Ivanovic, Schiavone reach 4th round at Wimbledon
WIMBLEDON, England (AP) - Recent French Open champions Ana Ivanovic and Francesca Schiavone reached the fourth round at Wimbledon with victories Saturday.
Ivanovic had a much tougher time. The 14th-seeded Ivanovic, whose only Grand Slam title came in Paris in 2008, came back from a set down to beat 22nd-seeded Julia Goerges 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Defending champion Petra Kvitova wasn't challenged a bit, getting to the fourth round with a 6-1, 6-0 victory over 53rd-ranked Varvara Lepchenko of the United States.
Playing her usual varied and attacking style, the 24th-seeded Schiavone defeated 31st-ranked Klara Zakopalova 6-0, 6-4 in 68 minutes. Schiavone won the 2010 French Open, then was the runner-up last year.
The 32-year-old Schiavone reached the fourth round at Wimbledon for only the second time in 13 appearances. She was a quarterfinalist in 2009, but bowed out in the first round the following year, two weeks after becoming the first Italian woman to win a Grand Slam title.
Schiavone played far steadier than Zakopalova, who finished with 20 unforced errors, 12 in the first set alone. And while Schiavone never faced a break point, she earned five on Zakopalova's serve and converted four.
Ivanovic's best showing at Wimbledon was a run to the semifinals in 2007. But she lost in the third round last year, and the first round in 2010.
Against Goerges, who was trying to give Germany three women in the fourth round at Wimbledon for the first time since 1987, Ivanovic kept teetering on the edge of real trouble. Serving for the match, she faced a break point at 30-40, and came up with a cross-court forehand winner that clipped the outside edge of a line. An ace set up match point, and when Goerges netted a forehand, that was it.
Also on Saturday's schedule were four-time Wimbledon champion Serena Williams against 25th-seeded Zheng Jie, the third time they've met at the grass-court Grand Slam tournament; No. 4 Andy Murray against 2006 Australian Open runner-up Marcos Baghdatis; and four American men: No. 10 Mardy Fish, No. 30 Andy Roddick, Sam Querrey and qualifier Brian Baker.
The 126th-ranked Baker was the first of that quartet to play - and he won, beating Benoit Paire of France 6-4, 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 to reach the fourth round.
Baker needed five operations from 2005-8, including reconstructive surgery on his right elbow, and returned to the sport about a year ago. He began 2012 ranked 458th, but Saturday's victory is expected to move him into the top 80.
And featured in the day's second match on Court 12 was 100th-ranked Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic, who hoped to follow up his remarkable second-round upset of 11-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal.
Rosol was facing No. 27 Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany for a berth in the fourth round.
Six-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer gave Rosol plenty of credit for showing other players that such surprising results are possible.
Almost happened to Federer, too.
The owner of a record 16 major trophies, and a quarterfinalist or better at 32 consecutive major tournaments, the third-seeded Federer dropped the first two sets against 29th-seeded Julien Benneteau of France, then was two points away from losing six times, before coming all the way back Friday night to pull out a 4-6, 6-7 (3), 6-2, 7-6 (6), 6-1 victory in the third round.
"Oh, my God, it was brutal,'' Federer said. "The thing, when you're down two sets to love, is to stay calm, even though it's hard, because people are freaking out, people are worried for you. ... You don't have, obviously, many lives left out there. You just try to play tough and focus point for point. Sounds so boring, but it's the right thing to do out there.''
He should know.
This was the eighth time in Federer's illustrious career that he overcame a two-set hole, including against 2009 U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro in the French Open quarterfinals 3 1/2 weeks ago.
"Mentally, he's a rock. He's two sets down and he doesn't show anything. And after that, if your level is a little bit lower - right here, right now, he takes the opportunity,'' said Benneteau, whose cramping thighs were massaged by a trainer during two final-set changeovers. "At the beginning of the third set, I was not as good as I was in the first two sets, and in 5 minutes, it's 4-0.''
Like Federer and Nadal, Novak Djokovic fell behind against someone he was expected to beat easily: The Serb ceded the first set, getting broken at love by No. 28 Radek Stepanek, Rosol's Davis Cup teammate for the Czech Republic. But quick as can be, Djokovic turned things around, breaking Stepanek to begin each of the next three sets for a 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 victory that moved him closer to a semifinal showdown against Federer.
Once Djokovic had Stepanek's serve-and-volley style measured, the passing winners and shoetop-high returns started flowing. Talking about falling behind in the second set, Stepanek said: "Not a good move from my side, because once you get these top guys going, then it's tough to stop them.''
Benneteau might have sounded the same lament. For quite a lengthy stretch, he played positively Rosol-esque tennis: hard serves and stinging groundstrokes directed at lines. No fear.
But Federer found an opening and barged through, saved in particular by this: He won 63 of the 80 points he served over the last three sets.
Both Djokovic - who takes on unseeded Viktor Troicki in an all-Serbian matchup Monday - and Federer - who begins Week 2 by meeting 2002 Wimbledon semifinalist Xavier Malisse - found it odd to be playing with Centre Court's retractable roof closed as a precaution, despite a blue sky overhead.
"That's a bit of getting used to. Indoor grass is not something we're quite familiar with,'' Federer said.
Here's what happened: A drizzle delayed the start of play Monday, so tournament officials decided to shut the roof. By the time it was closed, and Djokovic headed out to play, the sun was out.
"I was a little bit surprised, when I saw sunshine, that the roof is closed,'' Djokovic said. "Obviously, they're relying on a forecast that I don't think is very reliable here.''