LONDON — Five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams could not pull off a third consecutive comeback, instead joining the parade of top-10 seeds on the way out of the Grand Slam tournament on Friday.
No. 9 seed Williams lost to No. 20 Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands 6-2, 6-7 (5), 8-6 in the third round.
In each of her first two matches this week, Williams dropped the opening set before eventually winning in three. She couldn’t quite do the same this time.
Her exit, couplled with the loss earlier Friday by No. 10 Madison Keys, means eight of the top 10 seeded women are gone before the fourth round at the All England Club — a first in the Open Era.
The 38-year-old American, who was last year’s runner-up at Wimbledon, was the oldest entrant in the women’s singles field.
Serena won her 89th career match at Wimbledon, tying her older sister for third at the All England Club in the Open Era.
Keys fought back from a set and two breaks down only to falter near the end as she lost to Russian qualifier Evgeniya Rodina 7-5, 5-7, 6-4.
In a match full of big swings, the 10th-seeded Keys led 5-2 in the first set before the 120th-ranked Rodina won the next nine games to go 4-0 up in the second. But Keys won the next five games and broke again to level the set score. She then broke back to level the third set at 4-4, but Rodina immediately earned another break and served out the victory.
Rodina — one of two mothers left in the tournament — made the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time. She was 0-15 in her career against top-20-ranked opponents before Friday’s win.
Her next opponent is against Serena Williams, the other mother in the field.
Ekaterina Makarova of Russia also reached the fourth round, following up her victory over second-seeded Caroline Wozniacki with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 win over former semifinalist Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic.
Makarova, who has reached the round of 16 at the All England Club for the third time, will next face Italy’s Camila Giorgi, who advanced after saving a match point while beating Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic 3-6, 7-6 (6) 6-2.
The 52nd-ranked Giorgi produced a backhand winner at 4-5, 30-40 in the second set, then won a tiebreaker to force a deciding set. Having made 18 unforced errors in each of the first two sets, Giorgi tightened up her game to make just eight in the third and advance to the last 16 at Wimbledon for the first time since 2012.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.