World No. 1 Maria Sharapova stayed on track Friday at the All England Club, navigating some breezy conditions in defeating an old junior enemy, Taipei’s Hsieh Su-Wei 6-1, 6-4.
“I faced her many times in the juniors,” said Sharapova, who was broken twice in the second set. “She used to be a nightmare for me because she used to slice and drop shot on clay. We used to have real battles, and we haven’t played since then. I knew her game really well and she didn’t have time to do all of that today on grass. If I’m hitting a hard-paced shot I don’t think she has time to create, which is something she likes to do. That’s her game, lots of slices and drop shots, get people kind of crazy.”
Other Top 10 winners Friday were No. 3 Agnieszka Radwanska rolling over Brit Heather Watson 6-0, 6-2, and No. 8 Angelique Kerber quieting No. 28-seeded American Christina McHale 6-2, 6-3.
Kerber’s win earns her a meeting with former No. 1 Kim Clijsters, who on Friday benefited from No. 12 Vera Zvonareva retiring in the second set with respiratory illness. Crying into her towel in the second set, the weepy Russian eventually threw in the towel trailing 3-6, 3-4.
“I’ve never played against her,” she Clijsters, looking forward to Kerber. “It will be a first. Obviously a left-hander is always tough. She’s been playing some really good tennis. She’s a fighter and physically strong girl, so it will definitely be a very tough match for me.”
On the upset tip Friday were Italian qualifier Camila Giorgi, coming from a 1-5 deficit in the second to beat No. 20 Nadia Petrova 6-3, 7-6(6), and Slovak qualifier Jana Cepelova outlasting No. 26 Anabel Medina Garrigues 6-7(7), 7-6(5), 6-3.
Other winners were No. 15 Sabine Lisicki ending the run of American Sloane Stephens in three sets, and easy wins for No. 17 Maria Kirilenko over Romanian Sorana Cirstea, and No. 30 Peng Shuai over Dutchwoman Arantxa Rus.
“The match is never over until the last point is finished,” said Lisicki, who was down 2-5 in the first set tiebreak to Stephens. “It doesn’t matter if it’s first set tiebreak or last set. I made some easy mistakes to go down 2-5. I had chances. The conditions were difficult — it was very windy, but I adjusted well. I just calmed down and went for my shots and made them.”
Lisicki will next meet Sharapova.
Saturday’s highlights at the All England Club include (6) Serena Williams vs. (25) Zheng Jie, (4) Petra Kvitova vs. Varvara Lepchenko, and (10) Sara Errani vs. (WC) Yaroslava Shedova.
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