Belfast Telegraph

Wimbledon: Sharapova progresses after service scare

By Steve Tongue

The women's top seed Maria Sharapova dropped a set for the first time at this year's Wimbledon before punishing Tsvetana Pironkova's impudence by winning the third set to love. The match had been suspended on Wednesday night because of bad light, which Sharapova felt was to blame for her inconsistent performance.

Even in Wednesday's first set she had trailed 5-2 before taking it on a tie-break. Yesterday the Bulgarian recovered from a 3-1 overnight deficit to draw level, aided by Sharapova getting the yips on her serve and delivering three double faults. But the Russian recovered in the final set, which she raced through in under half an hour to take the match 7-6, 6-7, 6-0. She will next play Chinese Taipei's Hsieh Su-wei .

"It felt like two matches in a way," Sharapova said. "Everybody knew at some point we wouldn't finish the match [on Wednesday]. Today I wanted to start off really well. But it didn't go according to plan. I really served sloppy. In the third I changed it around."

Serena Williams brushed aside Melinda Czink 6-1 6-4. Her next opponent will be Jie Zheng of China, the 25th seed, who beat Aleksandra Wozniak.

The ninth seed Marion Bartoli went out to Mirjana Lucic, the Croatian who disappeared from tennis for several years until returning in 2010 and is ranked only No 129.

Stuttering sportsmen: When the yips strike

Bernhard Langer

German golfer Bernhard Langer is a long-term sufferer of the condition, which struck while he was attempting to putt. When Langer switched to a long putter in 1997 it seemed to help. The idea is that there is less reliance on wrist movement, decreasing the likelihood of involuntary movements.

Although he admitted to considering giving up the game, Langer can still point to the fact that he is a two-times Masters champion.

Eric Bristow

Eric Bristow was affected by 'Dartitis' in 1986, having major problems releasing his darts. Despite his struggles, the Crafty Cockney was still a five-times world champion.

Phil Edmonds

The Middlesex and England spinner completely lost his run-up on a tour of India and was forced to bowl off just one pace.

Another England spinner, Phil Tufnell, also suffered from a similar problem.

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