Wimbledon 2010

Vera Zvonareva (RUS) v Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL) 3-6 6-3 6-2
Serena Williams (USA) v Petra Kvitova (CZE) Serena Williams

15:06 With no time to ponder events elsewhere, it is eyes down for the second semi-final of the day as Serena Williams and Petra Kvitova take to Centre Court. An unsubtle nudge in the direction of Vicki Hodges’ match preview.

15:04 A quick blast on the British celebratory trumpet as Laura Robson takes the first set against Tara Moore 7-5.

15:02 At the 30th time of asking the Zvonareva finally has a crack at winning a Grand Slam title and becomes the third Russian woman to reach the final in the Open era after Morozova and Maria Sharapova.

14:59 Zvonareva speaking after her victory: “I’m very excited. It was very tough out there. I am happy at the way I was able to hang in the match.

“I was just thinking about what I had to do and not about losing the first set.

“It is very exciting. It is one of my dreams to get to the final.”

14:55 Having earned two match points Vera Zvonareva completes the comeback at the second time of asking and becomes the first woman into the 2010 Wimbledon final.

14:52 Zvonareva with the chance to book her place in a first ever Grand Slam final at 5-2.

14:42 At 4-1 in the third and final set the curtains are closing on No. 82 seed Pironkova’s unexpected showing at Wimbledon. Perhaps her personal final was played two days ago when she shocked the tennis world by beating the one time impenetrable force that is Venus Williams.

14:38 Straying slightly from the action and back to my earlier observation of the ball boys and girls (BBGs). It would appear that my compliments offered for a slick transition are in vain because in catching my eye they have all failed their primary objective according to Faisal Abdalla that they: “should not be seen. They should blend into the background and get on with their jobs quietly.”

14:32 A long overdue display of Bulgarian steel as Pironkova halts the Russian charge by recovering two break points on her own serve to register on the scoreboard in this third set.

14:31 Oliver Golding, a child actor as well as a 2010 Junior Wimbledon semi-finalist, once auditioned for a part in Wimbledon, the romantic comedy with Paul Bettany and Kirsten Dunst as the leads. “I didn’t get it,” he said, “and I thought the film was dreadful.”

14:25 Pironkova’s first major contribution since sealing that impressive first set victory is to take an unfortunate tumble on her own baseline. I know in these cases it tends not to rain but it is pouring in earnest on the Bulgarian at the minute.

14:23 Still riding high on a destructive wave of momentum Zvonareva makes a break of serve in the opening game of the third set.

14:21 Boys Singles Quarter-final: Oliver Golding (Gbr) bts Renzo Olivo (Arg) 4-6 6-4 6-4

It is an all-British affair in the girls’ quarter final on Court 12 as Laura Robson meets Tara Moore. Love a win-win scenario.

14:17 And we are heading into a third and final set as Zvonareva’s new found fluency combines effectively with a dose of good fortune. A powerful forehand that brushes the top of the net and drops kindly in her favour levels the match at one set all.

14:14 In a much less celebrated changing of the guard, a fresh set of ball boys and girls (BBGs) arrive like a well drilled military unit. And so they should having been the subjects of continual assessment since February.

14:09 This match on Centre Court has taken a decisive shift in momentum as Zvonareva makes her first break of serve to open up a 4-2 advantage.

14:02 Time to pluck those vial England car flags out of the bin because Oliver Golding is through to the semi-final of the Boys’ championship after recovering from a one set deficit to win 4-6 6-4 6-4 against Renzo Olivo of Argentina.

13:58 Not to be outdone in the sporting parents stakes, Zvonareva holds the trump card with an Olympic bronze medal winning mother as a field hockey player. 3-2 to the Russian in the second set.

13:53 Boys Singles Quarter-final: Facundo Arguello (Arg) bts Denis Kudla (USA) 6-3 6-3

Girls Singles Quarter-final: Kristyna Pliskova (Cze) bts Sloane Stephens (USA) 4-6 6-1 9-7

13:50 A significantly more assured performance from Zvonareva, who leads 2-1, in this second set with a stinging backhand emerging from the depths of her locker.

13:47 Despite having never gone beyond the semi-final stage at any point in her professional career, 22-year-old Pironkova has amassed $899,293 in prize money. So much for the inspirational maxim ‘no prizes for second place’.

13:45 Despite the pressure of being the first ever Bulgarian to reach the semi-final stage at Wimbledon, Pironkova keeps her cool to hold serve and claim the opening set 6-3 and goes half way to playing in her first ever career final.

13:34 A glimpse of Pironkova’s proud parents in the crowd with their daughter leading 5-3 and serving for the first set. Both parents boast proud sporting achievements of their own. Father Kiril Encher excelled in a canoe while mother Radosveta Nikolova needed no such apparatus to thrive on the water as a professional swimmer.

13:29 A lively procession of ooooohs and aaaaahs from the surprisingly harmonic Centre Court crowd as Pironkova opens up a 4-2 lead in the first set.

13:27 Breaking news from Brit watch as Oliver Golding claims the second set to level the match in his quarter-final match against Argentina’s Renzo Olivo.

13:20 It would appear that we have not only a talented tennis player but an intellectual on our hands this afternoon in Vera Zvonareva. Not content with a degree from the Russian State Academy of Physical Education she is currently studying for a second degree in International Economic Relations. The Russian is certainly heading for top marks with regard to her personal economic position should she go on to claim the Wimbledon crown where she would pocket £1,000,000.

13:16 A cagey opening to the match on Centre Court with both players finding comfort in their respective service games.

13:13 Girls Singles Quarter-final: Yulia Putintseva (Rus) bts Ons Jabeur (Tun) 7-5 6-3

13:11 It is always a measure of a player’s self confidence when they fail to book accommodation for duration of the tournament. Step forward the very modest and very nearly homeless Tsvetana Pironkova.

13:08 Tsvetana Pironkova, conqueror of Wimbledon giant Venus Williams, is enjoying her best ever performance at a Grand Slam having previously never made further than the second round.

13:04 Zvonareva is bidding to reach her first final in 30 Grand Slam appearances. Only two players have played in more Grand Slams before reaching the final stage.

13:00 And so we find ourselves having gone full circle and it’s back to the action on Centre Court where the first Ladies’ semi-final is about to get under way. The two players have met just once previously back in 2009 where the Bulgarian won in straight sets 6-0 6-2

12:57 Sensing an information overload, normal service shall resume. Again the Juniors are doing their very best to quash the stereotype by rising and shining to appear on court this morning.

Great Britain’s Oliver Golding, who was so impressive en route to sending the No 1 seed packing yesterday, has an uphill battle ahead having lost the first set 6-4 to Renzo Olivo of Argentina.

12:54 On this day in:

1977 Virginia Wade beat Betty Stove 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 to win her first Wimbledon title. No British tennis player has won a grand slam event since.

12:52 Fact of the day:

With a world ranking of 82, should Pironkova reach the final she will be the lowest ranked player to do so since the computer rankings system was introduced in 1975.

12:50 Strop of the day:

At one set down a fired up Rafael Nadal, after disagreeing with a line call, approached umpire Pascal Maria to dispute a decision against him. “Pascal that’s ridiculous, he said,” as his protests were met by boos from the crowd which continued until he resumed play.

12:47 Quote of the day:

“Rafa played terribly lately, Soderling is not a threat either, Djokovic can’t play tennis any more. He’s [Murray] got an easy ride to this victory. Go to make your homework please. Respect the players.” Roger Federer’s response when asked if he thought this could be Murray’s year now some big names are out.

12:45 Shock of the day:

A stunned Centre Court crowd yesterday saw six-time champion Roger Federer knocked out by world No 13 Tomas Berdych 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4

12:41 Day nine was a good day for:

Britain’s Oliver Golding who beat number one seed Jason Kubler of Australia 4-6, 6-3, 7-5, in the third round of the boy’s singles.

Bad day for:

Venus Williams – knocked out of the singles on Tuesday the world No 2 and her sister were beaten in the doubles yesterday meaning the 30-year-old leaves SW19 title-less for the first time since 2006.

12:37 Before all that kicks off let us take a brief look back at a collection of the extraordinary events that unveiled themselves much to the delight of the SW19 crowd yesterday including major shocks in the form of a Federer exit, British joy and sarcasm. Yes a public display of sarcasm at the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club. Outrageous.

12:33 These Championships have thrown together a quartet of household names that I’m sure need no introduction from me. First up on Centre Court are:

Vera Zvonareva (RUS) and Tsevetana Pironkova (BUL) to be followed by Serena Williams (USA) and Petra Kvitova (CZE).

Like I said, no introductions needed surely?

However for those that aren’t familiar with this fabulous four, our very own Vicki Hodges has kindly prepared the necessary details. Vera Zvonareva (RUS) and Tsevetana Pironkova (BUL)

12:30 Good afternoon and welcome to the Telegraph’s live coverage of Wimbledon 2010. It is day 10 and that of course means Ladies’ singles semi-finals.

Well Wimbledon 2010 is certainly one we won’t be forgetting in a long time is it? Longest match ever, the Queen’s visit, Venus Williams going home trophy-less for the first time since 2006, two unseeded players in the women’s semi-finals and King Roger Federer getting dumped out by Tomas Berdych in the quarters yesterday….what is going on?

On the upside Andy Murray’s through to the last four and juniors Laura Robson and Oliver Golding are in action today in a bid to secure their semi-final places.

Thursday’s highlights:

First on Centre Court: Tsvetana Pironkova v Vera Zvonareva
Second on Centre: Serena Williams v Petra Kvitova
Also: Oliver Golding and Laura Robson in action on Court No 12

Obtained by: http://www.telegraph.co.uk

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