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Last Updated: Monday, 2 July 2007, 12:26 GMT 13:26 UK
Venus survives testing encounter
By Piers Newbery
BBC Sport at Wimbledon

Venus Williams
Venus broke to love when Morigami served for the match
Venus Williams survived another scare before beating Akiko Morigami to secure a fourth-round place at Wimbledon as rain again disrupted play.

The American resumed 6-2 1-4 up and Morigami served for the match before Williams came through 6-2 3-6 7-5.

Top seed Justine Henin demolished Patty Schnyder 6-2 6-2 to become the first woman to reach the quarter-finals.

Svetlana Kuznetsova, Ana Ivanovic and Nicole Vaidisova also completed wins in matches carried over from Saturday.

The start of play was delayed by an hour as Wimbledon was again subjected to prolonged rain.

When the action got under way, fifth seed Kuznetsova quickly wrapped up a 6-2 6-3 win over Agnieska Radwanska, sixth seed Ivanovic defeated Aravane Rezai 6-3 6-2, and 14th seed Vaidisova saw off Victoria Azarenka 6-4 6-2.

Ivanovic goes on to face Nadia Petrova, the 11th seed, who beat Virginia Ruano Pascual 6-3 7-6 (7-3), while Vaidisova will play defending champion Mauresmo.

One of my strong points is being a tough competitor and a huge fighter

Venus Williams

Kuznetsova next meets highly-rated Austrian Tamira Paszek - the youngest player left in the draw at 16 years, 6 months old - who had an excellent 3-6 6-2 6-3 win over 12th seed Elena Dementieva.

"She's a great fighter and I respect her a lot," said Paszek. "She's got probably the best baseline game on tour so I knew I needed to play my best tennis."

Williams, who struggled to beat unseeded teenager Alla Kudryavtseva in the first round, was in trouble again when Japan's Morigami levelled at one set all and moved 5-3 up in the decider.

Three-time champion Williams broke back to love but had to save another two break points as the rain fell before finally clinching victory with a service winner.

Both players then rushed for cover as the groundstaff raced on to bring across the covers.

Williams felt her battling qualities had won her the match against Morigami - rather than the Japanese player losing her nerve.

"One of my strong points is being a tough competitor and a huge fighter. In my experience I feel like it should only go my way," said Williams, who plays Maria Sharapova in the last 16.

"She played really well. She hit some nice passing shots, played aggressive. She didn't give me too many points - I had to go out there and take it.

Henin wasted no time at all in crushing Swiss 15th seed Schnyder in the opening match on Centre Court.

"I was a little bit surprised that the match was so quick," she said afterwards. "I was expecting a big fight, although I know grass is not Patty's favourite surface.

"The conditions were very tricky out there it was very windy. It's been pretty tough conditions for everybody. I think I've been pretty lucky, it's sad for everyone - the fans, the players."

SEE ALSO
Henin v Schnyder as it happened
02 Jul 07 |  Tennis


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