Sharapova battles past Pennetta
LONDON, July 3 (Reuters) Russia's Maria Sharapova dropped her first set at this year's Wimbledon in a battling 7-6 3-6 6-3 fourth round victory over Italian Flavia Pennetta today.
The 2004 champion was given a real test by 16th seed Pennetta who more than matched her for long periods of a tight fourth round encounter on court two.
Sharapova, who used bags of ice to cool herself in the changeovers, took the first set tiebreak 7-5 but the fourth seed was immediately 3-0 down in the second set and Pennetta soon levelled the match.
The Italian netted a forehand to lose serve for 3-1 in the decider and Sharapova, shrieking with every bludgeoned groundstroke, whacked a backhand winner on her third match point to seal victory.
She tackles fellow Russian Elena Dementieva in the last eight.
Reuters PDS RN2248