FORMER champion Petra Kvitova showed impressive character to avoid becoming the latest high- profile first-week casualty at Wimbledon yesterday.
It had looked like the pattern of underachievement by top 10 seeds would continue with 2011 title winner Kvitova, only for the eighth seed to come through 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 against Ekaterina Makarova of Russia.
Bad light and rain had halted them on Friday, and their third-round clash resumed on Court One yesterday with world No.27 Makarova a break up at 2-1 in the decider.
It had looked like a tough job awaiting former world No.2 Kvitova, pictured, but it was a challenge she tackled eagerly.
Czech Kvitova dug deep to take a topsy-turvy third set and secure a last-16 clash with Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro.
In another rearranged match, American 17th seed Sloane Stephens came through against qualifier Petra Cetkovska to win 7-6 (7/3), 0-6, 6-4.
The American will face Monica Puig in the fourth round, after the Puerto Rican recovered from a set and a break down against Eva Birnerova to win 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Defending champion Serena Williams left it late but ended up winning comfortably over 42-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm of Japan.
Date-Krumm, the oldest player left in the draw, was beaten 2-6, 0-6 by Williams in a third round tie that didn’t finish until close to 9.30pm.
Promising American teenager Madison Keys saw her Wimbledon run ended by the fourth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska. Keys, 19, has been the subject of plenty of attention at the All England Club after beating home hope Heather Watson and then the seeded Mona Barthel, but she was unable to make it into the second week. Keys more than held her own over two sets against last year’s beaten finalist, losing the first set 7-5 before taking the second 6-4.
She was unable to maintain the standard into the third set and her serve was broken in the sixth game to give Radwanska a lead she would not surrender. Keys at least staved off match points in the seventh game, forcing Radwanska to serve out for a 6-3 win and set up a next-round clash with Tsvetana Pironkova.