LONDON (Reuters) - Defending champion Petra Kvitova came back from a set and a break down to beat Italian Francesca Schiavone 4-6 7-5 6-1 in a rain-disrupted fourth-round match at Wimbledon on Monday.
Kvitova, the fourth seed, looked to be in trouble when former French Open champion Schiavone went a set and 2-1 up, taking advantage of a double fault to help her break the Czech.
Kvitova, however, broke straight back and went 6-5 up before light rain began falling on Court Three.
The match continued after a series of stops and starts, with the players sitting on their chairs, wrapped in towels and sheltering under umbrellas, while officials waited to see if the rain would stop.
Schiavone was clearly unhappy at being told to resume play early in the third set, complaining to no avail that the grass was damp and slippery.
As Kvitova stood waiting to play, British umpire Fiona Edwards urged Schiavone back on to the court, saying: “Can we at least try? I will watch you.”
The Italian relented but she continued to glower and mutter as Kvitova raced through two breaks of serve to wrap up the set in 39 minutes, finishing off with a love game.
Schiavone said she had been unhappy at the indecisiveness of the umpire.
”When it is damp you should say yes or no, not just stay there and wait,“ she told a news conference. ”But that is not an excuse (for losing), of course.
“I am sorry because I knew how I was playing,” she added. “I knew how much this match counted. I was playing a good game, I was winning.”
Kvitova sympathised with Schiavone but said she had been keen to play on despite the weather.
“The grass was a little bit damp so it was a little bit dangerous but I was ready to play on, to continue, because I knew that I had a chance,” she said.
“When I made the break finally, after one hour or however long we had played, it was better for me.”
Kvitova, who had not dropped a set in the first three rounds, will now face former champion Serena Williams who beat Kazakh wildcard Yaroslava Shvedova 6-1 2-6 7-5.
“I think it will be a huge match for both of us,” Kvitova said of the quarter-final scheduled for Tuesday, weather permitting. “I am looking forward to facing her and looking forward to having a challenge.”
Editing by Pritha Sarkar