Venus forges rematch vs. Pironkova; Wozniacki advances, Roddick falls
Former no. 1 Venus Williams, who struggled to beat Japanese veteran Kimiko Date-Krum in the second round, dismantled her third-round Spanish foe in just over 60 minutes, 6-0, 6-2. It set up a rematch between five-time champion Williams versus Tsvetana Pironkova, who ousted her in last years quarterfinals.
Wimbledon, United Kingdom
June 25, 2011 05:11 am EDT
After a tough three-sets test in the second round, a different Venus Williams showed up Friday blitzing past Spaniard Maria Jose Martinez-Sanchez in straight sets to advance at the All England Club.
Williams, who struggled to beat Japanese veteran Kimiko Date-Krum in the previous round that lasted about three hours, crushed her Spanish foe in just over 60 minutes, 6-0, 6-2.
With the win, Williams, bidding for a sixth Wimbledon title, forged a rematch against Tsvetana Pironkova, who eliminated her last year in the quarterfinals.
The 32nd-seeded Bulgarian advanced after stunning second-seeded Russian Vera Zvonareva in their third round bout, 6-2, 6-3.
Fourth-seeded Victoria Azarenka of Belarus moved through the second phase following a 6-3, 3-6, 2-1 triumph of Slovakian Daniela Hantuchova (No. 25). Azarenka will next play unseeded Russian Nadia Petrov, a two-time Wimbledon quarterfinalist, in the round of 16.
Eighth-seeded Czech Petra Kvitova, a semifinalist last year at the All England Club, also advanced after trouncing Italian Roberta Vinci (29) in straight sets. In the fourth round, Kvitova will meet 19th-seeded Belgian Yanina Wickmayer, who vanquished two-time Grand Slam champ Svetlana Kuznetsova Friday.
Meanwhile, second-round play that that were pushed back from Thursday were completed Friday, and top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki and former champion Maria Sharapova highlighted winners.
The top-seeded Wozniacki, who is making another stab at her first Grand Slam title, blasted French veteran Virginie Razzano in 6-1, 6-3 fashion, while the fifth-seeded Sharapova prevailed over a tough test against British teen Laura Robson to claim a 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 triumph.
The other second-round winners Friday were ninth-seeded Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli, a 2007 Wimbledon finalist, and China’s Peng Shuai (No. 20).
In the men’s draw, world no. 4 and heavy crowd favorite Andy Murray brushed aside some shaky moments to oust Croatia's Ivan Ljubicic, while former No. 1 American Andy Roddick became the highest casualty in the third round at All England Club Friday.
The fourth-seeded Murray, who is looking to become the first British men’s champion since 1936, punched a fourth-round berth after notching a 6-4, 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7-4) victory over Ljubicic.
Up next for the world No. 4 British star is French 17th seed Richard Gasquet.
Meanwhile, three-time Wimbledon runner-up Roddick, seeded eighth here, failed to find his potent form against a determined Spanish slugger Feliciano Lopez, who went on to oust the American superstar via a 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (7-2), 6-4 victory.
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