all the players are pretty strong and playing very good tennis.

“They wouldn’t be there without playing a good level here.

“I think it’s very lucky that of all of the top 10, only I am in.”

Amid all the seeds dropping, Serena Williams has been going quietly about her business and building some momentum.

Williams is on the comeback trail after giving birth and a recent injury, which saw her pull out of the French Open ahead of the fourth round.

If Pliskova is feeling the pressure, then Williams is enjoying playing with freedom ahead of her clash with Evgeniya Rodina.

“There’s only a handful of people that can say that they don’t have to do anything else in their career,” she said.

“Honestly, most people can say that because every day that we’re out here and we’re healthy, doesn’t matter if you won or if you didn’t, what we do for a living is a real blessing.”

One of the biggest beneficiaries of the seeds falling could be, ironically, Dominika Cibulkova. The Slovakian would have been ranked 32nd had Wimbledon not given Serena Williams a seed, which bumped her down the list. Cibulkova disagreed with the decision and has let her tennis do the talking, knocking out Johanna Konta and 15th seed Elise Mertens.

Eleventh seed Angelique Kerber beat Naomi Osaka.