- Wimbledon Day Six
Minor nuisances can't stop Serena storming on
Serena Williams has enjoyed more comfortable Saturday evenings during grand slam tournaments, but she is nevertheless through to the second week of Wimbledon after a straight sets victory over Kimiko Date-Krumm.
Williams' third round contest was added to the Centre Court schedule at late notice as organisers attempted to completed all outstanding singles contests ahead of Monday's fourth round fare, but the American won less easily than the final 6-2 6-0 scoreline would suggest.
Date-Krumm, at 42 the oldest woman to reach the third round at the All England Club, seemed to cause Williams much frustration with her idiosyncratic groundstroke style, but ultimately did not have the raw strength to build on that edge as Williams blew her away with her prodigious firepower.
The first set was an intriguing one for those on Centre Court delighted to have been rewarded with an extra match (even if they had to wait a while for the roof, and the accompanying lights, to be pulled accross). The contrasting styles - Serena all formidable serves and battering forehands; Date-Krumm relaying on flat returns and unexpected changes of direction - made for an entertaining opening few games, with Serena showing visible frustration even after breaking for a 3-1 lead.
Date-Krumm's backswing, truncated and coming from an odd angle, seemed to confuse Williams with the type of balls it produced, the multiple grand slam champion bending double in annoyance after coming out on the wrong end of one particular rally.
Date-Krumm's style engineered a rare break of Williams' serve - something to cherish - but only after falling two behind. By this point the defending champion appeared to have deduced that power was her key to making this contest as painless as possible and, after securing the first set, went about her business with that tactic in mind in the second.
Date-Krumm, meanwhile, was fading - and the combination was not good for the veteran, as Williams duly won six successive games to ease into the last-16.
"What better place to win 600 matches than on Centre Court?" Williams said afterwards. "I don't think it gets better for me than a closed court on grass.
"I'm finally starting to feel a little better after such a long clay-court season. I'm getting there but I'm just really happy I was able to make it to the second week."
Williams will now face Sabine Lisicki for a place in the quarter-finals, after the former SW19 semi-finalist defeated Sam Stosur 4-6 6-2 6-1 on Centre Court.
"This is my favourite court in the world, Sam played a great match but the crowd was super," Lisicki said. "I fought for everything, I went for my shots and still believed the entire match that I could win."