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Friday, June 26, 2009

Schiavone keeps good run going

Photo Titled Schiavone precision
Schiavone precision

Marion Bartoli, the 2007 finalist, blamed the Wimbledon grass after crashing out in the third round to the evergreen Francesca Schiavone

Frenchwoman Bartoli was unable to reproduce the form of two years ago, going down 7-6 (7-5), 6-0 to the 29-year-old Italian.

But Bartoli, the No.12 seed, was frustrated with the speed of the surface. “I felt like the grass is so slow,” she said. “It's so hard to win one point from the baseline.

“I was keeping hitting the ball, hitting the ball, hitting the ball, and the ball keeps coming back, keeps coming back.

“So when I was trying to come to the net, if my approach shot was not absolutely perfect, she was passing me all the time. So I had to come up with the perfect shot on each point, which is really difficult to do. “

“I think the grass has been getting really slower and slower honestly [since 2007], especially during the first week.”

Both players exchanged breaks during a topsy-turvy first set, which went to a tiebreak.

But Schiavone’s consistent play allowed her to take the tiebreak narrowly 7-5 and she never looked back.

Schiavone has enjoyed a magnificent week, knocking out Aleksandra Wozniak and Portuguese wonder kid Michelle Larcher De Brito. She underlined her form by destroying Bartoli 6-0 in the second set, setting up an interesting last 16 encounter with another Frenchwoman, Virginie Razzano. The No.26 seed had a walkover after Vera Zvonareva withdrew with injury.

“Virginie is a great player on this surface,” said Schiavone. “We are 50/50. She's playing very well from the start of the year. So I will fight and try to do my best.”

There was another shock in the men’s competition as Israel’s Dudi Sela beat No.15 seed Tommy Robredo to reach the last 16 of a Grand Slam for the first time.

Sela crucially won the first set tiebreak and then took the second set 7-5. Spaniard Robredo hit back in the third setting, taking it 6-2. But the quarter-finalist at Roland Garros is out of Wimbledon after Sela took the fourth 7-5 to seal a notable scalp and set up an even tougher match with Novak Djokovic on Monday.

Andreas Seppi, conqueror of James Blake in the first round, lives to a fight another day. He lost the first two sets 6-1, 7-6 to 29th seed Igor Andreev. But the Italian came roaring back to take the third set 6-4. It was 5-5 in the fourth when bad light suspended play. The pair will resume battle on Saturday.

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