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The quarter-final line-up for the Ladies singles event at Wimbledon was finalized today and has an even share of the usual suspects and some exciting surprises. The shock of the day was provided by German powerhitter Sabine Lisicki who ensured that the decade long barren run of the reigning French Open champions would continue on the green lawns of Wimbledon as she took some long overdue revenge against world no.1 Maria Sharapova, for ousting her from the semi-finals of Wimbledon last year, beating the former champion 6-4, 6-3.
The surprises did not end there with 8th seed Angelique Kerber making it double delight for the German fans by picking up her 44th win of the season, thrashing crowd favourite (though unseeded) Belgian Kim Clijsters, 6-1, 6-1 in just 49 minutes. A disappointing way for the 3-time US Open champion to end her last match at Wimbledon. Though she is likely to be back in a couple of weeks time for the Olympics. The two Germans will collide with each other in a blockbuster quarter-final.
However, in what will no doubt be the match of the next round, 4-time Wimbledon champion Serena Williams will take on the reigning champion Petra Kvitova in tomorrow's main event after both ladies registered hard fought three set wins in their respective round of 16 matches. Williams was pushed the distance for the second straight match, this time by doubles specialist Yaroslava Shvedova, in a lopsided three setter, 6-1, 2-6, 7-5. Shevedova served two double faults in the 11th game of the final set to hand over the break to the American on a silver platter, and the aspirant for the Venus Rosewater Dish took her opportunity with glee, despite some terrific battling tennis from the Kazakh girl.
Meanwhile Petra Kvitova was on the verge of an early exit after dropping the first set to former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone having failed to break the Italian's serve despite having 10 opportunities in the first set, which she dropped 6-4. The second set looked primed to go the distance too, Kvitova finally snuck in a late break to steal if 7-5, despite being nowhere near her best. The young Czech left-hander though finally found her range in the decider, blowing her 30-year old Italian opponent off court, taking it 6-1 to book her place opposite Williams in a match which could well decide Saturday's champion.
Not to be discounted though are the soon to be crowned new world no.1 Victoria Azarenka (courtesy Sharapova early exit) and potentially the new no.2 Agnieszka Radwanka, who dropped 1 and 5 games respectively on their way to the last eight. Azarenka thrashed former French Open champion Ana Ivanovic 6-1, 6-0 in just over an hour to set up a quarter-final date with a very tricky opponent in Eastbourne champion Tamira Paszek of Austria. Paszek, who stunned former world no.1 Caroline Wozniacki, continued to look in supreme form as she beat the no.21 seed Roberta Vinci 6-2, 6-2 today.
Radwanska meanwhile ended the dream run of young Italian qualifier Camila Giordi 6-2, 6-3, and will face Russian veteran Maria Kirilenko in the quarter-finals. Kirilenko got past Peng Shuai of China 6-1, 6-7, 6-3.
Singles - Fourth Round
(15) Sabine Lisicki (GER) d. (1) Maria Sharapova (RUS) 64 63
(2) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. (14) Ana Ivanovic (SRB) 61 60
(3) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) d. (Q) Camila Giorgi (ITA) 62 63
(4) Petra Kvitova (CZE) d. (24) Francesca Schiavone (ITA) 46 75 61
(6) Serena Williams (USA) d. (WC) Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ) 61 26 75
(8) Angelique Kerber (GER) d. Kim Clijsters (BEL) 61 61
(17) Maria Kirilenko (RUS) d. (30) Peng Shuai (CHN) 61 67(6) 63
Tamira Paszek (AUT) d. (21) Roberta Vinci (ITA) 62 62
File Photograph Copyright: Elizabeth
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