Kvitova beats Venus Williams to reach last 16 at Wimbledon, Li Na out

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Petra Kvitova Wimbledon


16th seeded Caroline Wozniacki opened proceedings on Friday afternoon after a rain delay. She played the 16 year old Croation qualifier, Ana Konjuh. Konjuh, ranked 189, who won three rounds in qualies, then went on to take out Marina Erakovic and Yanina Wickmayer, both in three sets to make the 3rd round. The Dane lost a total of just 8 games in her matches against Shahar Peer and the British wildcard, Naomi Brody. Konjuh showed why she got so far in this tournament at the start of the first set, going toe to toe with Wozniacki to 3-3 with some glorious forehands and pretty good serving. From then on the Dane took control, winning the next nine games (even though the Croat got points in each game) for a 6-3 6-0 victory and a place in the last 16.

Na Li, the tournament’s 2nd seed, has never got past the quarters in Wimbledon. She won her first two matches in straights, but she came up against stiff opposition in her 3rd round match against 43rd ranked Czech Barbora Zahlavova-Strycova, a finalist in Eastbourne last week. The Czech won a nail biter first set breaker 7-5 after an hour and 11 minutes on court. The second set continued in the same vein with super tennis with Zahlavova-Strycova sticking with Li all the way and staying in the match when she served at 4-5 and 5-6 to hold and force another breaker. Again close, Zahlavova-Strycova could not convert her first match point at 6-5 which everyone thought a winner, but Hawkeye showed Li’s shot to be in. On Zahlavova-Strycova’s second match point, Li served a double to hand the Czech her best ever career win.

Two past champions met on Centre Court – Petra Kvitova (2011) and Venus Williams (2000, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2008). There was absolutely nothing to separate these women in a magnificent match of power tennis which went to the wire. Williams broke in the 11th game of the first set to take it 7-5. It was so close in the second set that it went to a breaker, which the Czech won 7-2. The decider was even to 6-5 with Williams serving to stay in the match, but Kvitova hung tough and took the set 7-5 on her first match point, to a standing ovation from the spectators.

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