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Serena eases into third round at Big W

8:55 AM, Jun 27, 2013   |    comments
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Wimbledon, England (Sports Network) - Reigning champion and five-time overall winner Serena Williams was a routine second-round victor Thursday at The Championships, Wimbledon.

The world No. 1 superstar cruised past Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia 6-3, 6-2 in 67 minutes on a sunny day at the All England Club. The American great smacked nine aces and was not broken in the predictable matchup.

Williams was among those restoring order at the year's third Grand Slam event just one day after five former world No. 1 women exited the draw via upset or injury, including former champion Maria Sharapova and reigning two-time Australian Open titlist Victoria Azarenka.

The 31-year-old Williams is now riding a career-best 33-match winning streak and a brilliant 76-3 since losing in the first round at last year's French Open.

Williams is also the reigning French and U.S. Open champion and owns 16 Grand Slam singles titles overall. She beat Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska in last year's final here to capture her third Wimbledon title in four years and also captured an Olympic gold medal at the All England Club last summer.

Her third-round opponent will be 42-year-old Japanese Kimiko Date-Krumm, who is the oldest woman to reach the third round at Wimbledon in the Open Era.

Meanwhile, former Grand Slam champs Li Na and Samantha Stosur also reached the round of 32.

The sixth-seeded Li posted a 6-2, 1-6, 6-0 victory over previously hot Romanian Simona Halep.

The bottom half of the draw was turned upside down on Wednesday, when the second-seeded Azarenka, third-seeded Sharapova and ninth-seeded Caroline Wozniacki all exited. Petra Kvitova, the 2011 Wimbledon champ, was the only top-10 seed in the bottom half to survive the carnage and did so thanks to a walkover win against Yaroslava Shvedova.

Halep could have posed a problem for Li, as she entered the All England Club after capturing titles each of the past two weeks -- first in Nuremberg and then in Den Bosch. After dominating the second set by winning 28 of the 40 points played, Halep was no match in the third as the 2011 French Open champ turned the tables and won 28-of-42 points.

Li had lost in the second round at Wimbledon each of the last two years after a quarterfinal appearance in 2011, and was coming off a second-round loss at this month's French Open after a runner-up finish at the Australian Open.

Stosur, the 2011 U.S. Open champ, had little trouble for the second match in a row this week. The 14th-seeded Australian cruised past Russian Olga Puchkova, 6-2, 6-2, after a 6-1, 6-3 rout of Slovak Anna Schmiedlova in the first round.

The competition will get a little tougher for Stosur in the third round, as Sabine Lisicki now awaits. The 23rd-seeded German, a Wimbledon semifinalist in 2011 and twice a quarterfinalist in the London suburb, thumped Russian veteran Elena Vesnina, 6-3, 6-1.

Other winners Thursday included 18th-seeded Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova, American Madison Keys, the aforementioned Date-Krumm and Croat Petra Martic.

Cibulkova needed just 49 minutes to dispatch Spain's Maria Teresa Torro-Flor, 6-0, 6-1, while Keys upended 30th-seeded German Mona Barthel, 6-4, 6-2. Date- Krumm advanced with a 6-4, 7-5 triumph over Romania's Alexandra Cadantu and Martic claimed a 7-6 (9-7), 6-1 win over Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic.

The Sports Network

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