Venus rallies to win

Wimbledon, July 2:

Venus Williams faced 23 break points, double-faulted 14 times, trailed 5-3 in the third set and still managed to advance at Wimbledon today.

The three-time champion rallied past Akiko Morigami 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 in a third-round match suspended on Saturday. Williams will next face 2004 champion Maria Sharapova. Williams trailed 1-4 in the second set when her match was halted.

Williams, seeded 23rd, double-faulted for the final time to fall behind 3-5 in the last set. Morigami then lost serve, and Williams hit four big serves to hold for 5-all.

With Williams serving for the match at 6-5, rain began to fall but play continued. Williams erased two break points and closed out the victory on the first match point with a service winner.

When the match resumed in the second set on Monday, Williams lost the first seven points. She double-faulted four times serving at 2-5 but still managed to hold, then double-faulted four more times in her next service game. Morigami needed 10 set points to even the match, finally forcing a third set when Williams hit a forehand wide.

Top-ranked Justin Henin, seeking the only Grand Slam she has yet to win, became the first woman to reach the quarter-finals by beating No 15-seeded Patty Schnyder 6-2, 6-2.

In the completion of third-round matches suspended on Saturday, No 5-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova beat Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2, 6-3; No 6 Ana Ivanovic defeated Aravane Rezai 6-3, 6-2; No 11 Nadia Petrova swept Virginia Ruano Pascual 6-3, 7-6 (3); No 12 Elena Dementieva lost to 16-year-old Tamira Paszek of Austria 3-6, 6-2, 6-3; and No 14 Nicole Vaidisova beat Victoria Azarenka 6-4, 6-2.

In men’s third-round play,

No 7 Tomas Berdych beat Lee Hyung-taik 6-4, 7-6 (2), 7-6 (3). The start of play was delayed nearly an hour by showers — the sixth time in seven days there has been a rain interruption.

Only three players had Monday off — Sharapova, defending champion Amelie Mauresmo and Roger Federer. The four-time defending champion got a bye into the quarter-finals when his fourth-round opponent Tommy Haas withdrew with a stomach muscle injury.