Defending champ falls at Wimbledon
Vail, C Colorado
WIMBLEDON, England ” Defending champion Amelie Mauresmo lost in the fourth round at Wimbledon on Tuesday, struggling with her serve throughout and falling to Nicole Vaidisova 7-6 (6), 4-6, 6-1 in a match interrupted by rain three times.
Mauresmo, who won her first two Grand Slam titles last year, had 14 double-faults and 37 unforced errors.
“I don’t know how many I had today, but definitely too many,” Mauresmo said. “I don’t know if it was her or me.”
The fourth-seeded Mauresmo held three set points when she led 6-3 in the tiebreaker but then lost the next five points. After winning the second set, she fell behind 3-0 in the third and was broken again in the sixth game, allowing the 18-year-old Vaidisova to serve out the match.
Also, 2004 U.S. Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova reached the quarterfinals by beating 16-year-old Tamira Paszek of Austria 6-3, 6-2.
“I put in more and more pressure on her,” Kuznetsova said. “She was playing worse, worse, worse.”
Kuznetsova will face either Venus Williams or Maria Sharapova in the next round. Williams and Sharapova were scheduled to play later Tuesday.
Mauresmo double-faulted twice in the sixth game of the final set to give Vaidisova a break point. She then sent a backhand drop shot into the net, and netted a volley on the first point of the next game.
She then hit a ball into the crowd in frustration and was given a warning by the umpire. After the match, Mauresmo walked off Centre Court without acknowledging the crowd.
Mauresmo was sidelined earlier this year following an appendectomy in March and had a groin problem that contributed to an early exit at the French Open.
“Sometimes it shows that it’s a lack of confidence and a lack of practice,” Mauresmo said. “I just want to come back to the level I had quickly.”
Vaidisova reached the quarterfinals for the first time at the All England Club. The No. 14-seeded Czech reached the semifinals at last year’s French Open and this year’s Australian Open.
“She’s got some maturity on the court. She’s showing she can go for shots at the right time,” Mauresmo said. “She’s been close already.”
Vaidisova will play either No. 6 Ana Ivanovic or No. 11 Nadia Petrova. Their fourth-round encounter was halted by yet another rain break with Ivanovic serving for the match at 5-4 in the third set.
Play was twice delayed early in the match, each time for about 20 minutes. The third delay came when Mauresmo was about to serve for the second set, and lasted nearly an hour.
This year’s tournament has been hampered by rain in seven of its first eight days.
Matches on Centre Court and Court No. 1 started at 11 a.m. Tuesday ” two hours earlier than usual ” because of the backlog of matches.
On the men’s side, 2003 French Open champion Juan Carlos Ferrero reached the Wimbledon quarterfinals for the first time by beating Janko Tipsarevic 7-5, 6-3, 7-6 (5).
Later, second-seeded Rafael Nadal was scheduled to finish his suspended third-round match against Robin Soderling, while No. 3 Andy Roddick was to face Paul-Henri Mathieu in the fourth round.
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