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Wimbledon Day 3 Women's Wrap: Clijsters prevails, Stosur and Wozniacki ousted, Sharapova dodges a bullet

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kim_clijsters.jpgOn an exceptionally exciting day 3 at Wimbledon there were rain delays, match points saved, upsets galores and fashion faux pas in abundance as the top stars of the WTA Tour provided some royal entertainment fit for the grandest stage of them all. With rain playing havoc with Tuesday's schedule as well, there were a host of first round matches which were left midway, while the second round also got underway. World no.1 Maria Sharapova, the overwhelming favourite for the title this year, was given a rude shock by Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova, who tends to reserve her best tennis for Wimbledon, and was a semi-finalist here two years ago. Pironkova raced to a 5-2 lead in the opening set and had countless set points including a 0-40 opportunity on the Sharapova serve, but failed to get the job done. Sharapova took the first set in a tiebreak and was up 3-1 in the second was play was discontinued on court 1.

Amongst those who were able to get their matches underway, sentimental favourite Kim Clijsters cruised into the third round, while there were three huge upsets with US Open champion Sam Stosur, former French Open champion Li Na and former world no.1 Caroline Wozniacki all making early exits.

Samantha Stosur was the first seeded casuality on day 3 of the Championships. The World no. 5 bowed out after suffering a lopsided 6-2, 0-6, 6-4 loss to Dutch girl Arantxa Rus. The reigning US Open Champion has never been past the third round at the All England Club and her miserable run continued with a second round defeat this year. After going down in the first set, Sam came back strongly in the second set with her aggressive play. Arantxa, ranked 72 in the world, raced to a 3-0 lead in the final set but the French Open semi-finalist saved two match points at 5-3 to make it 5-4. A couple of unforced errors from the Australian on her serve, handed the match to Arantxa. The Dutchwoman will meet Shuai Peng in the third round, who defeated Asian counterpart Ayumi Morita of Japan.

Former World no. 1, Caroline Wozniacki was also shown the door by Tamira Paszek in a never ending first round match. The match lasted for 3 hours 12 minutes and the recently crowned Eastbourne champion surprised the seventh seed by winning a tight contest 5-7, 7-6, 6-4. Wozniacki saved set points galore in the opening set, launching an incredible comeback to nick it 7-5, but the big hitting Paszek refused to give up, taking the second set 7-4 in a tiebreak after saving two match points in the 12th game. The match was a nailbitter till the very end, with the player producing some exceptional tennis under pressure before Paszek produced the big shots when it really mattered to seal a memorable win. Paszek will face off against Alize Cornet of France in the second round.

The Belgian veteran Kim Clijsters registered a routine 6-3, 6-3 win over doubles specialist Andrea Hlavackova in her second round match. There were no hiccups during the match for the three time US Open Champion, who is playing her last Wimbledon. She plays former Wimbledon runner-up Vera Zvonareva on Friday for a place in the fourth round. The Russian, who has had injury and form related concerns for the last year or so needed another three-setter to earn her place in the third round. The former World no.2 fought off a minor challenge from Silvia Soler-Espinosa before dismissing her 6-1, 3-6, 6-1.

World no. 3, Agnieszka Radwanska eased past Elina Vesina 6-2, 6-1 to enter the third round. Britain's Heather Watson is the third round hurdle for the Polish player, who has been impressive with her confident play in the first two rounds.

Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia was also knocked out by Yanina Wickmayer in the first round of Wimbledon. The Russian veteran looked out of sorts against the Belgian, who the match 6-2, 6-3.

In an early result out on Court 14, Ana Ivanovic also cleared her first round hurdle. The 14th seeded Serbian had to sweat it out against Spain's Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez. Ivanovic allowed Sanchez to come back in the second set before the Serb went on to win the match 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.

Li Na was the latest top seed to crash out of the tournament after losing her second round match to Sorana Cirstea 6-3, 6-4. The World no. 11 was taken by surprise in the opening set by the unassuming Cirstea. The Chinese was unable to change the momentum in the second set and eventually lost without much of a fight.

Singles - Second Round
(3) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) d. Elena Vesnina (RUS) 62 61
Arantxa Rus (NED) d. (5) Samantha Stosur (AUS) 62 06 64
Sorana Cirstea (ROU) d. (11) Li Na (CHN) 63 64
(12) Vera Zvonareva (RUS) d. Sílvia Soler-Espinosa (ESP) 61 36 61
(15) Sabine Lisicki (GER) d. Bojana Jovanovski (SRB) 36 62 86
(17) Maria Kirilenko (RUS) d. Lourdes Domínguez Lino (ESP) 61 62
Sloane Stephens (USA) d. (23) Petra Cetkovska (CZE) 76(6) 46 63
(30) Peng Shuai (CHN) d. Ayumi Morita (JPN) 76(4) 63
Kim Clijsters (BEL) d. Andrea Hlavackova (CZE) 63 63
Heather Watson (GBR) d. Jamie Hampton (USA) 61 64
(Q) Camila Giorgi (ITA) d. Anna Tatishvili (GEO) 63 61

Singles - First Round
Tamira Paszek (AUT) d. (7) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) 57 76(4) 64
(10) Sara Errani (ITA) d. (Q) Coco Vandeweghe (USA) 61 63
Klara Zakopalova (CZE) d. (13) Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) 64 61
(14) Ana Ivanovic (SRB) d. María José Martínez Sánchez (ESP) 63 36 63
(22) Julia Goerges (GER) d. Shahar Peer (ISR) 62 62
Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) d. Kimiko Date-Krumm (JPN) 57 63 63
Olga Govortsova (BLR) d. (Q) Annika Beck (GER) 63 36 63

File Photograph CopyrightDavid Gold

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