Kvitova struggles as Serena, Sharapova cruise | Pakistan Today

Kvitova struggles as Serena, Sharapova cruise

Second seed Czech Petra Kvitova battled her way into the Australian Open third round on Thursday as rivals Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova steamrolled their opponents. Russia’s Vera Zvonareva and Serbian glamour girl Ana Ivanovic also won in straight sets as the cream continued to rise to the top of the women’s draw. Two-time grand slam winner Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia was pushed to the limit by young American Sloane Stephens before scraping through 7-6 (8/6), 7-5. France’s Marion Bartoli, the ninth seed, ended Australian interest in the women’s draw, beating Jelena Dokic 6-3, 6-2.
However, Wimbledon champion Kvitova had to survive a second-set meltdown against Carla Suarez Navarro, who bundled Venus Williams from the tournament in 2009. Kvitova won the first set easily but grew visibly frustrated as she lost the second and had to come from a break down in the third to win 6-2, 2-6, 6-4. The reigning Wimbledon champion was in great touch in the first set, serving well and breaking the Spaniard twice in a commanding display. But at the start of the second Kvitova seemed to lose focus, missing easy shots and allowing Suarez Navarro to dictate the points. The Spaniard, one of only seven players in the top 100 with a one-handed backhand, used it to devastating effect to move Kvitova around the court. Suarez Navarro took the second and broke to go 2-0 ahead in the decider, but Kvitova dug deep and slowly pegged back the gallant Spaniard, eventually winning a tense encounter in 1hr 47mins.

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