The first match in the sunshine on Centre Court on Monday was between Francesca Schiavone of Italy who is now ranked at 50; and the 3rd seeded Victoria Azarenka of Belarus. Having been champion in Paris in 2010 and runner up to Na Li in 2011 and then beating 21st seed Kirsten flipkens in the second round and steamrolling 13th seeded Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli 6-2 6-1 in the third round, many gave the crafty Italian a chance against the hard hitting Azarenka. Schiavone started this contest and both players held their serves before Azarenka broke for a 2-1 lead. In the fourth game Azarenka was 40-0 up, but the Italian manage to break from advantage point to level. There were a total of five breaks of service before Azarenka held for 5-3 and she broke yet again to take the set 6-3. The Belarusian started the second set and seemed to have broken the Italian’s spirit, even though she continued to play a wonderful array of slices and top spin shots in response to Azarenka’s powerful and precise groundies. Azarenka took the set to love, to move into the quarters.
The 67th ranked Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the United States took on Maria Kirilenko, the Russian 12th seed on Court Suzanne Lenglen. The American had taken out Na Li in the second round and has been playing great tennis. She quickly ran up a 3-0 lead before the Russian got three games. Games then went with serve until Kirilenko broke to go 6-5 ahead and she duly served out the set at 7-5. Mattek-Sands began the second set and the first two games went with serve. Kirilenko broke for 3-1 and held her lead until she served out the set 6-4, to book her place in the last eight.
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