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.