Russian could face Venus again

Associated Press

WIMBLEDON, England -- Vera Zvonareva advanced today to a possible rematch against Venus Williams, this time at Wimbledon.

The 18-year-old Russian beat Iroda Tulyaganova in the third round, 6-3, 7-5. She could next face two-time Wimbledon champion Williams, who was scheduled to play Nadia Petrova later Friday.

Zvonareva upset Williams in the fourth round at the French Open this month. It was Williams' earliest defeat at a Grand Slam event in two years.

Against Tulyaganova, the No. 16-seeded Zvonareva faced only one break point and committed just 10 unforced errors.


No. 13 Ai Sugiyama beat No. 22 Nathalie Dechy 6-4, 6-4 and could next face French Open runner-up Kim Clijsters.

The first man to reach the fourth round was No. 8 Sjeng Schalken, who beat Victor Hanescu 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 (3).

Maria Sharapova, a 16-year-old Russian playing in the tournament for the first time, advanced Thursday with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over compatriot Elena Bovina, who was seeded 21st.

Born in Siberia, not exactly a tennis hotbed, Sharapova moved to the Black Sea resort of Sochi at age 2, then to Florida at 6. She now lives and trains in Bradenton and has been touted as the next Anna Kournikova, only better.

"She's a good player," said Ashley Harkleroad, another promising teenager who lost to Sharapova in the first round. "She's going to go a long way."

Sharapova's next opponent will be 11th-seeded Jelena Dokic, who beat Emmanuelle Gagliardi 6-1, 6-3.

Joining them on Saturday's schedule will be Serena Williams, the top-seeded defending women's champion, who will play Laura Granville. They're two of eight American women in the final 32.

Also advancing were Jennifer Capriati, 1994 champion Conchita Martinez, French Open champ Justine Henin-Hardenne and Mary Pierce.


On the men's side, second-seeded Andre Agassi advanced by beating Lars Burgsmuller 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-3. Agassi will next play No. 27 Younes El Aynaoui, who beat Nicolas Massu.

Also winning were French Open champion Juan Carlos Ferrero, three-time quarterfinalist Mark Philippoussis, 2002 runner-up David Nalbandian and 10th-seeded Tim Henman, the lone British player left in the tournament.

The producers of "Notting Hill" and "Bridget Jones' Diary" are making a movie titled "Wimbledon" about the first English male finalist since the 1930s. The shooting of two scenes Thursday delayed the start of Henman's match, before he beat Michael Llodra 6-4, 6-4, 6-3.

"Maybe it's a sign of the desperation to finally win the tournament that they're making a film about it," Henman said. "I hope if I win Wimbledon, it won't ruin their film."

The only seeded man to lose was No. 26 James Blake, beaten by Sargis Sargsian 6-2, 7-6 (3), 6-2.

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