June 30, 2014 / 12:06 PM / 5 years ago

Safarova first player through to Wimbledon quarter-finals

Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic hits a return to Dominikia Cibulkova of Slovakia during their women's singles tennis match at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, in London June 27, 2014. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

LONDON (Reuters) - Lucie Safarova became the first player to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals on Monday when she walloped 175th ranked qualifier Tereza Smitkova 6-0 6-2 in an all-Czech showdown.

For the first time in the professional era, four women from the Czech Republic reached the last 16 of a grand slam and Safarova could be joined in the last eight by compatriots Barbora Zahlavova Strycova and 2011 champion Petra Kvitova, who are in fourth round action later on Monday.

Safarova, seeded 23rd, needed just 48 minutes to end Smitkova’s bid to become the lowest-ranked woman to reach the quarter-finals.

She will next meet either Polish fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska or Ekaterina Makarova of Russia for a place in the semi-finals.

Reporting by Pritha Sarkar; Editing by John O'Brien

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