Wimbledon, England (Sports Network) - Maria Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka and
Serena Williams were among the second-round winners Thursday at Wimbledon.
The top-seeded Sharapova finished off Bulgaria's Tsvetana Pironkova in a match
that was suspended on Wednesday because of darkness, while Williams cruised
past Hungary's Melinda Czink.
Sharapova, the 2004 Wimbledon champion, had won the first set and was ahead in
the second when play was halted Wednesday. Pironkova, a semifinalist two years
ago and a quarterfinalist last year at the All England Lawns Tennis Club, made
the reigning French Open champ work on a hot and sunny Thursday.
Pironkova won the second set in a tiebreak before Sharapova dominated the
third and advanced with a 7-6 (7-3), 6-7 (3-7), 6-0 triumph. The top-ranked
Russian will next face Taiwan's Su-Wei Hsieh in the third round.
The second-seeded former No. 1 Azarenka, meanwhile, swatted Swiss Romina
Oprandi, 6-2, 6-0 on Court 2.
Azarenka reached her first-ever Grand Slam semifinal at Wimbledon last year
and captured her first major title at the Australian Open back in January.
The sixth-seeded Williams had little drama in a 6-1, 6-4 pounding of Czink
and the four-time Wimbledon champ will next take on 25th-seeded Chinese
Zheng Jie, a 6-4, 6-2 winner Thursday against Canada's Aleksandra Wozniak.
Eighth-seeded Angelique Kerber of Germany posted a 7-5, 6-3 win over
Russian Ekaterina Makarova and will next play 28th-seeded American Christina
McHale, who recorded a 7-5, 7-5 victory over Frenchwoman Mathilde Johansson.
Another top-10 seed bit the dust this week, as Croat Mirjana Lucic swept out
No. 9 Marion Bartoli 6-4, 6-3. The French Bartoli, who is the third top-10
woman to exit the draw over the first four days of the fortnight, was a
surprise Wimbledon runner-up in 2007.
Italy's Sara Errani, the 10th seed and French Open runner-up, cruised to a
6-1, 6-1 rout of Britain's Anne Keothavong, while fellow Italian, 21st-seeded
Roberta Vinci, also moved on with a 6-4, 6-3 triumph over Marina Erakovic of
Fourteenth-seeded former No. 1 star Ana Ivanovic bested Ukrainian Kateryna
Bondarenko 6-3, 7-6 (7-3), while 20th-seeded Russian Nadia Petrova outlasted
Hungarian Timea Babos, 6-4, 6-7 (3-7), 9-7 in 3 hours, 4 minutes, including a
91-minute final set, and 22nd-seeded German Julia Goerges handled Belarusian
Anastasiya Yakimova 7-6 (7-3), 6-2. The Serbian Ivanovic is a former French
Open champ who has yet to reach a Wimbledon quarterfinal.
In other action involving seeds, No. 24 Italian Francesca Schiavone handled
Czech Kristyna Pliskova 6-4, 6-4 and Uzbekistanian-born American Varvara
Lepchenko knocked out No. 31 Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 7-6 (7-4), 6-4.
Also advancing to the third round were Austrian slugger Tamira Paszek, Belgian
Yanina Wickmayer, Kazakhstan's Yaroslava Shvedova, and Czech veteran Klara
Zakopalova. The 2011 Wimbledon quarterfinalist Paszek, who doused former No. 1
Caroline Wozniacki on Wednesday, drilled France's Alize Cornet 6-2, 6-1.
The Sports Network