Venus, Azarenka and Zvonareva Advance

Wimbledon 2011
By Ajay Singh, June 23rd, 2011

There are many young guns taking their measure with the bigger names and the road to the final looks more like a mine field than a smooth path.

Vera Zvonareva

Vera Zvonareva

Second seed Vera Zvonareva put away fellow Russian Elena Vesnina, 6-1, 7-6 (5). Of late, Zvonareva has had a tendency to disappear into the background. Vera held her own to advance to round three where she will receive a stern challenge from young Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova. The 32nd seeded Bulgarian downed Petra Martic 6-1, 6-4 and seems quite at home in London town.

In the day’s most intense match, 40-year old Komiko Date-Krumm played as if it were 1996 and had 23rd seed and six-time Grand Slam Champion Venus Williams on the ropes in a thrilling three set heartbreaker. Venus needed everyone of her 12 aces to claim the 2 hour fifty-six minute tussle.

The affects of her 4 plus month layoff have been easy to see, but the American still has tremendous willpower and is always a crowd favorite here. Komiko made some new fans for herself in her valiant pursuit of a major upset. The 6-7 (6), 6-3, 8-6 looked more like a semifinal pairing than a second round match. The play and strategy bordered on pure genius.

In the final set, Venus claimed an early break only to be answered by Komiko’s break back. The pair held serve until Komiko served at 6-7. Just as has helped Venus in the past, her blistering serve on Wimbledon’s famous grass was the difference.

Williams will next face Maria Jose Sanchez Martinez of Spain. Ms. Williams holds a 2-0 edge in their previous encounters. Maria poses a stiff test for Venus because of the Spaniard’s ability to keep the ball in play.

8th seeded Czech, Petra Kvitova of Germany, still looks like a very formidable longshot. She sailed through the second round with a convincing 6-2, 6-1 thrashing of Great Britain’s Anne Keothavong, 6-2, 6-1. The Czech committed 14 errors but belted 25 outright winners in her high-risk style of play. She will need all of that if she is to meet Vera Zvonareva in the fourth round.

Victoria Azarenka is performing to expectations through two rounds. Her big game made quick work of Iveta Benesova, 6-0, 6-3. Azarenka should cruise to the third round, where she will likely face Russia’s newest sensation and our pick to win the Women’s title, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, the 14th seed. The hard hitting Anastasia has the game but figures to face a good test against the equally powerful Nadia Petrova tomorrow.

The women’s draw has some catching up to do and tomorrow Serena Williams will return to action along with Maria Sharapova, Caroline Woziniacki and Li Na. Should be a great day!


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