By Etienne Stekelenburg
June 25 2004
Croatian Karolina Sprem defeats Venus Williams at Wimbledon. Sprem did have her revenge after she lost to Williams in Berlin. The controversial point awarded to Sprem did not cause Williams upset. “ I just think she played really well and deserved the win”, Williams said. Sprem wins 7-6(7), 7-6(8).
Rising star Karolina Sprem showed she could defeat Venus Williams but she could not finish her match against the former Wimbledon champion in Berlin earlier this year. The 19-year-old Croatian took her chance on the grass of Wimbledon. It was not the mistake made by the umpire that caused the upset.
"I don't think one call makes a match," said the former world number one of the WTA. At 2-1 in the second sets tiebreak Sprem was awarded a point to tie for 2 all when the umpire made an error. It could have been 3-1 for Williams but none of the players or the lines judges noticed the error. Sprem’s first serve went wide and was called out but play continued and the Croat hits the winner. Instead of playing a second serve the umpire gives the point to Sprem and she serves a second time on the same side.
"It was very confusing but sometimes I lose track of the score and at the time I just felt maybe that was what had happened so I just carried on,” Williams said.
According to Allen Mills, the tournament referee, the umpire’s decision stands. “It is the players' responsibility once they are on court to know the score."
Karolina Sprem also said she didn’t notice the mistake. "I was confused but I didn't think about it," she said. "I was 100% in the match and I just wanted to get on and play."
Sprem was on her way to win the match in the second set being up 5-3. Her nerves took over and so did Venus Williams fighting back being two points away from defeat. In the following tiebreak Williams had a 6-3 lead but squandered her chance. Sprem came back to 6 all and took the match winning the second tiebreak 8-6.
Williams said Sprem played very well and that she loved to have played better but that it’s impossible to do it every year.
Thursday, June 24, 2004
Singles - First Round
Maria Sanchez Lorenzo (ESP) d. (WC) Katie O'Brien (GBR) 64 64
Arantxa Parra Santonja (ESP) d. (29) Dinara Safina (RUS) 60 20, Ret. (lower back injury)
Tatiana Perebiynis (UKR) d. (Q) Christina Wheeler (AUS) 63 62
Silvija Talaja (CRO) d. Barbora Strycova (CZE) 63 64
Milagros Sequera (VEN) d. (22) Conchita Martinez (ESP) 64 76(6)
(14) Silvia Farina Elia (ITA) d. Shuai Peng (CHN) 60 64
Tatiana Golovin (FRA) d. Alina Jidkova (RUS) 64 76(4)
(4) Amelie Mauresmo (FRA) d. Jelena Kostanic (CRO) 62 63
Virginia Ruano Pascual (ESP) d. (24) Mary Pierce (FRA) 62 75
Anne Kremer (LUX) d. (19) Fabiola Zuluaga (COL) 64 63
Rita Grande (ITA) d. Mara Santangelo (ITA) 75 75
(18) Francesca Schiavone (ITA) d. Myriam Casanova (SUI) 36 76(4) 63
(7) Jennifer Capriati (USA) d. Claudine Schaul (LUX) 62 62
(Q) Jennifer Hopkins (USA) d. Julia Vakulenko (UKR) 76(5) 62
(26) Lisa Raymond (USA) d. Shinobu Asagoe (JPN) 63 76(4)
(Q) Tian Tian Sun (CHN) d. Tathiana Garbin (ITA) 26 60 62
(9) Paola Suarez (ARG) d. Shenay Perry (USA) 62 64
Ludmila Cervanova (CZE) d. Barbara Schett (AUT) 36 64 64
Henrieta Nagyova (SVK) d. Lina Krasnoroutskaya (RUS) 36 64 63
Els Callens (BEL) d. Ashley Harkleroad (USA) 63 57 64
Singles - Second Round
Denisa Chladkova (CZE) d. Katarina Srebotnik (SLO) 76(5) 60
(13) Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. (Q) Anne Keothavong (GBR) 64 60
(12) Vera Zvonareva (RUS) d. Saori Obata (JPN) 61 64
Tamarine Tanasugarn (THA) d. Sandra Kleinova (CZE) 63 63
(5) Lindsay Davenport (USA) d. Kristina Brandi (PUR) 60 10, Ret. (left ankle injury)
(11) Ai Sugiyama (JPN) d. Klara Koukalova (CZE) 64 64
Karolina Sprem (CRO) d. (3) Venus Williams (USA) 76(5) 76(6)
Amy Frazier (USA) d. (WC) Emily Webley-Smith (GBR) 62 36 86
(Q) Tatiana Panova (RUS) d. (Q) Mashona Washington (USA) 63 64
(21) Magdalena Maleeva (BUL) d. Jill Craybas (USA) 62 63
Gisela Dulko (ARG) d. (WC) Martina Navratilova (USA) 36 63 63
(2) Anastasia Myskina (RUS) d. Aniko Kapros (HUN) 57 62 64
(17) Marion Bartoli (FRA) d. Maria Elena Camerin (ITA) 63 63
(27) Alicia Molik (AUS) d. Teryn Ashley (USA) 75 64