A Williams overhead error followed by a forehand error led to matchpoint for the Frenchwoman. Williams would save a third matchpoint of the game in a 16 point rally. A doublefault from Bartoli put Williams at breakpoint which the American would take with a backhand winner.
However in the tiebreaker Bartoli would recover from a brief mental collapse to win several extended baseline exchanges to reach her fourth matchpoint at 6-5. An ace from Williams leveled the tiebreaker at 6 all before Bartoli would take the last two points of the match to advance to the quarterfinals.
For the day Bartoli proved to be the more consistent of the two players with Williams committing several key forehand unforced errors. But it was an overall a good showing from a player which had been only months ago on her self-described “deathbed ” with blood clots in her lungs. The four time Wimbledon champion Williams had played only her first tournament since the 2010 Wimbledon tournament two weeks ago at Eastbourne.
Not long after the Court One contest, the twenty-third seeded Venus Williams took the Center Court only to commit several key forehand and volley errors and lose serve twice to quickly fall behind the thirty-second seeded Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria 6-2.
Pironkova, who had beaten Williams last year in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon, broke serve again with her steady baseline play and quick movement to reach 3-1 in the second set.
Williams broke serve to put the match back on serve at 2-3 before dropping her serve again with mediocre play to trail 2-4.
Pironkova would end the match 6-2, 6-3 with an inside out down the line backhand winner which had left the big serving Williams wrong footed.
In other women’s play, the world number one Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark also became an upset victim 1-6, 7-6(7-5), 7-5 to the twenty-fourth seeded Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia.
The fifth seeded Maria Sharapova of Russia defeated the twenty seeded Shuai Peng of China 6-4, 6-2 to remain as the lone grand slam winner in the women’s draw. Sharapova, a five time grand slam champion, took her first grand slam title at Wimbledon in 2004.