Kirsten Flipkens won the Junior Championships at the All England Club exactly 10 years ago, but a lot has happened since then. "This makes it a special year for me," she told reporters. Coincidence or not, it's this year that the 27-year-old has her best results at Wimbledon, after long years of injury spells kept her at bay.
After missing the past 2 Wimbledon editions, Flipkens has been fit for a while now, and this allowed her to climb the WTA rankings to 20th position to become the best Belgian female tennis player.
A solid match put her past Moscow-born Vesna Dolonc: 6-4, 6-2. Flipkens could count on her solid serve when she was in trouble - she had 8 aces in the whole match, compared to zero for Dolonc.
Troubling Dolonc with her typical sliced backhand, Flipkens broke her opponent when leading 5-4 in the opening set: 6-4 after 41 minutes of play. Flipkens kept the momentum in the second set, climbing to a 5-1 lead before Dolonc pulled one back. The Belgian eventually took the set 6-2 on her 5th match point. Flipkens had 29 winners, compared to Dolonc's 14.
In the next round, Flipkens will meet Flavia Pennetta of Italy, a player she defeated in the first round of the French Open. Dolonc had earlier ousted Belgium's Yanina Wickmayer.