Wimbledon: Wozniacki, Sharapova Cruise Through
World champion Caroline Wozniacki has continued her clean-sheet progress at the English Grand Slam after easing past Jarmila Gajdosova 6-3, 6-2 in the the third term to face Dominika Cibulkova in the last 16.
The young Dane broke the Aussie three times during the meeting, first occasion in the eight game of the opener. Wozniacki stunned her opponent pretty late but when it counted the most as she powered through to a 1-0 overall lead in nearly half an hour. As for the second set, it saw the same top seed play more consistently and grab a much earlier break, in the third game, to build a 3-1 comprehensive lead. Finally, Jarmila could only hold one more service as she conceded her fourth one which also marked her elimination from the tournament.
Wozniacki will next meet Julia Gorges killer Cibulkova who ousted the German, winner of the Stuttgart event, in three sets, 6-4, 1-6, 6-3. The two will meet for the ninth time, the head to head series being led by the 20-year-old who last defeated the world number 24 at this term’s Australian Open Grand Slam. Previously to that, the Slovak had defeated the Dane at the Sydney event.
The same day and on the same half of the table former world number one Maria Sharapova eased past Klara Zakopalova. The Russian, who lacks the English Grand Slam trophy took a 2-0 lead in the opener, only to be broken back in the fourth. Zakopalova broke Maria’s second service, but never get the chance to hold or overcame the deficit. Thus, Sharapova powered through to a comprehensive lead after nearly half an hour.
As for the second set, it found the two players exchanging three break points, two for the favorite and one for the Czech. Zakopalova was the first to take a minimal lead after three games, only to be evened in the sixth. Sharapova then held her service and stole another straight break in the eighth game to close out the match in over an hour.
Said the Russian: “I was put in tough positions in the match and was able to come through – I was down a break in the second set and found a way to win it. You have to improve with the second week coming. The opponents get tougher, especially at a Grand Slam, so raising your level is what it’s all about in the second week.”
Sharapova will next meet Shuai Peng, who hasn’t had the chance to meet a favorite so far. The Chinese follows a straight-set win over Melinda Czink of Hungary whom she defeated 6-2, 7-6. The two are expected to meet for the fourth time, the head to head confrontation between them going 2-1 to the 24-eyar-old Russian who last defeated the world number 20 at this term’s Indian Wells Masters. Peng’s only win dates from the 2009 Beijing event.
Former world number one Serena Willians has set her third meeting with Marion Bartoli after ousting Maria Kirilenko 6-3, 6-2 in the third round. Serena, who is currently sitting 25th in the world rankings, needed just one break to clinch the opener, while the second set saw the same American taking a four-game lead thanks to two breaks grabbed in the third and fifth terms. Serena then managed the victory in just over an hour.
As for her next opponent, Marion Bartoli, who is chasing her first title of the year, had some hard times against Flavia Pennetta whom the French edged after surviving an early scare, 5-7, 6-4, 9-7. The two are to meet for the third time, Serena leading the direct meetings 2-0. She last defeated the world number 26 at the 2007 US Open, while the first win comes from the 2003 Miami Masters.
One of the biggest surprises has been provided by Tamira Paszek who ousted Francesca Schiavone in three sets after losing the opener, 3-6, 6-4, 11-9. The decider highlighted the two exchange four breaks and the Austrian grabbing a late one. She will next meet Ksenia Pervak, who also follows a big surprise. The Russian eliminated this term’s Strasbourg champion Andrea Petkovic 6-4, 7-6 to near her biggest progress at the English Grand Slam.
Petra Kvitova and Yanina Wickmayer are also to fight for a quarter final spot. The Czech, winner of three tournaments this year, eased past Barcelona winner Roberta Vinci of Italy 6-3, 6-3 to set her seventh meeting with the world number 19. The 21-year-old Belgian overcame Svetlana Kuznetsova 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, but will surely have a harder life against the ninth-ranked, though the two have beaten each other three times. They last meet at the 2011 Fed Cup event where Kvitova beat her in three sets.
Another favorite, Venus Williams, a multiple chaion at the Wimbledon major crushed Maria Jose Martinez 6-0, 6-2 to face Tsvetana Pironkova in the fourth round. The Bulgarian eased past second seed Vera Zvonareva 6-2, 6-3 to play the American for the fourth time. The head to head series between the two have gone 2-1 to the 23-year-old who last defeated the world number 30 at the same Wimbledon back in 2010. Venus’s first win dates from the 2005 Istanbul event.
Nadia Petrova and Miami Masters champion Victoria Azarenka will also fight for a quarter final berth. The Russian defeated Kateryna Bondarenko in two sets, 6-3, 6-2, but she hasn’t got the opportunity to face a favorite. Azarenka edged Pattaya City winner Daniela Hantuchova 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 and will confront the Russian for the fifth time ever. Both players have grabbed two wins, the last win belonging to the world number five Belarusian who defeated the 29-year-old at the same 2009 Wimbledon.
Finally, Sabine Lisicki, winner of the Birmingham tournament eased poast Misaki Doi 6-4, 6-2 to face Petra Cetkovska in the fourth round. The Czech stunned former world number one Ana Ivanovic 6-2, 7-6 to set her first meeting with the world number 62 German.
Wimbledon Prize Money and points:
Winner – 1,100,000 pounds and 2000 points WTA
Runner-up – 550,000 pounds and 1,400 points WTA
Semi finalist – 275,000 pounds and 900 points WTA
Quarter finalist – 137,500 pounds and 500 points WTA
R16 – 68,750 pounds and 280 points WTA
R32 – 34,375 pounds and 160 points WTA
R64 – 20,125 pounds and 100 points WTA
R128 – 11,500 pounds and 5 points WTA11