Kvitova sets up Venus test

  • Last Updated: June 25 2014, 19:35 BST

A review of the ladies' singles action on day three of Wimbledon, including wins for Petra Kvitova and Venus Williams.

Petra Kvitova celebrates defeating Mona Barthel
Petra Kvitova celebrates defeating Mona Barthel

Petra Kvitova is relishing the battle of 'big champions' after she secured a third-round showdown against Venus Williams at Wimbledon.

The sixth-seeded Pole, winner at the All England Club three years ago, saw off Germany's Mona Barthel in straight sets on Court One.

Williams, the five-time former Wimbledon singles champion, had earlier on Wednesday survived a scare to fend off the challenge of Japan's Kurumi Nara to come through 7-6 (7/4) 6-1 on Court Two.

The duo are now likely to come head-to-head on Friday, with Kvitova holding a 3-1 advantage from previous meetings, the last earlier this year.

"She is a big champion here as well, likes to play on the grass, and I am totally the same," Kvitova, a former world number two.

"I am looking forward for this match. I think it is going to be a great fight.

"We played in Doha (in February) of course, and before then Tokyo, they have always been very tough matches, so I am expecting the same."

Kvitova added: "The key I think is going to be very important to stay confident and play for every point, because I know that she can play really well.

"Venus plays flat shots like me on the grass, and of course she has a big serve, so I will need to return that."

Kvitova has a decent record at Wimbledon, reaching the semi-final in 2010 and the last eight in each of the years since lifting the Venus Rose Water dish on Centre Court with victory over Maria Sharapova.

The 24-year-old certainly makes the most out of her time at SW19.

"We have the same house as the last year and the year before. It is not superstition really. We just have a big house, what we need," she said.

"Also we went just once or two times in the same restaurant we went last year.

"It feels like home, yeah. I know everything about the house, about everything around, so that is nice."

Nara, meanwhile, was not too downhearted after her loss, during which the 22-year-old needed a medical time out at the end of the first set because of a thigh injury.

"It is very special for me because I saw Venus like when I was a child, so was very happy to play with her," she said.

There was some late drama out on Court Three - the traditional 'graveyard of the seeds' at Wimbledon before the recent redevelopments.

Two-time Wimbledon semi-finalist and former world number one Victoria Azarenka, ranked number eight this year by the AELTC, was beaten 6-3 3-6 7-5 by Serbian Bojana Jovanovski.

Second seed Li Na, however, had no problem with her early start out on Court Two as she breezed past Yvonne Meusburger in just over an hour.

The 2014 Australian Open champion disposed of the Austrian 6-2 6-2.

Li will take things as they come, aiming to go better than her three-time quarter-final appearances at the All England Club.

"It is easy to say, tough to do," she said of her own Wimbledon hopes.

"You can pretty easily think about second week, but for me, if I want to push myself, at least I have to win another match and to come to the second week and then to think about (getting further)."

Li will face Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova after she knocked out the 32 seeded Russian Elena Vesnina 6-4 6-2.

Number four seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland also moved safely into the third round as she recorded a straight-sets win over Australian Casey Dellacqua in the first match on Centre Court.

The 2012 runner-up at SW19 said: "Especially for me, Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam I made the final, so of course I had the best memories from here, from that Centre Court.

"Grass is the surface I really liked from the beginning, when I was first playing here in 2005.

"Unfortunately, the season on grass is not long, so that is why I really want to do well here."