Venus rolls, Zvonareva exits at Wimbledon

Venus Williams of the U.S. celebrates defeating Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez of Spain at the...

Venus Williams of the U.S. celebrates defeating Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez of Spain at the Wimbledon tennis championships in London June 24, 2011. (REUTERS/Eddie Keogh)

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, Last Updated: 1:24 PM ET

WIMBLEDON, ENGLAND - Venus Williams continued her quest for a sixth Wimbledon title with an easy third-round win Friday, while last year's runner-up Vera Zvonareva went out with a whimper at the All England Club.

Williams struggled to beat Japanese veteran Kimiko Date-Krumm in the second round, rallying from a set down and finally prevailing in an 8-6 third set, but she had no such troubles Friday in a 6-0, 6-2 rout of Spain's Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez.

It took Williams nearly three hours to advance past the 40-year-old Date-Krumm two days ago, but the American star was on the court for just 62 minutes Friday. She blitzed through the first set in 27 minutes and kept the throttle down in the second.

Now, a chance for revenge.

Williams was eliminated last year in the quarterfinals by Tsvetana Pironkova and the two will meet again in the fourth round after the Bulgarian knocked out the second-seeded Zvonareva with a relatively easy, 6-2, 6-3 decision.

Also in third-round play Friday, eighth-seeded Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic cruised to a 6-3, 6-3 win over Italy's Roberta Vinci and will next play 19th-seeded Belgian Yanina Wickmayer, who took out two-time Grand Slam champ Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 win.

Kvitova was a semifinalist last year at the All England Club, while Wickmayer had never been past the third round in her three previous visits. Kuznetsova, meanwhile, has won the French and U.S. Opens, but has never been further than the quarterfinals in nine tries on the famed grass courts.

Another minor upset saw Russia's Ksenia Pervak eliminate 11th-seeded German Andrea Petkovic, 6-4, 7-6 (7-2). Pervak will next face the winner between sixth-seeded Italian Francesca Schiavone and Austria's Tamira Paszek.

Unseeded Russian Nadia Petrova, a two-time Wimbledon quarterfinalist, also advanced to the round of 16 with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Kateryna Bondarenko of the Ukraine and will square off against the winner between fourth-seeded Victoria Azarenka of Belarus and Slovakian Daniela Hantuchova.

Second-round play also wrapped up earlier Friday with four matches pushed back from Thursday, and winners included top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki and former champion Maria Sharapova.

Wozniacki needed just 66 minutes to dispose of French veteran Virginie Razzano with a 6-1, 6-3 rout, while the fifth-seeded Sharapova battled through a tough first set against British teenager Laura Robson before posting a 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 triumph.

In the two other second-round matches Friday, 2007 Wimbledon runner-up Marion Bartoli of France rallied for a 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 win over Spain's Lourdes Dominguez Lino and China's Peng Shuai also came back from a set down to earn a 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 victory over Britain's Elena Baltacha.

Sharapova, the 2004 Wimbledon champ and among the favorites to win this year's title, dropped the first three games of her match on Court 1 Friday. After quickly battling back, the set went to a tiebreaker and Robson opened a 4-2 lead at the changeover. The Russian star then won the final five points to secure the opening set.

Robson was unable to hold in her first three service games of the second set and fell behind 5-1, but managed to win the next two games and had a break point in the ninth with a chance to get back on serve. However, Sharapova saved it with a forehand winner and won the next two points to finally finish it out.

Next up for Sharapova will be a third-round match Saturday against Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic, while Wozniacki will continue her quest for a first career Grand Slam crown against Australia's Jarmila Gajdosova. The ninth-seeded Bartoli will square off against Italy's Flavia Pennetta.

Four-time champion Serena Williams is also scheduled for play Saturday in the third round. She'll take on Russian Maria Kirilenko.


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