The Others

Monday, June 28, 2010 /by
Petra KvitovaSerena Williams, the defending Wimbledon champion, is in the quarterfinals. So are Venus Williams and Kim Clijsters. No surprises there. Tough to call Na Li as a shock fourth-round winner, either, or Vera Zvonareva. But the other three women? Before this tournament, they had a combined 2-10 career record at Wimbledon. If you picked them to go this far, well, you're clairvoyant. If you didn't pick them (and I know you didn't, so don't lie) here's a chance to get to know them better.

Petra Kvitova
The hard-hitting left-hander from the Czech Republic hadn't won a match at Wimbledon before this year, but she has a great game for grass (flat and very powerful strokes). Kvitova had the most lopsided score Monday: 6-2, 6-0 over Caroline Wozniacki, the No. 3 seed. The match lasted 46 minutes. Wozniacki won five points in the second set. She wasn't injured. Wozniacki told Danish reporters that she simply had no answer to Kvitova's aggressive game.

"It was [all] working, every shot," Kvitova said.

This will be Kvitova's first major quarterfinal. Her opponent will be….

Kaia Kanepi
Kanepi, once ranked as high as No. 18 in the world, had to qualify for Wimbledon. Why? Because from May 2009 to until January of this year she didn't win a match on the WTA tour. She lost 11 consecutive times. It's been some turnaround since then. After her 6-2, 6-4 win over Klara Zakopalova, Kanepi has won 27 out of 29 matches. This is her second major quarterfinal. She's the sixth woman qualifier to reach the last eight at Wimbledon in the Open era, which began in 1968. No woman qualifier has ever won this event (Alexandra Stevenson made it the furthest when she reached the semifinals in 1999).

Tsvetana Pironkova
Pironkova beat Marion Bartoli, a former finalist here, 6-4, 6-4. She has a lot of power, but she's quite erratic—at least, usually. In this match, she hit 42 winners and made 17 errors. Before this tournament, Pironkova had never won more than one match at a major tournament. One of those wins, though, was against Venus Williams at the 2006 Australian Open. Those two will meet again Tuesday.

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