Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Maria Sharapova, Sabine Lisicki and Victoria Azarenka, who was celebrating her birthday, were among the winners on day 4 at the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Lisicki was the first to advance after beating Yaroslava Shvedova, 46 63 75.
The German hit 28 unforced errors and 47 winners while Shvedova, who also had 28 unforced error, rpoduced just 17 winners.
The Kazakh got to match point at 5-4 in the third, but was not able to convert it.
"I was surprised we got to play the match - the rain stayed away, which was nice," Lisicki said. "It was a hard match. I mean, Shvedova plays great, and she played fabulously here. I knew it would be tough, and I'm just happy to win."
Lisicki will next face Sharapova, who scored a 76 63 win over Laura Robson.
Robson held to love her first service game and in the following game forced the Russian to save two break points.
Masha broke Robson in the fifth game to lead 3-2 but the British woman levelled the match for 4-4 when Sharapova double-faulted.
They went on serve until the tiebreak where Robson lead 3-1 and then 5-3, but Sharapova won the next four points to edge the opening set.
In the second set, Robson was broken in the second game and Sharapova starting to dominate their rallies with more accurate ground strokes.
Laura missed an opportunity to break back as Sharapova served at 4-1, but two games later had her chance again and as the Russian sent a forehand wide got the break to put the set back on equal terms.
Robson lost her serve in the next game allowing Sharapova to lead 5-3. She wrapped up victory in the next game.
"I think she has a lot of potential, no doubt," Sharapova said of Robson. "I think consistency's the biggest key, obviously. When you come out on a big stage, the whole crowd behind you, playing someone against whom you have nothing to lose, you play your best tennis. But it's also a matter of going out and playing on Court 18 and performing at the same level week in, week out.
"She certainly improved from the last time I played her. You can see the little improvements she's made. I'm sure she has a bright future ahead of her."
Azarenka rolled over María José Martínez Sánchez, 61 62and will meet Nadia Petrova, who beat Anna Tatishvili, 63 67(5) 62 in the next round.
Vika was celebrating her 23rd birthday, but was too focused on her tennis to celebrate. "It was a special moment to have a birthday during the Olympic Games but unfortunately I cannot celebrate as I have to get ready for tomorrow," she said. "Just wishing for a gold medal won't make it happen."