- Wimbledon Day Four
Serena sails into third round of Wimbledon
Serena Williams continues to be the dominant force in the women's game as the American clinched her 33rd consecutive victory and reach the third round of Wimbledon.
The world No. 1 has triumphed at Wimbledon five times during her illustrious career, and with second seed Victoria Azarenka withdrawing and third seed Maria Sharapova suffering a shock loss on Wednesday, potential stumbling blocks have been cleared out of the path for Williams to clinch glory.
But Williams will be the first to say this is not the case, as the 31-year-old takes each game and opponent as they come, and the latest to fall to the champion was Caroline Garcia, who was beaten 6-3 6-2.
The pair's one and only meeting came at this year's French Open in the last-64, and Williams was impressed with the way her opponent played despite overcoming her in straight sets.
Making your Wimbledon debut at the age of 19 on one of the show courts is one thing, taking on a player in the form of her career is another, but this did not seem to bother Garcia as the Frenchwoman made a confident start.
She held to love in the opening game which saw an ace and a backhand winner down the line - one that even Williams could not get a racket onto.
With the following two games shared, Williams pounced in the fifth to break Garcia to love and began to assert her authority, flying in the sixth with a mixture of strong serves and clean winners.
The champion of 2006 Amelie Mauresmo was in the Garcia camp, and the former world No. 1 along with many from France believe the 19-year-old has a promising future.
Emphasising why she is so highly rated, Garcia did not buckle under the pressure from Williams in holding serve to close the gap to 5-3, and saved two set points in style with a volley to thwart Williams on the run.
However, the mini resistance was broken as Williams at the third time of asking sealed the set 6-3.
Garcia demonstrated her wonderful temperament during the second set as she quickly erased the first from her mind by staying with Williams during the opening five games.
But with the finishing line in sight, Williams secured the break for 4-2, consolidated the advantage with a monster serve at 123mph, and then wrapped up victory when Garcia played a backhand wide of the court.
Former semi-finalist and last year's quarter-finalist Sabine Lisicki flew into the third round as the German powered her way past Eastbourne winner Elena Vesnina 6-3 6-1. And her opponent in the next round will be 2010 US Open champion Sam Stosur, who breezed past Russian Olga Puchkova 6-2 6-2 in 55 minutes.
Li Na, who lifted the French Open three years ago, survived a scare to edge out Simona Halep. China's No. 1 dropped only two games in the first set. But, after Halep received treatment for a back injury, the Romanian hit back to take the second 6-1 and force a decider. However, Li raised her game in the final set to take it to love in the space of 25 minutes and safely progress to the third round.
Kimiko Date-Krumm became the oldest player to reach the third round of Wimbledon in the Open Era at 42-year-old when she defeated Alexandra Cadantu 6-4 7-5, and last year's finalist and fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska defeated Mathilde Johansson 6-1 6-3.