WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — Four-time champion Serena Williams overcame windy conditions and a gritty 65th-ranked opponent Monday to pull out another three-set victory and reach the quarterfinals of Wimbledon.
The sixth-seeded American won the last three games of the final set to beat Kazakhstani wild card Yaroslava Shvedova 6-1, 2-6, 7-5 in cool and gusty conditions on Court 2.
Top-seeded Maria Sharapova's bid for a second consecutive Grand Slam title ended with a 6-4, 6-3 loss to No. 15 Sabine Lisicki.
Williams hopped in joy with both feet in the air after hitting a big forehand that forced an error by Shvedova on the first match point, ending a hard-hitting contest that lasted nearly two hours.
"I didn't want to lose today and I thought, 'Just stay relaxed,'" Williams said. "I knew the whole match I could play better."
Williams will next face defending champion Petra Kvitova, who rallied from a set and a break down to beat former French Open winner Francesca Schiavone 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 in an error-filled match on Court 3.
It was the second straight tough three-set victory for Williams, who won 9-7 in the third to beat Zheng Jie in the previous round.
"I feel fine," she said. "I'm not tired. I'm not anything. I feel good. I feel like, bottom line, I can play so much better than what I have been playing. ... You know me. I'm never satisfied."
The match ended in a slight drizzle, with play suspended on some of the other courts. Shvedova removed her glasses in the final two games to keep the lenses from getting wet.
"I think we both wanted to keep playing because it was so deep into the match," Williams said. "I didn't want to stop."
Williams finished with 35 winners, including 12 aces, and 13 errors. Shvedova had 24 winners and 20 errors.
Shvedova had won a "golden set" in the previous round, taking the first set without losing a point against Sara Errani. On Monday, she found herself on the other end of a one-sided beating in the opening set, winning just one game and 12 points against Williams.
But Shvedova settled down and won five consecutive games to take the second set and go up 1-0 in the third. Williams received a warning for racket abuse after being broken to lose the set.
Down 0-40 in the ninth game of the final set, Shvedova saved three break points to hold for a 5-4 lead. But Williams broke Shvedova in her next service game to allow herself to serve out the match. A double-fault and a backhand error by Shvedova helped hand Williams the decisive break.
Serving for the match at 30-30, Williams chased down a good approach shot. On the run, she lifted a mishit backhand lob that Shvedova let go. The ball fell well inside the court to set up the match point.
The first player to reach the quarters was 37th-ranked Austrian Tamira Paszek, who beat Italy's Roberta Vinci 6-2, 6-2 to reach the final eight for the second year in a row.
The second Monday at Wimbledon is the busiest in Grand Slam tennis, with all 16 men's and women's fourth-round matches on the schedule. But with showers in the forecast for much of the day, the tournament faced the prospect of rain delays.