Wimbledon 2012: Serena Williams & Petra Kvitova reach round four

WIMBLEDON

  • Venue: All England Club, London
  • Date: 25 June - 8 July

Coverage: Live on BBC One, BBC Two, BBC HD Channel, red button, BBC Radio 5 live, mobiles, tablet and the BBC Sport website

Serena Williams fought back from a set down and set a new Wimbledon women's record of 23 aces to keep alive her bid for a fifth singles title.

Williams, 30, had to dig deep to edge past China's Zheng Jie 6-7 (5-7) 6-2 9-7, while defending champion Petra Kvitova breezed into round four.

Match stats

Williams Zheng

23

Aces

1

119mph

Fastest serve

101mph

67%

First serves in

79%

80%

Points won on 1st serve

75%

54

Winners

21

24

Unforced errors

17

3/5

Break points

0/6

112

Total pts

91

"I definitely felt like it was a gut check for me," said Williams.

"I never felt I would lose. I told myself to stay calm. I'm always strong mentally. That's not going anywhere."

The American, who set the previous aces record of 20 in the 2009 semi-final against Elena Dementieva, stumbled in the first-set tie-break.

But she romped through the second set before coming out on top in a nail-biting decider after two hours and 28 minutes on Centre Court.

"I thought in the third set, if I'm going to go out I want to go out with a bang," said Williams, who served three times to stay in the match, winning each game to love.

Williams, the sixth seed, will next play Kazakh wildcard Yaroslava Shvedova, who made history by achieving the first 'golden set' in Grand Slams against Sara Errani .

French Open finalist Errani failed to win a single point during a 15-minute first set, in which Shvedova won 24 consecutive points, and eventually fell 6-0 6-4 to the world number 65.

The 'golden set'

American Bill Scanlon is the only known player to have had a perfect 6-0 game before, in the second set of his 6-2 6-0 victory over Marcos Hocevar of Brazil at a tournament in Delray Beach in 1983.

Remarkably, Shvedova won 23 consecutive points at the start of her match against American Amy Frazier in round two at Memphis in 2006 and took the set 6-1.

More remarkably, she lost that match 1-6 6-0 6-0.

"I had no idea," said Shvedova of her remarkable run of points.

"I was just playing every point and every game. I didn't feel like it was every game was 40-0.

"I was so focused in such a zone. I remember like first or second ball of the second set she won. All the people start to like clap and scream. I was like, 'What's going on?'"

"She was impossible to play against," Errani said. "I don't even feel like I played a disastrous match. She was hitting winners from every part of the court."

Czech fourth seed Kvitova eased through with a 6-1 6-0 victory over American Varvara Lepchenko.

Kvitova, who has lost just 13 games in three matches, hit 15 winners and forced her opponent into 38 errors.

"I feel better every match that I'm playing here," said 22-year-old Kvitova, who has yet to drop a set in the tournament.

The Czech said she would play "aggressively" against her next opponent Francesca Schiavone , who beat Klara Zakopalova 6-0 6-4.

Analysis

"Serena Williams made a statement with how she played when she was in trouble, after she got nervous in Paris. Zheng Jie played one of the best matches of her life but just couldn't break serve. Serena did so well when her back was against the wall. Sometimes you've just got to escape. You've got to get through the match when you don't play well. She served well. She didn't do so well on the groundstrokes, but she found her champion's spirit."

"Francesca can play very well on the grass with a good slice from the backhand," she said. "We played twice already this year on clay and hard court so we're just missing the grass, so it's time for this.

"I think she can play very well, she has a good volley, so I think she will play aggressively going to the net."

Ana Ivanovic, the 14th seed, beat Julia Goerges of Germany 3-6 6-3 6-4 and will meet second seed Victoria Azarenka .

Australian Open champion Azarenka, last year's semi-finalist, beat Slovakia's Jana Cepelova 6-3 6-3, despite only securing five of 12 break points.

Austria's Tamira Paszek , who defeated former world number one Caroline Wozniacki in the first round, also progressed with a 2-6 7-6 (7-4) 7-5 win over Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium.

She will next play 21st seed Roberta Vinci after the Italian secured a 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-3) victory over Croatia's Mirjana Lucic.

Shvedova set makes history