Shelby Rogers puts up strong fight at Wimbledon

Charleston touring pro scores two victories and an impressive performance

Charleston resident Shelby Rogers picked up the first two Wimbledon victories of her career. But it was the victory that eluded her that had the tennis world talking.

Rogers, World No. 70, fared well in this year’s event, which began July 3 and concludes Sunday on what is arguably tennis’ most hallowed ground, the All-England Tennis Club. She posted impressive victories in the first two rounds and then battled World No. 1 Angelique Kerber in a match that would send the winner into the fourth round, a day titled “Manic Monday.”

Rogers, who grew up on Daniel Island and spent time training at the Family Circle Tennis Center, came out and played aggressive tennis, using powerful serves and groundstrokes to keep Kerber moving all over the court. She took the first set 6-4 and then had the German on the brink. But Rogers couldn’t hold on – or keep the momentum going.

She broke Kerber in the third game of the second set and grabbed a 4-2 lead.

But Kerber saved a break point that would have allowed Rogers to serve for the match. The German showed talent, poise and grit to hold off the American.

She rallied to take a 5-4 lead in the second set and won a 7-2 tiebreaker to send the match to a third set.

Kerber was in control after that, winning the third set 6-4 to remain alive and advance.

“She played very well from the first point,” Kerber said of Rogers in a post-match press conference. “She was hitting the balls very hard. I was just trying to finding at the end my rhythm. In the second set I was starting to feeling the ball better and better. I think the key was at the end that I was fighting, and I was never giving up at the end, doesn’t matter how the score was.”

Rogers’ first Wimbledon victory came against fellow American American Julia Boserup, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 in first-round action.

Rogers then upset Czech Lucie Safarova, 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-3, in the second round.

This was Rogers’ third Wimbledon appearance since turning professional in 2009. She lost in the first rounds in both 2015 and ’16.

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