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Serena v Mauresmo as it happened

Women's singles third round result:

S WILLIAMS (US) 6 v A MAURESMO (Fra) 29

7-6 (7-5) 6-1

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By Ben Dirs at Wimbledon

SECOND SET

Serena 6-1 Mauresmo
Williams fires a backhand long after a baseline rally before dollying a return into the net to make it 30-0. Mauresmo finds the net with a forehand to make it 30-30 and mis-times a wild backhand to hand Williams match point. Fine serve to save from Mauresmo, Serena only able to claw it into the base of the net, but Williams sorts Mauresmo out with some savage slice to earn another break point. And that's the match, Serena Williams simply too strong physically and mentally for her brittle French foe.

Serena 5-1 Mauresmo
Absolute peach of a pass from Mauresmo, pinging a forehand beyond Serena on the run, and she moves into a 0-30 lead after Williams pushes a forehand into the net. Neat sliced backhand from Mauresmo that Serena is only able to return into the net, and Williams sends down a double-fault to lose her service game to love. The Frenchwoman still alive.

Serena 5-0 Mauresmo
Double-fault from Mauresmo and she follows up with a spooned backhand that lands six feet long. Three break points, the first of which Serena wastes by carving a backhand long. Mauresmo saves the second break point after Williams sends a forehand long, but she's unable to save the third and Mauresmo is melting like the Singing Detective in a particularly warm sauna.

Serena 4-0 Mauresmo
Good scrapping from Serena from the back of the court - Mauresmo looks to be moving well enough, but Williams eventually puts her away with a forehand to move to 15-0 and Mauresmo sends a forehand long to gift Serena the game.

Serena 3-0 Mauresmo
A couple of unforced errors and parts are starting to fall off Mauresmo, let's just hope she's not going crumble into the ground. But that's not a healthy sign, Williams winning the game to love after Mauresmo fails to put away a backhand volley and Serena whips a forehand pass down the line. Mauresmo, left thigh heavily strapped, calls for the trainer and she's receiving a medical time-out. Serena looks like she's gone a little bit simple - she's up on her feet engaging in a spot of shadow tennis - but time is soon called and players are back on court.

Serena 2-0 Mauresmo
Weak from Mauresmo, bunting a backhand return into the base of the net, but she gets the better of an exchange at the net to make it 30-30. Serena slices a backhand volley wide to make it deuce and then wastes a game point, falling to one knee before square-cutting into the middle of the net. Mauresmo nicks the advantage, but Williams finds a biggun to bring it back to deuce. Serena follows up by outscrapping Mauresmo from the back of the court before stepping in and putting away the backhand pass. Williams seals the game with her first drive-volley of the match.

Serena 1-0 Mauresmo
Some good early signs from Mauresmo, first passing Williams on the backhand side before facing up to a Williams smash and whipping a forehand pass cross-court. But Williams earns the break point and converts it, her backhand pass just too heavy for Mauresmo to recover.

FIRST SET

Serena 7-6 (7-5) Mauresmo
Williams holds serve, as does Mauresmo, but Williams nicks a mini-break to move into a 2-1 lead, marauding at the net before craching home a savage forehand volley. Williams really stepping it up now - quality and volume wise - as she finishes a high-class rally with a doozy of a backhand lob on the turn. Huge serve from Williams makes it 4-1, but she then pushes a volley long that she should have converted. Mauresmo sends Williams wide on the forehand side and Serena is only able to push her return into the net and Williams then sprays a forehand wide to make it 4-4. But now it's Mauresmo's turn to choke, dollying a forehand into the net, but she makes it 5-5 with a solid first serve. Williams attacks the net again and Mauresmo is only able to float her backhand wide to give Williams set point on serve. And that's Serena's set, really climbing into her groundstrokes and Mauresmo eventually buckling, slicing a backhand low into the net. Williams screams and punches the air double-fisted, it will be a surprise if Mauresmo doesn't wilt from here.

"Ameliie Mauresmo has played better in the second half of the set and is starting to feel a bit more comfortable. There is also a little more depth on her shots." Tracy Austin in the BBC commentary box

Serena 6-6 Mauresmo
Someone has just texted in to say "Serena is playing like a mentalist", which I think is a little bit harsh, she's upped her game as the set has worn on, as has Mauresmo. Mauresmo comes to the net to make it 0-15 but is on the receiving end of a 'shooter' next point. Mauresmo makes it 30-15 with a deep first serve and Mauresmo takes the first set to a tie-break with an accomplished backhand volley.

Serena 6-5 Mauresmo
This one could go all the way. An ace from Williams and she outlasts Mauresmo in the next raly to make it 30-0. Mauresmo ignores the swirling wind to execute an overhead, but is unable to outscrap Williams from the back of the court on the next point and Serena eventually puts her away with a forehand to make it 40-15. And that's the game, Mauresmo only able to chip a return long.

Serena 5-5 Mauresmo
Mauresmo whips a forehand long to make it 15-30 but dredges up a searching first serve which Serena is only able to dribble into the net. And that's Mauresmo's game - another hefty serve and she seals the point with a cross-court forehand.

Serena 5-4 Mauresmo
Williams really misfiring now as she fires a forehand well wide, but she cranks up the noise and punches a volley home to make it 15-30. Mauresmo plops one long to make it 30-30, before the Frenchwoman is unable to dig out a dipping forehand from Williams. But that's deuce, Williams rasping a backhand into the net. Mauresmo, doing little more than bunting her return into play, makes Williams miss with a wild forehand, but Williams pulls out another big serve to bring it back to deuce. HAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHA! We've got a pigeon! Hilarious, I've not seen laughter like it on Centre since Leconte made a funny face back in 1983. And when the pigeon has scarpered, Williams digs deep to save. Neither player making me swoon at the moment, although you'd probably back Serena to outlast her opponent at the moment.

Serena 4-4 Mauresmo
Williams sends a return miles long to make it 15-0 before Mauresmo digs out another peachy pick-up, before sending a lob wide. Williams playing like a 1981 Bedford camper van at the moment, unable to find second gear, and she fluffs yet another backhand into the net. And we're all square again, Mauresmo finding a solid serve to leave Williams grasping.

Serena 4-3 Mauresmo
Williams with a double-fault and Mauresmo makes it 0-40 with a dreamy top-spin backhand. More like it. Williams brings out a beefy serve to save one and makes it 30-40 with a heat-seeking serve that puffs up the sideline. And Williams hauls it back to deuce with a laced forehand that leaves Mauresmo standing, but fluffs a forehand to give Mauresmo advantage. And that's much better from Mauresmo, pinning Williams to the baseline before punching home the forehand volley.

Serena 4-2 Mauresmo
Extraordinary miss from Mauresmo, Geoffrey Boycott's old woman could have put that volley away with a frying pan full of noodles. Mauresmo manages a smile, but she's not smiling as Williams moves into a 0-30 lead. Not much quality in the next point, Williams eventually poking a forehand volley long, and Mauresmo offers Williams another two break points with a forehand that falls well long. And that's the game, Mauresmo serving up a double-fault, and what a nervy little game we have on our hands.

Serena 3-2 Mauresmo
Double-fault from Williams and it's a strange atmosphere out there, more akin to a care home dining room than a match between two of the top women players in the world on Centre Court. Serena gets a rare round of applause, finishing off a rally with a punched backhand, but Mauresmo earns a break point with a searching forehand into the corner that Serena is unable to hunt down on her backhand side. And that's the break, and we're back with serve.

Serena 3-1 Mauresmo
Williams really in Mauresmo's face so far and she makes it 15-15 with a whipped forehand pass. Mauresmo really struggling out there as she makes another unforced error on the backhand side, but that's gossamer touch from the Frenchwoman, picking up a half-volley off her toes and Williams unable to get a racquet to it. Mauresmo holds, Williams sending a backhand return into the net, and that will be a welcome settler for the 2006 champion.

Serena 3-0 Mauresmo
Williams makes her first unforced error and follows up with her first double-fault. Shaky from Serena, Mauresmo teeing her up with a ballooned return but Williams hammering her forehand into the net to make it 15-40. Serena ignores the bluster to send home an overhead and saves a second break point, Mauresmo only able to plop a return into the net. Williams makes it avantage as the rain begins to fall, and pulls out a meaty serve to hold. The court coverers are hovering, but we're going to carry on for now.

Serena 2-0 Mauresmo
Mauresmo wins her first point when Williams pounds a forehand return into the net, but Mauresmo falls 15-30 behind after plonking a backhand into the net. That's brutal from Williams, leaving Mauresmo floundering with a blistering forehand down the line, and that's a very easy game for Williams, and there doesn't seem to be the power in Mauresmo's groundstrokes that there once was, although it's still very early days.

Serena 1-0 Mauresmo
Serena wins the first point when Mauresmo, stretching at the net, puts her forehand wide. Williams makes his 40-0 with a driven forehand and that's as easy as one-two-three, erm, four, Serena finishing things off with a crashing backhand down the line. Comfy hold.

1617: Serena has dusted off her old rain mac again. "It's not athletic, but it's ladylike," said Serena after her first-round match. I've got to be honest, I think it makes her look like a kinky lab technician. Serena to serve first.

1610: Second match on Centre Court and it's two-time champion Serena Williams versus 2006 champion Amelie Mauresmo. Serena the big favourite, not least because her French opponent is nursing a torn left thigh.


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