Italy’s Francesca Schiavone celebrated her 31st birthday in style on the grass courts of SW19 today by taking down Czech’s Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, 7-5, 6-3 to move into the third round of Wimbledon 2011. The match was more competitive than the two set score makes it out to be with both players taking advantage of several opportunities throughout. However, Schiavone, who is having an unexpectedly successful run so late in her career, proved that experience is golden in hotly contested matches such as this one.
The first set lasted 56 min. with Strycova creating many break point opportunities. However, the 55- ranked Czech failed to take advantage of the positions that she put herself in and with Schiavone breaking serve at 3-4, the number six seed gained the momentum of the match and would not let Strycova back in the lead again.
The comeback princess of the tournament, Serena Williams, moved a step closer to defending her title when she beat the 19-year old, diminutive Romanian, Simona Halep, 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 to advance to the third round. After an erratic start, Williams proved that she still has what it takes to be a champion by cleaning up her game and sending Halep running around the court.
Halep’s accurate serves kept Williams’ attacking game at bay throughout the first set, giving the Romanian a set lead after 37 min. The second set was a different affair with Halep only making 39 percent of her first serves giving Williams the golden opportunity to begin firing her powerful ground strokes. From this point on, the match became completely one-sided with the fired up youngster becoming more and more discouraged as the match progressed. Williams will now play 26-seeded, Russian, Maria Kirilenko.
Other victorious players on day four of Wimbledon include Serbia’s Ana Ivanovic and Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova who both won their matches with relative ease. The upset of the day came on court four where Czech’s Petra Cetkovska defeated Polish 13- seed, Agnieszka Radwanska 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4.
Due to several rain delays this week, the remainder of the second round matches and will be completed on day five of Wimbledon 2011.
Summary of completed women’s second round matches on day four:
►Serena Williams (USA)  defeated Simona Halep (ROU) 3-6, 6-2, 6-1
►Francesca Schiavone (ITA)  defeated Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (CZE) 7-5, 6-3
►Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) defeated Sara Errani (ITA0 6-4, 5-7, 6-2
►Petra Cetkovska (CZE) defeated Agnieszka Radwanska (POL)  3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4
►Ana Ivanovic (SRB)  defeated Eleni Daniilidou (GRE) 6-3, 6-0
►Yanina Wickmayer (BEL)  defeated Anna Tatishvili (GEO) 3-6, 6-4, 6-2
►Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) defeated Polona Hercog (SLO) 6-1, 6-2
►Maria Kirilenko (RUS)  defeated Tamarine Tanasugarn (THA) 7-5, 7-5
►Julia Goerges (GER)  defeated Mathilde Johansson (FRA) 7-6(10), 6-2
►Misaki Doi (JPN) defeated Jie Zheng (CHN) 6-3, 6-1
►Jarmila Gajdosova (AUS)  defeated Andrea Hlavackova (CZE) 7-6(1), 6-3
►Nadina Petrova (RUS) defeated Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS)  6-3, 6-3
►Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS)  defeated Alexandra Dulgheru (ROU) 6-0, 6-2
►Tamira Paszek (AUT) defeated Christina McHale (USA) 6-4, 6-1
►Flavia Pennetta (ITA)  defeated Evgeniya Rodina (RUS) 6-4, 6-2