Williams and Kvitova found their way out of trouble; Sharapova, the No. 1 player in the world, did not.
All 32 remaining players were trying to squeeze matches in around rain delays and Williams was able to complete hers, beating Yaroslava Shvedova, a wild card from Kazakhstan, 6-1, 2-6, 7-5, to advance to the quarterfinals. Play on other courts had been halted, but Williams and Shvedova continued, with Scottie Pippen watching from the friends’ and family box.
“I felt fine out there. I think we both wanted to keep playing because it was so deep into the match. I felt like I didn’t want to stop,” Williams said in an ESPN interview. “I don’t know if she wanted to stop, but I was definitely ready.”
Williams, who has a doubles match to complete with her sister, Venus, has had two tough three-set matches and will play Kvitova in the quarters. “I’m not tired, I’m not anything,” Williams said. “The bottom line, I feel I can play sooo much better than what I have I’ve been playing. If I couldn’t, that would be a problem. ... I can serve better. ... You know me. I’m never satisfied.”
On the men’s side, Roger Federer was in a more worrisome predicament. The six-time champion, who was walking rather gingerly and bending stiffly, left the court during his match with Xavier Malisse to receive treatment on his lower back in the trainer’s room. Federer returned to win, 7-6 (7-1), 6-1, 4-6, 6-3, and dismissed his back problems.
“It’s okay, otherwise I wouldn’t be giving this interview,” he said. “It started to feel better as the match went on. I thought I was in big troubled.”
Wimbledon 2012: Live scoreboard