| By Monica Gorny

On day three of Wimbledon 2011, the opening match on Centre Court was one for the books, as six- time Wimbledon champion, Venus Williams faced 40- year old, Kimiko Date- Krumm, a former world number four player from Japan. Based solely on statistics, Williams should have won this encounter with ease. However, the Japanese veteran countered all predictions and probably surprised Williams by coming out and firing balls just as effectively as any of the younger players in the draw. Within only nine minutes of the match, Williams found herself at a 3-0 deficit while whispers of a possible upset began to surface.

The Japanese veteran Date- Krumm made her Wimbledon debut in 1989, when some of the players in the 2011 draw were not yet born. Williams, who turned 31 this year, also finds herself amongst the older players on the WTA Tour. This encounter between two world-class players was one of differing styles as Williams noted in her post-match interview. “She runs down every ball. She hits every ball basically on the baseline, hard and flat. If you get it anywhere near the mid‑court, she hits for the corners and comes to the net.”

In their own ways, both players were consistently sending flurries of hurtling winners to all sides of the court. The encounter lasted almost three hours with Williams finally edging Date-Krumm 6-7(6), 6-3, 8-6. The number 23 seed now plays Spain’s Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez who beat Romania’s Monica Niculescu, 6-3, 6-0.

Due to rain delays, some first round matches were also played today. Eyes were on Germany’s Sabine Lisicki who crushed Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova, 6-1, 6-1. Lisicki has now won 10 of her last 11 matches on grass. There is no question that the unseeded German is a dangerous floater in this year’s draw. In her last Wimbledon appearance in 2009, the German reached the quarterfinals causing a notable upset along the way when she beat the number five-seeded Russian, Svetlana Kuznetsova. Two weeks ago, Lisicki won the AEGON Classic, beating Slovakia’s Daniela Hantuchova in the finals. Does this unseeded player have what it takes to continue her stellar play on grass? Time will only tell, as she takes on the 2011 French Open champion Na Li in the second round.

Other notable winners from the remaining first round matches include number 13 seed, Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska who defeated Belarus’s Olga Govortsova and the number 16 seeded German, Julia Goerges who defeated Spain’s Anabel Medina Garrigues.

Play continues on day four of Wimbledon 2011 with the remainder of the second round matches.

Summary of first round women’s matches from day three:

►Mathilde Johansson (FRA) defeated Heather Watson (GBR) 2-6, 6-4, 6-4

►Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) [13] defeated Olga Govortsova (BLR) 6-0, 3-0 ret.

►Sabine Lisicki (GER) defeated Anastasija Sevatsova (LAT) 6-1, 6-1

►Julia Goerges (GER) [16] defeated Anabel Medina Garrigues (ESP) 6-3, 6-0

►Andrea Hlavackova (CZE) defeated Anastasia Rodionova (RUS) 6-1, 6-2

►Jie Zheng (CHN) defeated Zuzana Ondraskova (CZE) 7-5, 6-0

►Petra Cetkovska (CZE) defeated Kristina Barrois (GER) 6-2, 5-7, 6-2

►Jarmila Gajdosova (AUS)[27] defeated Alona Bondarenko (UKR) 7-5, 6-3

►Evgeniya Rodina (RUS) defeated Chanelle Scheepers (RSA) 6-3, 7-5

►Misaki Doi (JPN) defeated Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) [30] 6-4, 5-7, 7-5

►Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) [24] defeated Mirjana Lucic (CRO) 3-6, 6-3, 8-6

►Flavia Pennetta (ITA) [21] defeated Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU) 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-2

►Polona Hercog (SLO) defeated Johanna Larsson (SWE) 6-7(3), 6-3, 6-4

Summary of completed women’s second round matches from day three:

►Venus Williams (USA) [23] defeated Kimiko Date-Krumm (JPN) 6-7(6), 6-3, 8-6

►Vera Zvonareva (RUS) [2] defeated Elena Vesnina (RUS) 6-1, 7-6 (5)

►Ksenia Pervak (RUS) defeated Pauline Parmentier (FRA) 6-2, 1-6, 6-3

►Roberta Vinci (ITA)[29] defeated Rebecca Marino (CAN) 7-6 (3), 6-2

►Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez (ESP) defeated Monica Niculescu (ROU) 6-3, 6-0

►Victoria Azarenka (BLR) [4] defeated Iveta Benesova (CZE) 6-0, 6-3

►Tvetsana Pironkova (BUL)[32] defeated Petra Martic (CRO) 6-1, 6-4