Wednesday, December 11, 2013
The Associated Press
WIMBLEDON, England - Count them: 7 seconds.
Caroline Wozniacki used to be the top-ranked player in the world, but problems have set in. They weren’t helped Wednesday when she blew two match points and bid an early goodbye.
The Associated Press
That's how long French Open runner-up Sara Errani "played" Wednesday at Wimbledon against qualifier CoCo Vandeweghe of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. -- enough time to wrap up a 6-1, 6-3 victory in the first round.
How's that possible? Because play was ended by rain a night earlier, with the 10th-seeded Errani at match point as the 132nd-ranked Vandeweghe served.
When they resumed, after the customary several-minute warmup ritual of baseline strokes, volleys, overheads and serves, Vandeweghe tossed up a ball and hit it into the net. Moments later she hit her second serve into the net to complete the double-fault that ended the match right then and there, leaving both women smiling and spectators guffawing. Errani joined in the laughter as she packed away her racket bag, and kept right on giggling during her news conference.
Asked by an Italian reporter to recount what happened, Errani said, justifiably: "There's not much to tell."
Asked by another whether she'd bothered to take a shower, Errani assured him she planned to later.
"I had talked to my coach to plan what I wanted to do in the match," Errani said, "but there was no need."
It was exactly the sort of unusual happening that Day 3 kept producing in what's shaping up as a wet and wild week at the All England Club. Another: Prince Charles visited his nation's most famous tennis club, something he hadn't done in 42 years.
Four of the top 13 seeded women were sent packing Wednesday, including 2011 U.S. Open champion Sam Stosur, 2011 French Open champion Li Na, and former No. 1-ranked Caroline Wozniacki.
The fifth-seeded Stosur's 6-2, 0-6, 6-4 loss to 72nd-ranked Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands means Australia will have zero men or women in the third round for the first time since 1939.
"It's a pretty woeful performance by all of us," said Stosur, the last of nine Australians in the tournament.
Wozniacki, who hadn't departed any Grand Slam tournament in the first round in more than five years, blew two match points in the second set and was beaten 5-7, 7-6 (4), 6-4 by 37th-ranked Tamira Paszek of Austria. It was the first match of the fortnight played with the Centre Court's retractable roof closed.
"I had over two years where I was winning these matches," said the No. 7 Wozniacki, who is dating 2011 U.S. Open golf champion Rory McIlroy and is still seeking her first major title. "I feel lately it's going the other way a little bit. It's not the first match this year where I have match points and not winning. You know, it's frustrating."
No. 11 Li lost to 52nd-ranked Sorana Cirstea of Romania 6-3, 6-4 in a second-round match, and 13th-seeded Dominika Cibulkova was beaten by 31st-ranked Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-1 in the first round.
Adding to the anything-can-happen vibe, at least for the better part of an hour: No. 1 Maria Sharapova trailed 38th-ranked Tsvetana Pironkova throughout the first set, fended off five set points and was ahead 7-6 (3), 3-1 when their second-round match was suspended by darkness.
That was one of the four singles matches halted in progress; four were postponed, adding to a backlog caused by showers.
Before the rain, Prince Charles sat in the Royal Box at Centre Court, watching six-time champion Roger Federer stumble once and awkwardly tweak his left knee, but otherwise easily reach the third round by beating 68th-ranked Fabio Fognini of Italy, 6-1, 6-3, 6-2.
"I'm fine. No pain, which is good," Federer said. "It could be dangerous with the left knee. I'm happy it was only basically a bruise to the ground, and not anything in the knee itself."
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