Serena Williams will resume her title defence in the more grand surroundings of Court One today after the All England Club acquiesced to the champion’s plea to move away from the outer reaches of Wimbledon.
Williams complained about organisers’ decision to place her second round match against Simona Halep on Thursday on the court situated in the corner of the All England Club closest to Wimbledon Village.
The hosts have responded to the criticism by putting the four-time champion second up on the more prestigious Court One in her third round clash against Maria Kirilenko.
Williams should breeze past the number 26 seed, whom she has beaten three times in her career, to join sister Venus in the last 16.
Venus looked back to her best yesterday as she swept aside Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez 6-0 6-2 on Court One while world number one Caroline Wozniacki also performed well to beat Virginie Razzano.
Like Serena, Wozniacki was unhappy at being shipped out on Court Two, but she is first up today on Centre Court for her third round match against Jarmila Gajdosova.
The 20-year-old said yesterday following her 6-1 6-3 win: “Obviously I think I deserve to play on one of the bigger courts, and everyone wants to play in there.
“It’s up to the tournament to decide where we’re going to play. I just go out there and try to win.”
Yesterday saw the biggest shock of the women’s singles so far as Tsvetana Pironkova beat second seed Vera Zvonareva 6-2 6-3 in a repeat of last year’s semi-final to set up a fourth round clash with Venus Williams.
Maria Sharapova will take on Klara Zakopalova on Court Two tomorrow after seeing off Laura Robson despite some courageous resistance from the 17-year-old home hopeful yesterday.
Other notable names to fall yesterday were Svetlana Kuznetsova, the 19th seed, who was beaten by Yanina Wickmayer, and Andrea Petkovic, who was dumped out in straight sets by Ksenia Pervak.
Robson was not the only British player to be knocked out, with number one Elena Baltacha losing a gripping three-setter with Shuai Peng 4-6 6-2 7-5 on Court 18.
On the same court, title dark horse Petra Kvitova swept past Roberta Vinci and on Court 14 Nadia Petrova beat Kateryna Bondarenko.
Francesca Schiavone and Tamira Paszek will resume their third-round match on Court 12, with the game delicately poised at one set apiece.
Serbia’s Ana Ivanovic and Sabine Lisicki will take on Petra Cetkovska Misaki Doi in today’s other matches.