Schiavone Cruises, Second Week Set
Published June 30, 2012 12:00
LONDON, England - The third round wrapped up at Wimbledon on Saturday, with two all-Grand Slam champion clashes set for Monday's fourth round frenzy.
Petra Kvitova and Francesca Schiavone will be the first one, as the 2011 Wimbledon champion and 2010 French Open champion absolutely cruised, Kvitova needing just 53 minutes to beat Varvara Lepchenko, 61 60, and Schiavone taking just 68 minutes to craft a 60 64 win over Klara Zakopalova.
"I remembered what I had to do when I played her at Roland Garros, so I knew I just had to play my game again and hold my serve well," Kvitova said of her match with Lepchenko. "The score looked easy, but some rallies were good."
"I think today was a fantastic performance from me, particularly in the first set and then at the end of the second set," Schiavone said of her match against Zakopalova. "I'm happy to be here now and hope to keep going next week."
Kvitova came into her title defense at Wimbledon without any WTA finals on the year, but after three straight set wins she seems to be building momentum again - she has now won 19 of her last 22 matches on grass, as well.
"When I came here I wasn't really confident to play on grass, because I lost my first match in Eastbourne and played so bad," Kvitova said. "But every round I've played it gets better. I like playing on grass, here especially. I'm just focusing on my game and it's nice to know I've done well before at Wimbledon too."
Schiavone is playing her 48th straight Grand Slam, the record among active players - she was asked about that in her post-match press conference.
"How many is it? 120?" she joked. "But really, it's the age. I mean, I'm 32. It's normal I'd have so many chances to play four Grand Slams every year."
Of all of the Grand Slams, Wimbledon is especially unique, Schiavone added.
"Wimbledon is special. Of course it's not like the other tournaments. Tennis was born here. It's much, much bigger than what we think. So for me it's an honor to be here every year, to have the possibility to play here, to enjoy the grass, because you don't find grass courts like this anywhere else."
Kvitova leads the head-to-head, 2-1, and has won their last two meetings.
"We played two times already this year on the clay and hardcourt, so yeah, we're just missing the grass," Kvitova said. "I think she can play well on the grass because she has a very good slice from the backhand and she's trying to go to the net. So I think it will be a tough match for me on Monday."
"She's the champion and everybody wants to beat her," Schiavone said. "It's going to be a really, really tough match. She has the character to play on grass, so I think I have to play a really great match to beat her next round."
The other all-Slam champ match-up will be 2012 Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka against 2008 French Open champion Ana Ivanovic. The No.2-seeded Azarenka beat Slovakian qualifier Jana Cepelova, 63 63, while the No.14-seeded Ivanovic beat No.22-seeded Julia Goerges, 36 63 64.
Other winners were No.6 seed Serena Williams, who edged No.25 seed Zheng Jie, 67(5) 62 97; No.21 seed Roberta Vinci, who reached her first Grand Slam second week by beating Croatian qualifier Mirjana Lucic, 76(4) 76(3); Tamira Paszek, who survived Yanina Wickmayer, 26 76(4) 75; and Yaroslava Shvedova, who surprised No.10 seed Sara Errani, 60 64
Vinci and Paszek will square off in the next round, with Paszek beating the Italian in their only previous meeting, during the 2010 Australian season.