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Injured Serena saved by rain, Dementieva out at Wimbledon
Latest Updated by 2007-07-04 09:00:25
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Warrior Serena Williams fought off the pain of a calf strain to scrap her way into the Wimbledon quarterfinals while Austrian teenager Tamira Paszek proved a seed killer after knocking out Elena Dementieva on Monday.

Serena, coming back from a leg cramp left her screaming and crying in pain, defeated Daniela Hantuchova 6-2, 6-7 (2), 6-2 in a rain-marred match of tension, drama and high excitement on Center Court at the All England Club.

She will next clash with top-seeded Justine Henin, who earlier swept through Patty Schnyder of Switzerland 6-2, 6-2 to become the first woman in the quarterfinals.

Paszek, 16, came back from a set down to defeat the 12th seeded Dementieva 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 in 128 minutes.

The result is the second major scalp at this year's Wimbledon for the 54th ranked Austrian, after she put out 17th seed Tatiana Golovin in the second round.

Paszek will have another chance to continue the killer role when she next meets fifth seeded former US Open Champion Svetlana Kutnetsova.

"It's unbelievable," said the Wimbledon newcomer, "I never have any expectations before a tournament."

"I just go out there, try to perform my best and be happy with what happens. I knew I needed to play my best tennis to win that match."

Just after Serena collapsed to the Center Court grass at 5-5 in the second set, the match was interrupted for 90 minutes by rain, giving her a second chance after the break.

"I was definitely saved by the rain," the seventh-seeded American told a press conference.

Hantuchova, the 10th seed from Slovakia, failed to fully exploit the lack of mobility by the two-time champion, making several unforced errors and allowing her opponent to use her superior power to hit winners.

Williams, who won the Grand Slam tournament in 2002 and 2003 and collected her eighth major at this year's Australian Open, missed last year's Wimbledon and the preceding French Open with a knee injury.

Williams screamed with pain as she received treatment for several minutes.

"I just decided at one point it was over and I was going to die trying," she said, "I figured my heart wouldn't give out, so I had a good chance of making it."

She was treated during the rain delay with ice and massage, and was moving better when play resumed, saving a break point in the final set.

"It's so hard to play somebody you know is suffering," Hantuchova said, "You feel sorry for them but at the same time you have to try to be tough."

Williams was cheered on by her father and coach, Richard Williams; her mother, Oracene Price; and older sister Venus Williams, who came back from 5-3 down in the third set to defeat Akiko Morigami of Japan earlier on Monday.

Venus, three-time Wimbledon champion, will next play Maria Sharapova in the fourth round on Tuesday.

In men's singles, defending-champion Roger Federer got a bye into the quarterfinals when his opponent, Tommy Haas, pulled out with a stomach injury on Sunday.

Second-seeded Rafael Nadal, last year's runner-up, led Sweden's Robin Soderling 2-0 in the fifth set when rain stopped play for the day. Nadal failed to take a match point in the third set before Soderling rallied to take the third and fourth sets.

Czech Tomas Berdych beat South Korea's Lee Hjung-Taik to reach the fourth round, where he'll be joined by straight-sets winners Marcos Baghdatis, Jonas Bjorkman and Mikhail Youzhny.

Novak Djokovic, the fourth-seeded Serb, and Russian Nikolay Davydenko were winning their matches when rain stopped play. Lleyton Hewitt, the 2002 champion, led Argentina's Guillermo Canas 6-4, 3-6, 3-1.

Editor: Donald

By: Source:China View website
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