Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The surprises keep coming

Italian clay specialists are showing their versatility at Wimbledon this year. Francesca Schiavone moved to the third round today, having defeated Michelle Larcher de Brito, 7-6, 7-6. She has already defeated Eastbourne semifinalist Aleksandra Wozniak. In the meantime, Barcelona champion Roberta Vinci showed the door to a talented young Russian, 31st seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

As of now, there is one British woman still standing at Wimbledon. Elena Baltacha has made it past only the first round, but she made it with a big win--she defeated Alona Bondarenko. Next for Baltacha is a match against Kirsten Flipkens.

Victoria Azarenka made a statement in her match against Iona Raluca Olaru, defeating her 6-0, 6-0 in the second round.

There were a few upsets. In addition to Vinci's victory over Pavlyuchenkova, Gisela Dulko defeated 24th seed Maria Sharapova. Daniela Hantuchova upset 16th seed and 2008 semifinalist Zheng Jie, and Regina Kulikova upset 27th seed Alisa Kleybanova.

Upcoming second round matches of interest include: Tathiana Garbin vs. Anabel Medina Garrigues (two players whose games I really enjoy), Venus Williams vs. Kateryna Bondarenko, and Iveta Benesova vs. Jelena Jankovic. Benesova is one of the best servers on the tour, and it's a pity her great serve isn't enough. It should give JJ plenty to think about, though.

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