Strycova stuns Li

Barbora Zahlavova Strycova shows her delight after causing an upset

Barbora Zahlavova Strycova shows her delight after causing an upset

First published in National Sport News © by

Barbora Zahlavova Strycova caused the biggest surprise at Wimbledon so far by sending second seed Li Na crashing out in the third round.

At the age of 28, Strycova has enlisted a sports psychologist in a late-career effort to bring a new dimension to her game, and the Czech produced a stunning effort to see off the reigning Australian Open champion.

She clinched a 7-6 (7/5) 7-6 (7/5) win against China's leading sportswoman, and sealed victory amid high drama on Court One.

Strycova, the entire crowd, a line judge and the umpire thought the match was over when Li sent a forehand apparently long after serving at 6-5 behind, but an appeal was launched and Hawk-Eye showed it had flicked the outside extremity of the baseline.

The extra life was spurned though, with 32-year-old Li double-faulting to ensure Strycova, having gone from the euphoria of celebrations to refocusing on the replayed point, did not need to hit another ball.

With the win finally beyond doubt, Strycova walked around the court, taking in the crowd's acclaim and yelling 'Come on!' before departing to another huge ovation.

Strycova will tackle Denmark's former world number one Caroline Wozniacki in the fourth round. For the 43rd-ranked Czech it will be a first appearance in the last 16 at Wimbledon in what is her 11th shot at success in the tournament.

"I'm very happy. I played a really good match and I enjoyed playing on Court One," she said.

"You have to believe in yourself and I did. I thought I could do it so I was pushing myself a lot and that's what happened."

The bizarre conclusion had Strycova initially puzzled.

"I didn't hear her challenge it," Strycova said. "I was so happy already that the match was over and suddenly she took the challenge and I had to get back to my concentration, but she did the double fault happily for me."

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