Day 3 of Wimbledon saw a slew of past champions on court. Five time champion (in 2000, 2001, 2005, 2007 and 2008) Venus Williams played against the 51st ranked Kurumi Nara of Japan. The American 30th seed really battled against the tiny Nara who, at just 5’1”, is exactly a foot shorter than Williams, but she pounded some great forehands to go 3-0 ahead before Williams started to get going. She levelled and took a 5-3 lead before Nara held to stay in the set – then broke the American to level at 5-5 and hold for 6-5. All Williams’ experience came into play in the breaker, where she also trailed before taking it 7-4. Nara then went off court for a medical time out and came back with a heavily strapped thigh. She broke in the first game, but that was her last bite at the cherry, as Williams raced through the next six games to take the set.
2011 champion and 6th seed Petra Kvitova made it a short day at the office when she took on 59th ranked Mona Barthel of Germany. On paper these two tall and strong women should have made a match of things, but the Czech took the first set 6-2 easily and raced to a 5-0 lead in the second set before Barthel showed some of her best tennis to take the 6th game to her advantage and held off four match points but it was too late, as Kvitova sealed the set to love on her 5th match point. Her next opponent will be Venus Williams – an anticipated mouth watering third round match.
Out on Court 18, 23rd seeded Lucie Safarova played 63rd ranked Slovenian, Polona Hercog. She also had a difficult day at the office, as she battled to take the first set tie breaker 9-7 in exactly one hour and then toughed it out in the second set with an early break as then games went with serve. The Czech leftie served for the match at 5-4, was broken but then took the next two games for the set at 7-5.