Blink and the match was over
WIMBLEDON, England — Count ’em: 7 seconds.
That’s how long French Open runner-up Sara Errani “played” at Wimbledon on Wednesday against qualifier CoCo Vandeweghe of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. — long enough to wrap up a 6-1, 6-3 victory in the first round.
How’s that possible? Because action was suspended because of rain a night earlier, with the 10th-seeded Errani at match point as the 132nd-ranked Vandeweghe served.
When they resumed, after the customary several-minute warm-up ritual, Vandeweghe tossed up a ball and hit it into the net. Moments later, she hit her second serve into the net, too, to complete the double-fault that ended the match, right then and there — leaving both women smiling and spectators guffawing. Errani joined in the laughter as she packed away her racket bag, and kept right on giggling during her news conference.
Asked by an Italian reporter to recount what happened, Errani said, justifiably: “There’s not much to tell.”
All in all, it was exactly the sort of unusual happening that Day 3 kept producing in what’s shaping up as a wet and wild week at the All England Club.
Three of the top 13 seeded women were sent packing Wednesday, including 2011 U.S. Open champion Sam Stosur, 2011 French Open champion Li Na, and former No. 1-ranked Caroline Wozniacki.
The fifth-seeded Stosur’s 6-2, 0-6, 6-4 loss to 72nd-ranked Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands means Australia will have zero men or women in the third round for the first time since 1939.
Wozniacki, who hadn’t departed any Grand Slam tournament in the first round in more than five years, blew two match points in the second set and was beaten, 5-7, 7-6 (4), 6-4, by 37th-ranked Tamira Paszek of Austria.
No. 11 Li lost to 52nd-ranked Sorana Cirstea of Romania, 6-3, 6-4, in a second-round match.
Adding to the anything-can-happen vibe, at least for the better part of an hour: No. 1 Maria Sharapova trailed 38th-ranked Tsvetana Pironkova throughout the first set, fended off five set points, and was ahead 7-6 (3), 3-1 when their second-round match was suspended because of darkness.
That was one of four singles matches halted in progress, while four others were postponed entirely, adding to the backlog created by showers.
Before the rain came, six-time champion Roger Federer easily reached the third round by beating 68th-ranked Fabio Fognini of Italy, 6-1, 6-3, 6-2. Top-seeded and defending champion Novak Djokovic was pushed a bit by 20-year-old American Ryan Harrison but prevailed, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4. Also American Andy Roddick and Kim Clijsters reached the second round with wins in straight sets.
Heather Watson, a British player ranked 103rd, became the first woman from the tournament’s host country to reach the third round since 2002 by eliminating Jamie Hampton of the United States, 6-1, 6-4. Sloane Stephens, an unseeded 19-year-old American making her main-draw Wimbledon debut, eliminated No. 23 Petra Cetkovska of the Czech Republic, 7-6 (6), 4-6, 6-3.