June 29, 2012
Sharapova, Radwanska, Clijsters advance at Wimbledon
By Sports Network
ENGLAND - Russian superstar Maria Sharapova, steady Pole Agnieszka Radwanska and outgoing Belgian Kim Clijsters were all easy third-round victors Friday at Wimbledon.
The world No. 1 Sharapova handled Taiwan's Su-Wei Hsieh 6-1, 6-4 in 81 minutes amid windy conditions on Court 1 at the All England Lawn Tennis Club.
"Considering the conditions, I'm pretty happy with the way I played," said Sharapova, who is now 16-1 in Grand Slam action this year.
The career Grand Slam winner is fresh off her French Open title three weeks ago, captured her lone Wimbledon championship in 2004, and was last year's Wimbledon runner-up to powerful Czech Petra Kvitova.
Sharapova will meet 15th-seeded big-serving German Sabine Lisicki in the fourth round on Monday in a rematch of a semifinal here from last year, which was won by the tall Russian.
The unseeded former world No. 1 Clijsters was leading 12th-seeded Vera Zvonareva 6-3, 4-3 when the Russian retired due to an upper respiratory illness on Court 1. This marked a rematch of the 2010 U.S. Open final, which was also won by the three-time U.S. Open champion Clijsters.
Zvonareva was the 2010 Wimbledon runner-up to American great Serena Williams.
The 29-year-old Clijsters is still seeking that elusive first-ever trip into a Wimbledon final, and this is her last chance, as the wife and mother will retire from tennis following this summer's U.S. Open.
"It's a pleasure to be a part of the second week of a Grand Slam, especially at Wimbledon," Clijsters said.
The two-time Wimbledon semifinalist Clijsters' fourth-round opponent will be eighth-seeded German lefthander Angelique Kerber.
A third-seeded Radwanska routed promising 20-year-old Brit Heather Watson 6-0, 6-2 under the roof on Centre Court, while the rocketing Kerber dismissed 28th- seeded American Christina McHale 6-2, 6-3 on Court 2.
The aforementioned Lisicki topped rising American Sloane Stephens 7-6 (7-5), 1-6, 6-2. A disappointed Stephens blew a 5-2 lead in the first-set tiebreak on Day 5 of this fortnight.
The capable oft-injured Lisicki was a Wimbledon semifinalist last year and quarterfinalist in 2009. She missed the 2010 edition of tennis' most prestigious event due to injury.
Also on Friday, 17th-seeded Russian glamour girl Maria Kirilenko whipped Romanian Sorana Cirstea 6-3, 6-1, upstart 20-year-old Italian Camila Giorgi knocked out 20th-seeded Russian Nadia Petrova 6-3, 7-6 (8-6), and 30th-seeded Chinese Peng Shuai blew away talented Dutchwoman Arantxa Rus 6-1, 6-2 to reach the round of 16. Giorgi will face Radwanska, while Kirilenko and Peng will square off on Monday.
The second round concluded when little-known 19-year-old Slovak Jana Cepelova took out 26th-seeded Spaniard Anabel Medina Garrigues 6-7 (7-9), 7-6 (7-5), 6-3. Cepelova is rewarded with a third-round match Saturday against second- seeded former world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka, who is the reigning Australian Open champ.
Rain delayed the start of action in this London suburb on Friday.
The third round is scheduled to conclude on Saturday, including matches for Azarenka, a fourth-seeded Kvitova and a sixth-seeded Williams. Azarenka will meet the upstart Cepelova, while Kvitova will face rising American Varvara Lepchenko, and the former No. 1 and four-time Wimbledon titlist Williams will battle 25th-seeded Chinese Zheng Jie.
Also on the Day-6 schedule will be French Open runner-up Sara Errani, former top-ranked star Ana Ivanovic and former Roland Garros champ Francesca Schiavone.