Bartoli the headline casualty but big guns progress

Russia's Maria Sharapova
Russia's Maria Sharapova
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Former finalist Marion Bartoli was the most prominent woman to lose on day four at Wimbledon as Mirjana Lucic reached the third round for the first time since 1999.

Bartoli, the French ninth seed, lost 6-4 6-3 to the Croatian, who was beaten by Steffi Graf in the 1999 semi-finals and then beset by problems off the court which interrupted and almost ended her career.

Lucic, 30, will face Italy’s Roberta Vinci in her next match.

Vinci booked her place in the last 32 with a 6-4 6-3 win over Marina Erakovic while Tamira Paszek, who upset seventh seed Caroline Wozniacki in round one, brushed aside Alize Cornet 6-2 6-1.

With the exception of Bartoli, it was a good day for the remaining seeds.

Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka also all progressed into the third round, along with defending champion Petra Kvitova,

Top seed Sharapova resumed against Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova in a match which had been suspended due to bad light on Wednesday night.

Sharapova was one set and a break ahead overnight but lost the second set on a tie-break.

However, the 25-year-old Russian hit back in the third set to win 7-6 (7/3) 6-7 (7/3) 6-0 and will next play Chinese Taipei’s Su-Wei Hsieh.

After the match, Sharapova insisted that her grunt is here to stay following the WTA’s decision to drive excessive noise out of the game in the next generation of players.

That means Sharapova will not be ordered to tone down her grunting, which is among the loudest on tour, and even if such a request came she doubts she could comply.

“Certainly not now,” she said, “not since I’ve been doing it since I was four years old.

“It’s definitely tough and impossible to do when you’ve played this sport for over 20 years.”

Second seed Azarenka made light work of her match against Romina Oprandi, winning 6-2 6-0.

Williams, who is seeking her fifth women’s singles title, brushed aside Melinda Czink 6-1 6-4 in the first match on Centre Court.

The sixth seed will face China’s Jie Zheng in the fourth round after the 25th seed won her match against Canada’s Aleksandra Wozniak.

German eighth seed Angelique Kerber recovered from a break down in the opening set to topple Russian Ekaterina Makarova 7-5 6-3 in a battle between two left-handers on Court 18.

Francesca Schiavone also came through her second-round match, overcoming Kristyna Pliskova 6-4 6-4.