Maria Sharapova overcame a scare to advance to the third round of the Wimbledon tennis tournament while another former champion, Serena Williams, also won. Fourth-seeded Andy Murray got past Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic.
No. 1 seed Sharapova beat Bulgaria’s Tsvetana Pironkova, ranked 38th by the women’s tennis tour, 7-6 (7-3), 6-7 (3-7), 6-0. Williams fired 10 aces in her victory over Hungarian qualifier Melinda Czink.
“I started with no motor whatsoever,” Sharapova told reporters. “I was just on pause. There were just a lot of things I felt I could have done better.”
Sharapova’s match was suspended for bad light last evening. Resuming today a set and 3-1 up, the French Open champion started slowly as her opponent leveled at 3-3 before games went with serve to 6-6 and another tiebreak.
The Russian started the tiebreak with a double-fault, then fell 4-1 behind after two more double-faults, before Pironkova extended the lead to 6-1. Sharapova pulled back to 6-3, but Pironkova wrapped up the set as her opponent hit a groundstroke too long.
Pironkova lost serve immediately in the third set and Sharapova, Wimbledon champion in 2004, seized control of the match, not losing another game.
“She came out firing and I couldn’t get much rhythm,” Sharapova said. “Luckily I got it together in the third set. I was a little tentative. I tried not to focus on her game and concentrate more on mine.”
In the men’s draw, Murray defeated Karlovic 7-5, 6-7 (5-7), 6-2, 7-6 (7-4). The Croat had 17 aces to 11 for 25-year-old Murray, who has reached the semifinals in the last three Wimbledons. Karlovic, 33, had 42 unforced errors to 8 for the British right-hander.
Karlovic was unhappy at the number of faults called against him.
“Foot faults,” Karlovic told reporters, when asked what had made the difference in the match. “I don’t know what to say, but it was a little bit outrageous. In my whole life, ever since I was eight years old, whole life I didn’t do this many foot faults. It was like 11.”
Murray is trying to become the first British man since Fred Perry in 1936 to win the title at the All England Club. He’s hunting for his first Grand Slam title after losing in finals of the U.S. Open and the Australian Open.
Also today, Andy Roddick, a three-time finalist at the All England Club, defeated Germany’s Bjorn Phau 6-3, 7-6 (7-1), 6-3 in the second round. American Mardy Fish, the 10th seed, beat Britain’s James Ward in five sets, while Sam Querrey plays Canada’s Milos Raonic. Rafael Nadal, the second seed from Spain, is playing Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic.
There were also wins for Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France and Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro, the fifth and ninth seeds, respectively.
Williams, a four-time champion, beat the 98th-ranked Czink 6-1, 6-4 on Centre Court. Williams raced through the first set in 20 minutes as she won 100 percent of the points on her first serve and struck seven aces.
The second set was less one-sided, as Czink got more serves in and hit more winners. Williams broke serve in the ninth game. Serving for the match, she moved to the next round with a forehand, her 22nd winner.
Williams was last month ousted from the opening round of the French Open, her first loss at that stage of a Grand Slam event in her career. The 30-year-old hasn’t won a major title since Wimbledon in 2010.
Germany’s Angelique Kerber, the eighth seed, beat Ekaterina Makarova of Russia, while French Open finalist Sara Errani of Italy, the 10th seed, defeated Britain’s Anne Keothavong. Christina McHale of the U.S. got past France’s Mathilde Johansson.
Former top-ranked Ana Ivanovic of Serbia beat Kateryna Bondarenko of Ukraine and 2010 French Open winner Francesca Schiavone of Italy defeated Kristyna Pliskova of the Czech Republic. No. 2 seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus beat Romina Oprandi of Switzerland in straight sets.
Alejandro Falla of Colombia beat France’s Nicolas Mahut in five sets. Seventh-seeded David Ferrer of Spain defeated Kenny De Schepper of France, and American Brian Baker swept past Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen. Belgium’s Xavier Malisse upset France’s Gilles Simon, the 13th seed, and 16th-seeded Marin Cilic overcame Poland’s Lukasz Kubot.