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Sharapova, Azarenka, Kvitova, Serena advance at Big W

Maria Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka, reigning champion Petra Kvitova and Serena Williams were among the second- round winners Thursday at Wimbledon.

The top-seeded Sharapova finished off Bulgaria's Tsvetana Pironkova in a match that was suspended on Wednesday because of darkness.

Sharapova, the 2004 Wimbledon champion, had won the first set and was ahead in the second when play was halted Wednesday. Pironkova, a semifinalist two years ago and a quarterfinalist last year at the All England Lawns Tennis Club, made the reigning French Open champ work on a hot Thursday.

Pironkova won the second set in a tiebreak before Sharapova dominated the third and advanced with a 7-6 (7-3), 6-7 (3-7), 6-0 triumph.

"It felt like two matches in a way," Sharapova said. "Today I wanted to start off really well because I knew I was up a break. Didn't go according to plan. Really served sloppy."

The top-ranked Russian star, who was last year's Wimbledon runner-up to Kvitova, will face Taiwan's Su-Wei Hsieh in the third round here on Friday.

The second-seeded former No. 1 Azarenka, meanwhile, swatted Swiss Romina Oprandi 6-2, 6-0 on Court 2.

Azarenka reached her first-ever Grand Slam semifinal at Wimbledon last year and captured her first major title at the Australian Open back in January.

The fourth-seeded Kvitova cruised past Brit Elena Baltacha 6-0, 6-4 and will face American Varvara Lepchenko in the third round.

Kvitova captured her first career major title by beating Sharapova in last year's ladies' final.

The sixth-seeded Williams had little drama in a 6-1, 6-4 pounding of Hungarian Melinda Czink on the famed Centre Court.

"I love my serve," Williams said, "and I love feeling good when I serve."

The four-time Wimbledon champ will next take on 25th-seeded Chinese Zheng Jie, a 6-4, 6-2 winner Thursday against Canada's Aleksandra Wozniak.

Eighth-seeded Angelique Kerber of Germany posted a 7-5, 6-3 win over Russian Ekaterina Makarova and will next play 28th-seeded American Christina McHale, who recorded a 7-5, 7-5 victory over Frenchwoman Mathilde Johansson.

Another top-10 seed bit the dust this week, as Croat Mirjana Lucic swept out No. 9 Marion Bartoli 6-4, 6-3. The French Bartoli, who is the third top-10 woman to exit the draw over the first four days of the fortnight, was a surprise Wimbledon runner-up in 2007.

Italy's Sara Errani, the 10th seed and French Open runner-up, cruised to a 6-1, 6-1 rout of Britain's Anne Keothavong, while fellow Italian, 21st-seeded Roberta Vinci, also moved on with a 6-4, 6-3 triumph over Marina Erakovic of New Zealand.

Fourteenth-seeded former No. 1 star Ana Ivanovic bested Ukrainian Kateryna Bondarenko 6-3, 7-6 (7-3), while 20th-seeded Russian Nadia Petrova outlasted Hungarian Timea Babos 6-4, 6-7 (3-7), 9-7 in 3 hours, 4 minutes, including a 91-minute final set, and 22nd-seeded German Julia Goerges handled Belarusian Anastasiya Yakimova 7-6 (7-3), 6-2. The Serbian Ivanovic is a former French Open champ who has yet to reach a Wimbledon quarterfinal.

In other action involving seeds, No. 24 Italian Francesca Schiavone handled Czech Kristyna Pliskova 6-4, 6-4 and the Uzbekistanian-born Lepchenko knocked out No. 31 Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 7-6 (7-4), 6-4.

Also advancing to the third round were Austrian slugger Tamira Paszek, Belgian Yanina Wickmayer, Kazakhstan's Yaroslava Shvedova, and Czech veteran Klara Zakopalova. The 2011 Wimbledon quarterfinalist Paszek, who doused former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki on Wednesday, drilled France's Alize Cornet 6-2, 6-1.

In addition of Sharapova on Friday, third-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska, Kerber and Kim Clijsters will also be among those seeing third-round action. Radwanska will face British crowd favorite Heather Watson, while Kerber will battle McHale, and the former world No. 1 and four-time major champion Clijsters will take on 12th-seeded 2010 Wimbledon runner-up Vera Zvonareva of Russia.

Also on Day 5, 15th-seeded German Sabine Lisicki, a semifinalist here a year ago, will play promising American Sloane Stephens.