Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Serena tops defending champ at Wimbledon

   As she has so often during her illustrious career, Serena Williams rose to the occasion Tuesday.
   In a matchup of the last two Wimbledon champions, Williams eliminated 2011 winner Petra Kvitova 6-3, 7-5 in the quarterfinals at the All England Club on another rain-shortened day. Williams was coming off two three-set battles.
   "It feels like a good win," Williams, who will defend her title in the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford next week, said in an understatement on wtatennis.com. "I don't know if it was about dethroning the champion or just going out there and doing the best that I could. You can't play a defending Wimbledon champion or Grand Slam champion and not elevate your game. I had to weed out the riffraff and get serious.
   "It's not easy to defend your first Grand Slam title, either. I think when I defended my first one, I didn't win -- but she did great. She held herself in ultimate class and played her heart out. I don't think I've seen her play that well."
   In the fourth round of men's singles, fifth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France completed a 4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-4, 6-4 victory over 10th-seeded Mardy Fish in a match that had been suspended overnight by rain early in the second set.
   Fish was playing in his first tournament since undergoing a procedure on May 23 for an irregular heartbeat. He is scheduled to play home matches for the Sacramento Capitals of World TeamTennis on July 12 and 13. 
   Williams pounded 13 aces, committed no double faults and held all 11 of her service games. She faced only one break point, ripping a 109-mph service winner at 4-5, 30-40 in the second set.
   "I think it was a great match from both of us," the fourth-seeded Kvitova said, "and I think she just served much better than I did."
   Williams, who has won four of her 13 Grand Slam singles titles at Wimbledon, will meet second-seeded Victoria Azarenka in Thursday's semifinals. Azarenka, who won the Australian Open in January for her first Grand Slam singles crown, beat unseeded Tamira Paszek of Austria 6-4, 7-6 (4).
   Williams is 7-1 with a five-match winning streak against Azarenka.           
   In the other semifinal, third-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska will face eighth-seeded Angelique Kerber. Radwanska, from Poland, outlasted 17th-seeded Maria Kirilenko of Russia 7-5, 4-6, 7-5, and Kerber edged fellow German Sabine Lisicki, seeded 15th, 6-3, 6-7 (7), 7-5.
   Either Azarenka or Radwanska will replace Maria Sharapova, who lost to Lisicki in the fourth round, at No. 1 in the world after Wimbledon. Kerber, Lisicki and Paszek will join Williams in the Bank of the West Classic.
   Tenth-seeded Raquel Kops-Jones, a former Cal All-American from Fresno, and Abigail Spears of San Diego reached the doubles quarterfinals with a 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 victory over seventh-seeded Yaroslava Shvedova and Galina Voskoboeva, both of Kazakhstan.
WIMBLEDON TV SCHEDULE
(All times PDT)
   Wednesday -- Men's quarterfinals, Courts 1 & 2, ESPN2, 4 a.m.-1 p.m. (live), Center Court, ESPN, 5 a.m.-noon (live). Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 2-6 p.m. (premiere), 6-10 p.m. (repeat), 10 p.m.-2 p.m. (repeat).
   Thursday -- Women's semifinals, ESPN, 5-10 a.m. (live). Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 2-6 p.m. (premiere), 6-10 p.m. (repeat), 10 p.m.-2 a.m. (repeat).
   Friday -- Men's semifinals, ESPN, 5-11 a.m. (live). Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 2-6 p.m. (premiere), 6-10 p.m. (repeat), 10 p.m.-2 a.m. (repeat).
   Saturday -- Women's final, ESPN, 6-11 a.m. (live), ABC, noon-3 p.m. (repeat), Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 4-8 p.m. (premiere), 8 p.m.-midnight (repeat), midnight-4 a.m. (repeat).
   Sunday -- Men's final, ESPN, 6 a.m.-noon (live), ABC, noon-3 p.m. (repeat). Wimbledon Primetime, Tennis Channel, 4-8 p.m. (premiere), 8 p.m.-midnight (repeat), midnight-4 a.m. (repeat).
CALENDAR  
   THROUGH SUNDAY -- WIMBLEDON, www.wimbledon.com.
   Saturday- July 10 -- West Coast Junior Championships, Rio del Oro Racquet Club, 119 Scripps Dr., Sacramento, www.norcal.usta.com.
   Saturday-July 15 -- WTA, Bank of the West Classic, Stanford University. Qualifying on Saturday and Sunday. Main draw Monday through July 15. www.bankofthewestclassic.com.
   Monday -- World TeamTennis, Sacramento Capitals' season opener at Boston, 4 p.m., http://www.saccaps.com/.
   July 10 -- Capitals at Philadelphia, 4 p.m. http://www.saccaps.com/.
   July 12 -- World TeamTennis, Capitals' home opener (with Mardy Fish) vs. Kansas City, Sunrise Marketplace Outdoor Pavilion, Sunrise Mall in Citrus Heights, 7:35 p.m., www.saccaps.com.
   July 12 -- 2012 Northern California Tennis Hall of Fame Brunch and Induction Ceremony (Nick Saviano, Andrea Norman, Steve Cornell and Martha Downing), Stanford University, Pac 12 Plaza/Cardinal Plaza, 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., tickets $75 each at http://www.acteva.com/booking.cfm?bevaid=230538.
   July 13 -- Capitals (with Fish) vs. Orange County, Sunrise Marketplace Outdoor Pavilion, Sunrise Mall in Citrus Heights, 7:35 p.m., http://www.saccaps.com/.
   July 14 -- Capitals at Orange County, 7 p.m.
   July 16 -- Capitals (with Sam Querrey) vs. New York, Sunrise Marketplace Outdoor Pavilion, Sunrise Mall in Citrus Heights, 7:35 p.m., http://www.saccaps.com/.
   July 18 -- Capitals at Washington, 4:10 p.m.
   July 19 -- Capitals at Springfield, 5:05 p.m.
   July 20 -- Capitals at Kansas City, 5:35 p.m.
   July 22 -- Springfield at Capitals (with Querrey), Sunrise Marketplace Outdoor Pavilion, Sunrise Mall in Citrus Heights, 7:35 p.m., http://www.saccaps.com/.
   July 24 -- Orange County (with Lindsay Davenport) at Capitals (with Kevin Anderson), Sunrise Marketplace Outdoor Pavilion, Sunrise Mall in Citrus Heights, 7:35 p.m., http://www.saccaps.com/.
   July 25 -- Capitals at Orange County, 7 p.m.
   July 27 -- Philadelphia (with Mark Philippoussis) at Capitals (with Anderson), Sunrise Marketplace Outdoor Pavilion, Sunrise Mall in Citrus Heights, 7:35 p.m., http://www.saccaps.com/.
   July 28 -- Boston at Capitals (with Anderson), Sunrise Marketplace Outdoor Pavilion, Sunrise Mall in Citrus Heights, 7:35 p.m., http://www.saccaps.com/.
   July 28-Aug. 5 -- OLYMPIC TENNIS TOURNAMENT, Wimbledon, www.london2012.com.

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