A lot went on today at Wimbledon in the round of 16. It would have been nice if I could have seen most of it. As it is, I saw a little and heard a lot. The new roof was used, and 2006 champion Amelie Mauresmo became the first person to strike a ball under it. Her opponent, world number 1 Dinara Safina, became the first person to win under that roof, as she defeated Mauresmo 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. I am a fan of both players, but Mauresmo is my absolute favorite player, and when she went up 3-0 in the third set, I was thrilled. It didn't work out for her, though. When she left the court (I saw half of the match after the fact), she looked a bit stunned by the crowd's enormous response to her. It was touching. The Radio Wimbledon commentators indicated that this match was one of the best--if not the best--so far. Naturally, I couldn't see it.
Safina has never before gotten past the third round of Wimbledon, and now, here she is, in the quarterfinals. And in that round, she will face Sabine Lisicki, who upset 9th seed Caroline Wozniacki, 6-4, 6-4.
The other upset today was pulled off by Francesca Schiavone, who defeated 26th seed Virginie Razzano 6-2, 7-6. Schiavone's run is one of the standout stories at this year's Wimbledon. Not only has the Italian veteran faded from the top portion of the rankings--she is not a player you would expect to win big at Wimbledon. But she does have that slice, and--though known to fade away in finals--Schiavone is a fighter from way back.
Both Williams sisters easily advanced, though Venus's move to the quarterfinals involved a retirement by Ana Ivanovic. At the beginning of the second set (Williams won the first set, 6-1), Ivanovic sustained a painful groin injury and could not go on. Serena needed only 56 minutes to defeat Daniela Hantuchova in straight sets (6-3, 6-1), so the two biggest favorites to win the title get a nice rest.
Elena Dementieva (remember Elena Dementieva?) also won in straight sets. She defeated Elena Vesnina 6-1, 6-3. Victoria Azarenka needed three sets to defeat Nadia Petrova, which she accomplished with a score of 7-6, 2-6, 6-3 (despite double-faulting 10 times). And Melanie Oudin's outstanding Wimbledon run was stopped by Agnieszka Radwanska, who hit fewer winners than Oudin, but also made fewer unforced errors. She took the close match 6-4, 7-5.