London - Petra Kvitova avoided becoming the latest former champion to be
knocked out in the first week at Wimbledon, rallying from a break down
in the final set on Saturday to beat Ekaterina Makarova of Russia 6-3, 2-6,
6-3 and reach the fourth round.
The match had been halted Friday
with Makarova up 2-1 in the third set, but the eighth-seeded Kvitova
broke right back when play resumed and won the next two games as well.
After losing her own serve, the Czech player broke again for a 5-3 lead
and then converted her third match point with a forehand winner.
was another day for me," Kvitova said. "I played really well. I should
go for every point and play my game. So I played quite aggressively.
That was the key."
Kvitova won Wimbledon in 2011 but has struggled
to match that performance since and has slipped from second to eighth
in the rankings. She has a good chance of reaching her second final at
the All England Club, however, having seen second-seeded Victoria
Azarenka and former champion Maria Sharapova already eliminated on her
side of the draw.
"It's still so far away," Kvitova said. "I'm the
highest-ranked player (left) in my half, but there's still a lot of
great players over there."
To have a chance at another title, though, Kvitova said her consistency has to improve.
2011 I played really well. I mean, I play my best, for sure. Every shot
was going to the court," she said. "It's not the same this year. ... I
drop off little bit. It's always little bit up and down, but I hope it
will be more up than down."
Later Saturday, top-ranked Novak
Djokovic and Serena Williams were set to play their third-round matches,
also looking to avoid upsets after seven-time champion Roger Federer
and Rafael Nadal were both eliminated early.
Because of rain over
the last two days, Wimbledon organizers were playing a bit of catch-up
with the schedule on Saturday before Sunday's rest day.
several other matches that had been postponed, No 20 Mikhail Youzhny of
Russia beat Viktor Troicki 6-3, 6-4, 7-5 to set up a fourth-round
meeting with second-seeded Andy Murray, who won in straight sets on
Two more seeded players went out, as No 22 Juan Monaco of
Argentina fell 6-4, 7-6 (8), 6-4 to Frenchman Kenny De Schepper, while
No 26 Benoit Paire of France lost 6-1, 6-3, 6-4 to Lukasz Kubot of
As is traditional on the middle Saturday of the
tournament, the Royal Box on Centre Court was filled with a number of
invited sports stars, this year mainly British gold-medal winners from
the London Olympics.
Among those getting the biggest ovation from the
crowd were cyclists Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton - as well as
Murray, who donned a suit and tie to make a brief appearance in the box
to celebrate his singles gold medal won on Centre Court.