Tennis: Kvitova downs Venus in battle of former champs

Petra Kvitova fought back to defeat Venus Williams 5-7, 7-6 (7/2), 7-5 in a titanic battle of the former champions at Wimbledon on Friday.

Kvitova, the 2011 winner, and five-time champion Venus treated Centre Court fans to a high-quality third round encounter lasting two and a half hours before the Czech sixth seed finally prevailed, extending her impressive record against the 34-year-old American to four wins from their five encounters.

The 24-year-old, who has reached at least the quarter-finals in each of her last four visits to Wimbledon, will play Chinese world number 61 Peng Shuai for a place in the last eight.

Venus's defeat means the seven-time Grand Slam winner has failed to reach the last 16 at a major since Wimbledon in 2011.