Serena Williams Fights Through Pain for Wimbledon Victory

Posted on July 3, 2007

Most women's matches were completed Monday at Wimbledon despite the rains, with favorites Justine Henin and the Williams sisters leading the winners.

The world No. 1 Henin eased past No. 15 Patty Schnyder 6-2, 6-2, while No. 7 Serena Williams defeated No. 10 Daniela Hantuchova 6-2, 6-7(7), 6-2, and No. 23 Venus Williams squeaked by Akiko Morigami 6-2, 3-6, 7-5.

"Definitely one of my strong points is I'm a tough competitor and a huge fighter," said Venus Williams, who broke when Morigami served for the match. "In my experience, I just always feel like it should go my way. So I guess experience helps."

Serena Williams battled cramps to beat Hantuchova, collapsing onto the turf at 5-5 in the second set. Crying and screaming in pain, she received treatment before rain saved the American, sending her to the locker room. When play resumed Williams swung away while Hantuchova appeared tentative.

"I was going to die trying," Serena said. "I figured my heart wouldn't give out, anyway. But I've never dealt with such pain. I can't believe I won. I just kept thinking to myself -- one more game, one more game, until finally there were no games left. I was definitely saved by the rain. I couldn't move before that. I had a very acute muscle spasm. I think I was crying at one point. So in the break I was having a lot of ice on it, a lot of massage, drinking a lot of fluids -- tons of fluids."

Serena will meet Henin in the quarterfinals.

"I was a bit surprised the match was so quick, I was ready to have a good fight," Henin said of her match. "I've done my job perfectly so far and am just going to try to keep it going."

Other winners Monday were (5) Svetlana Kuznetsova (d. Radwanska), (6) Ana Ivanovic (d. Rezai), (11) Nadia Petrova (d. Ruano Pascual), Tamira Paszek (d. (12) Dementieva in three), and (14) Nicole Vaidisova (d. Azarenka).

On deck for Tuesday are (14) Nicole Vaidisova vs. (4) Amelie Mauresmo, (23) Venus Williams vs. (2) Maria Sharapova, (3) Jelena Jankovic vs. (18) Marion Bartoli, (6) Ana Ivanovic vs. (11) Nadia Petrova, and (5) Svetlana Kuznetsova vs. Tamira Paszek.