July 7, 2018 / 2:50 PM / 4 months ago

Young hopefuls Ostapenko, Kasatkina carry flag for seeds

Tennis - Wimbledon - All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain - July 5, 2018 Latvia's Jelena Ostapenko celebrates winning her second round match against Belgium's Kirsten Flipkens REUTERS/Andrew Boyers

LONDON (Reuters) - East European 21-year-olds Jelena Ostapenko and Daria Kasatkina carried the flag for the Wimbledon seeds with straight-set victories on Court Three that took them through to the fourth round on Saturday.

Twelfth seed Ostapenko, already a Grand Slam winner at the French Open in 2017 but who was upset in the opening round as holder at Roland Garros this year, beat Russian Vitalia Diatchenko 6-0 6-4 to stay on course to better her quarter-final place last year.

Kasatkina, the number 14 who reached the French Open quarter-finals, won a tighter battle between seeds when she overcame Australian Ashleigh Barty (17) 7-5 6-3 for her best performance so far at Wimbledon.

The draw opened up for these young pretenders when only two of the top eight women’s seeds reached the third round, a record in the Open era.

Number one Simona Halep joined the beaten seeds on Saturday, leaving number seven Karolina Pliskova as the highest remaining seed in the first week of the tournament.

Reporting by Rex Gowar; editing by Clare Lovell

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