Seeds bomb out as Williams, Clijsters exit Wimbledon

June 29th, 2010 - 10:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Venus Williams By Bill Scott
London, June 29 (DPA) Five-time winner Venus Williams and reigning US Open champion Kim Clijsters suffered stunning defeats as a pair of low-profile opponents cashed in with upset victories in the Wimbledon quarter-finals Tuesday.

Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova knocked out second seed Williams 6-2, 6-3 while Russian Vera Zvonareva duplicated the best showing of her Grand Slam career as she dumped Belgian Clijsters 3-6, 6-4, 6-2.

Pironkova, ranked 82, notched her second upset of Williams after eliminating the American in the Australian Open first round in 2006.

“It all seems like a dream,” said the 22-year-old Bulgarian winner. “Coming here, I never thought I’d play to this level.”

“I’m extremely happy. I played pretty well, I’m very happy with my game. I had that other win over her and I thought I could win this one, I was going for it.”

Pironkova will Thursday face Zvonareva after winning their only other match last autumn in Moscow. Pironkova’s run to her best career performance at a major also included a defeat of 2007 finalist Marion Bartoli.

The 30-year-old Williams had been seeking her 200th career Grand Slam win as she played in her 11th Wimbledon quarter-final.

The challenger broke in the sixth game of the opening set to win it and recovered from a break down to level in the second on her way to the upset. Williams, who lost serve again for 2-4, saved two match points in the eighth game to hold, 3-5.

Pironkova calmly finished off the victory a game later as Williams splayed a return wide at the net.

Zvonareva, an Australian open semi-finalist last year, won her first match against Clijsters in six attempts.

“I’m so excited about this match, it’s my dream to play this semi-final here,” said Zvonareva, ranked 21st. “I’m excited about my game today.

“It’s amazing to finally beat Kim, we’ve always had some tough matches. I was able to hang in today and play some good tennis.”

Clijsters, seeded eighth, was stunned by her showing a day after putting out national rival Justine Henin.

“I’m disappointed, it’s too bad I wasn’t able to come up with my best at the important time of match. She was consistent. She didn’t give any easy mistakes and I gave her too many.

“Physically I feel fine,” said the victim of a spring foot injury which kept her off the clay. “I just didn’t produce on the important points.”

The last two spots in the final four were being decided as holder Serena Williams faced China’s ninth seed Li Na and Czech Petra Kvitova took on Kaia Kanepi of Estonia in a no-name quarter-final.

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