Zvonareva falls by the wayside as Pironkova exacts sweet revenge

The 23-year-old Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova delivered yesterday's big upset in the women's singles draw, knocking out the Russian second seed Vera Zvonareva 6-2, 6-3 on Court Two, to exact revenge for her defeat in last year's three-set semi-final.

Despite reaching the last four last year, and beating Venus Williams on the way, this is only the second time that Pironkova has gone beyond the second round in a Grand Slam.

Zvonareva's exit is all the more surprising given her excellent Grand Slam form in the last 12 months. The Muscovite, currently ranked No 3 in the world, also reached last year's US Open final, which she lost to Kim Clijsters, and got to the semi-final at this year's Australian Open.

Earlier on the same court, top seed Caroline Wozniacki advanced comfortably into the third round, but after doing so offered a cautious endorsement of Serena Williams' complaint that the leading women, unlike their male counterparts, are too often made to play away from the main two show courts. "Obviously I think I deserve to play on one of the bigger courts," said the world No 1, following a routine 6-1, 6-3 victory over Virginie Razzano of France. "Hopefully in my next match I'll have the chance to play on one of the bigger ones. We'll see."

The 20-year-old Dane was rarely stretched as she improved her record against Razzano to played five, won five, and made only a single unforced error. If there was cause for concern it was only that she required five match points to wrap things up, and she indicated that she would need to be more ruthless in the next round, in which she is due to play the naturalised Australian Jarmila Gajdosova. Coincidentally, it was Gajdosova who defeated Razzano in the last Grand Slam, the exceptionally poignant encounter at Roland Garros, eight days after Razzano's fiancé and former coach, Stéphane Vidal, had died of a brain tumour.

Wozniacki was asked afterwards whether Razzano's personal tragedy had played on her mind during the match. "On the court it's a game," she said. "You compete and you don't really think about what's going on on the other side. But of course, if she would need help or anything, we're always here. We're all humans, so we want to help out."

The Dane added that, much as she loves Wimbledon, and enjoys playing on grass, she doesn't consider it to be the surface most likely to yield a first Grand Slam. The five-times Wimbledon champion Venus Williams, however, takes a very different view of the All England Club's immaculate lawns, and had a much easier ride yesterday than she was given in the first round by the 40-year-old Kimiko Date Krumm.

Williams beat Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez of Spain 6-0, 6-2, and must next face the woman who knocked her out in the quarter-finals last year, Pironkova. "I don't feel I competed well," the No 23 seed said of last year's defeat. "Regardless of how I play, I know I'll be competing this time."

Like her younger sister, Williams has spent a lot of the past year nursing injuries, and admitted that it is hard to regain the intensity needed in the heat of competition. "I've been really focusing on focusing, actually," she said, somewhat gnomically.

The ninth seed Marion Bartoli also needed focus, surviving three match points to beat Lourdes Dominguez Lino 4-6, 7-5, 6-2. The unseeded Spaniard served for the match at 5-4 in the second set but could not overcome the French No 1, who was runner-up here to Venus Williams in 2007.

Elsewhere, two other seeds bit the dust. The former French and US Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, seeded 12th, was beaten 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 by 21-year-old Carolina Wickmayer of Belgium. Wickmayer thus reaches the fourth round here for the first time, and it is a significant scalp. Kuznetsova has never gone beyond the quarter-final stage, but has reached the last eight three times, in 2003, 2005 and 2007.

Meanwhile, Ksenia Pervak, a left-hander from Russia, put an end to the hopes of Andrea Petkovic, the 11th seed from Germany, winning 6-4, 7-6.

BUY WIMBLEDON TICKETS

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future
Berlusconi's world of sleaze: The astonishing lifestyle once enjoyed by Italy's former PM

Berlusconi's world of sleaze

The astonishing lifestyle once enjoyed by Italy's former PM
Disney plans galactic domination with endless Star Wars spin-offs

Disney plans galactic domination with endless Star Wars spin-offs

Films and theme parks are just the beginning. Disney believes its control of the now decades-old franchise can bring in merchandise and marketing millions for years to come
Could the golden age of the gaming arcade ever be revived in the era of the Xbox?

Could gaming arcades be revived?

The days when coin-ops were the only way to play the latest video games are gone. But a small band of enthusiasts are keeping the button-pushing dream alive
Edinburgh Fringe 2015: The 'tampon tax' has inspired a new wave of female comedians to reclaim period jokes

Heard the one about menstruation?

Yes, if you have been at the Fringe, where period pieces are taking centre stage