Saturday, June 30, 2012

Serena Williams wins 3rd round Wimbledon thriller

Serema Williams hit 23 aces in her third round Wimbledon match against Zheng Jie today, and it's a good thing she did, because the former Wimbledon champion needed every point she could find to fend off the grass-loving Zheng. Williams had to serve three times to stay in the match, and each time, she was up to the occasion. Zheng, of course, is a wonderful mover, and she made only 17 unforced errors in three sets of full-out, exciting play.

The match lasted two hours and 28 minutes, with the third set taking an hour and ten minutes to complete. Williams was taken to deuce in the final game, so the thrills never really let up. The 6th seed won the match 6-7, 6-2, 9-7, and was never broken. The service stats from this match are worth noting: Williams had first and second serve win percentages of 80 and 84; Zheng's were 75 and 50.

Williams' next task is to play Yaroslava "Solid Gold" Shvedova.

Serena Williams and her sister, Venus, are also still engaged in a second round doubles match that had to be suspended because of approaching darkness. 4th seeds Maria Kirilenko and Nadia Petrova took the first set, and the Williams sisters took the second.

Defending champion Petra Kvitova beat Varvara Lepchenko in just 53 minutes; Lepchenko won one game. Victoria Azarenka beat qualifier Jana Cepelova, and Ana Ivanovic beat Julia Goerges. 24th seed Francesca Schiavone brought out a really good second serve at defeated Klara Zakopalova 6-0, 6-4.

And then there was the Queen of Thrills, Tamira Paszek. Paszek beat Yanina Wickmayer 2-6, 7-6, 7-5. The match lasted two hours and 40 minutes (of course), and included 17 breaks of serve (including Wickmayer's for-the-match serve). How long can the Austrian keep this up? Her next opponent is Roberta Vinci, who defeated Mirjana Lucic 7-6, 7-6.

Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka won their second round doubles match by defeating Dominika Cibulkova and Daniela Hantuchova. Hsieh Su-Wei and Sabine Lisicki defeated Irina-Camelia Begu and Monica Niculescu, and the Radwanska sisters defeated (however it is they do it) Irina Falconi and Chanelle Scheepers. 

Defending champions Iveta Benesova and Jergen Melzer are out of mixed doubles competition. They were defeated 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 by Dominic Inglot and Laura Robson. Also upset in mixed doubles were French Open champions Sania Mirza and Mahesh Bhupati.

Tomorrow is middle Sunday, when no tennis is played at Wimbledon. This arrangement makes sense because, of course, there are never any rain interrruptions in London.


Eric said...

I wish Li na had Zheng jie's strong mental state...

Serenas return and forehand were terrible today. But it was refreshing to see her fight. Haven't seen that since Australia 2010

Anonymous said...

It's amazing to see how much a truly great serve can do for average or even below-average groundies.
Serena's virtues are the best serve in tennis, a fantastic will NOT to lose, ability to mishit, frame, push and somehow get those balls to land in, while displaying absoutely awful footwork, AND terrific speed to get to the ball. So, her footwork is terrific and awful, both.

Diane said...

Serena is her own kind of mystery, isn't she? She can look really awkward, but she has so many workarounds available. She made it hard for herself today, though on grass against Zheng, it's never really easy.

Steve from Tennis matches on DVD said...

A bit lucky by Serena. As usual her serve gets her out of trouble.

If Wimbledon had a tie break in the third set the result might have been different.

Karen said...

I tell you it must be comforting to know that every single time you step up to the line that weapon that you have honed since you were 3 years old will never let you down. It must also be quite pressuring for her opponents because you know deep down that no matter how badly Serena is playing or how well you are playing, deep down inside Serena is going to find a way.

She has not been able to do it on a few occassions now, but hopefully holding her nerve in that match yesterday will benefit her in the long run.

As for Middle Sunday, I have to say that I absolutely love it. Even though Wimbledon is my favourite tournament, there is a sense of anticipation for tomorrow's round of 16 matches. It also gives the players a chance to catch their collective breaths and get ready for Week 2.

Can we also realise that the village of Wimbledon might also need a break from the constant barrage of people in their little hamlet? Wimbledon has been like this ever since I have been watching. There are things that are certain with this tournament: Middle Sunday is going nowhere and it will rain

Diane said...

Well, you make perfect sense, Karen, but middle Sunday will probably always make me cranky, too :)

I have so much to do tomorrow, and today, I have time to watch hours of TV. Why wasn't I consulted?!

Karen said...

Diane too funny. My boyfriend leaves for 6 weeks and I am glad there is no tennis today as I get a chance to spend some quality time with him before he has to leave.

Tomorrow is a public holiday here in Cayman so I get the whole day to sit and watch tv so all in all I have no complains on Middle Sunday. I have not even watched the highlight show. Just some music and wine and relaxing.