Only one former champion and one top 10 seed have made the fourth round of the women’s singles at Wimbledon.
Serena Williams and seventh-seeded Czech Karolina Pliskova both won on Friday to avoid this year’s surprising cull of favourites.
Seven-times champion Williams rallied from 5-3 down in the second set to put away France’s Kristina Mladenovic 7-5 7-6 (7-2).
The American 25th seed moved into the second week without dropping a set and will next face Russian qualifier Evgeniya Rodina.
“This is only my second serious tournament back,” Williams, who is returning from a maternity leave, said.
“I worked really, really hard (to get back playing) and it’s been a long, arduous road but I always expected to come out and do the best I can do.”
Pliskova avoided the cull by beating Romania’s Mihaela Buzarnescu 3-6 7-6 (7-3) 6-1 later in the afternoon.
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Once the Czech survived a second-set tiebreak, she raced through the decider to make it through to the second week for the first time in seven attempts.
Pliskova is now the only top-10 women’s seed through to the second week, with eight others eliminated, and world No.1 Simona Halep looking to join her when she plays Taiwan’s Su-Wei Hsieh on Saturday.
Since tennis turned professional in 1968, this is the worst showing at Wimbledon by the women’s seeds.
Pliskova’s opponent in the next round, Kiki Bertens, will be brimming confidence after knocking out five-times champion and ninth seed Venus Williams.
The American veteran couldn’t complete a third consecutive comeback this week with the Dutch 20th seed Bertens prevailing 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 8-6.
“Just ran out of time in the end,” Williams said afterwards. ”She played really well. You have to win the last point, and I didn’t succeed in that today.”
Williams is the fourth former women’s champion to get knocked out, joining Maria Sharapova, Petra Kvitova and last year’s winner Garbine Muguruza.
Earlier in the day, US Open finalist Madison Keys struggled to find her rhythm in a 7-5 5-7 6-4 defeat to Russian qualifier Rodina.
French Open semi-finalist Keys struggled for most of the match as she committed 48 unforced errors in a disappointing display.
Meanwhile, 13th seed Julia Goerges, Donna Vekic, Ekaterina Makarova, Camila Giorgi all progressed to the fourth round.