No. 2 Venus Williams survived a tough challenge in her fourth round match against Jarmila Groth, winning 6-4, 7-6(5) to advance tho her fourth straight Wimbledon quarterfinal.
A tough first set gave way to an even tough er second set, with Groth breaking Venus’ serve in the first game to gain an early break advantage that stood for a long time.
But after eight straight holds from there, the second set chaotically ended with three straight breaks. Groth served for the set twice, at 5-4 and 6-5, but was unable to muster even a set point either time.
Venus raced out to a 4-0 lead in the tiebreak, but Groth dug in and forced several errors from Williams to level the ‘breaker at 4-4.
But Venus’ experience won over, and the five-time Wimbledon champion closed out the tiebreak 7-5 courtesy of a couple nervous-looking shots from Groth when it mattered most.
Groth hits her serve, forehand, and backhand extremely hard and flat, and has recently been able to harness her tremendous power in a way she wasn’t able to early in her career.
The potent offense clearly unnerved Williams, who appeared far more agitated than she normally does on court. She even challenged several line calls something she almost never does.
But a win is a win. Venus should face an easier opponent in the quarterfinal in either No. 13 Marion Bartoli or Tsvetana Pironkova. Pironkova famously beat Venus in the first round of the 2006 Australian Open, but Venus’ prowess on grass should be enough to get through that match as well.