agencies
LONDON, 27 JUNE: Defending champion Serena Williams eased past teenager Caroline Garcia to reach the Wimbledon third round on Thursday where she’ll face 42-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm, the oldest woman in the last 32 in the Open era. Top seed Williams extended her winning streak to 33 matches, just two behind the record set by sister Venus in 2000, with a 6-3, 6-2 win over French 19-year-old Garcia, who she also beat at the French Open. Williams, 31, chasing a sixth Wimbledon title and 17th major, wrapped up victory in 67 minutes with 30 winners and nine aces.
Date-Krumm reached the third round, 17 years after her last appearance, with a 6-4, 7-5 win over Romania’s Alexandra Cadantu, 19 years the Japanese’s junior.
Despite their many years on tour, Williams and Date-Krumm have never played each other on the tour.
"Kimiko is so incredibly fit and inspiring. I have never played her but I watched her when I was super-young," said Williams after winning her 599th career match.
"Venus has played her, so I will definitely be talking to her about it."
After the shockwaves of Wednesday, which saw Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova knocked out and world number two Victoria Azarenka one of a record seven injury withdrawals and retirements, normal service was resumed on Thursday.
There were still hints, however, of aches and pains. Veteran French serve-volleyer Michael Llodra retired through illness after dropping the first set of his second round clash against Italy’s Andreas Seppi.
He was the eighth pullout of the second round, equalling the previous Wimbledon mark set in 2008.
China’s sixth seed Li Na also went into the third round with a 6-2, 1-6, 6-0 win over Simona Halep but not before the Romanian required treatment on a back injury. Li next plays Czech 32nd seed Klara Zakopalova who beat German teenager Annika Beck, 7-6 (7/5), 6-3.
Big-hitting German Sabine Lisicki, a semi-finalist in 2011, defeated Eastbourne title-holder Elena Vesnina of Russia, 6-3,
6-1. She will face former US Open champion Samantha Stosur, the Australian 14th seed, who saw off Russia’s Olga Puchkova 6-2, 6-2.
In men’s second round action, Czech seventh seed Tomas Berdych, the runner-up in 2010, defeated Daniel Brands of Germany, 7-6 (8/6), 6-4, 6-2.
Berdych goes on to face South Africa’s Kevin Anderson, the 27th seed, who put out Poland’s Michal Przysiezny, 6-4, 7-6 (7/2), 6-4.
Also progressing were Argentine eighth seed Juan Martin del Potro who took out left-handed Canadian Jesse Levine, 6-2, 7-6 (9/7), 6-3.
Potro advances
Del Potro could face Bulgarian 29th seed Grigor Dimitrov, the boyfriend of Sharapova, who needed treatment on the right ankle he hurt in a fall on Court Three in his second round clash against Grega Zemlja of Slovenia.
Australia’s Bernard Tomic, a quarter-finalist in 2011, eased past America’s James Blake, 6-3, 6-4, 7-5.
In another matchm, Novak Djokovic beat Bobby Reynolds 7-6 6-3 6-1 to advance to the third round.
At the time of going to Press, the men&’s doubles first round match featuring Indo-Czech fourth seeds Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek was suspended on Court 7 as rain halted play.