No. 16 Maria Sharapova is into the second week at Wimbledon for the first time since 2007 with a hard fought 7-5, 6-3 win over Barbora Zahlavova Strycova of the Czech Republic. It was the rare straight set grass court match that took over two hours, with match point coming after 2:04 of play.
Sharapova was erratic, but her 35 unforced errors were sufficiently countered with 34 winners. She dictated play throughout, and became steadier and steadier as the match came to a close.
The win sets up a tantalizing fourth round encounter with No. 1 Serena Williams, for the pair’s first meeting on grass since Sharapova stunned Serena in the 2004 Wimbledon final. Serena has been the more consistent of the two, but I definitely like Sharapova’s chances to make it interesting, at least.