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Page last updated at 16:29 GMT, Wednesday, 24 June 2009 17:29 UK

Superb Serena powers past Groth

WIMBLEDON
Date: 22 June - 5 July
Coverage: BBC One, BBC Two, BBC HD, Red Button, website streaming (UK only) and text commentary, 5 Live, 5 Live Sports Extra, BBC iPlayer
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Serena Williams

Highlights - Straight-sets win for Serena

Second seed Serena Williams booked her place in the third round of Wimbledon courtesy of a comfortable 6-2 6-1 win over Australian Jarmila Groth.

The 27-year-old utilised her power to claim the first set with ease, breaking Groth in the fourth and eighth games.

Serena broke three times to Groth's once in the second set to seal the victory in under an hour.

Fourth seeded Russian Elena Dementieva is also through after a 6-1 6-3 win over Aravane Rezai of France.

The 26-year-old's class ultimately shone through as she struck the ball much cleaner than during her first round win over Alla Kudryavtseva.

She took the first set comfortably before running into trouble early in the second as Rezai claimed a break of serve, but the Russian upped her performance and struck back to gain the anticipated straight-sets win.

The Australian Open semi-finalist next faces Regina Kulikova who beat 27th seed and fellow Russian Alisa Kleybanova 0-6 6-4 6-1.

On Court One, last year's runner-up Serena Williams was rarely troubled by 22-year-old Groth, wrapping up victory in 57 minutes.

A trademark two-handed backhand return down the line from the two-time champion earned her a break in the fourth game of the first set, with the second, and set-winning break, coming in game eight thanks largely to three double faults from Groth.

I should have won more than twice here and I didn't. Hopefully I can rectify that this year.

Serena Williams

Another two Groth double faults gave Serena a break of serve in the second game of the second set, which the American added to with a break in the fourth.

Serena, whose potential path to the final has been made easier with Maria Sharapova's defeat by Argentina's Gisela Dulko, was full of sympathy for the Russian's plight.

She said: "I'm not that player that wishes someone else loses. I feel for her being injured, because I know how hard it is to come back. She's playing really well, and I think she'll be fine."

Turning to her own chances, she added: "I should have won more than twice here - hopefully I can rectify that this year.

"I thought I played really well today. I knew she was going to be tough so I had to be ready for the match.

"For me there's always room for improvement though. I still think I could have returned better, come to the net a little bit more.

"That's exciting to think I can do better."

Daniela Hantuchova

Highlights - Hantuchova shocks Zheng

Vera Zvonareva of Russia, the seventh seed, booked her place in round three after a straight-forward 6-1 6-3 win over France's Mathilde Johansson on Court 18.

Zvonereva will now face Virginie Razzano, the 26th seed from France, who beat American Jill Craybas 6-3 6-0.

Belarussian eighth seed Victoria Azarenka destroyed Romanian Ioana Raluca Olaru 6-0 6-0 on Court Two.

The 19-year-old dropped only six points in her six service games and will face another Romanian in the last 32, with number 28 seed Sorana Cirstea lying in wait after knocking out India's Sania Mirza 6-4 6-4.

"I guess I have a good chance now but I don't feel any pressure," said Azarenka. "It is always important to go step by step. There are still a lot of good players in the draw.

"I don't put myself in the position where I have to go as far as the quarter-finals or semi-finals. If I do better than that then that's great."

Nadia Petrova of Russia, seeded 10th, cruised into the third round, beating Israel's Shahar Peer 6-3 6-2.

606: DEBATE
HighburyGhost

Petrova broke Peer, ranked 55th in the world, in the fourth game of the first set and held comfortably.

The 27-year-old Moscovite then broke Peer twice in the second set and wrapped up victory when the Israeli sent a forehand long.

Petrova will next play Dulko following her shock 6-2 3-6 6-4 victory over Sharapova.

Marion Bartoli, the 12th seed from France was made to work hard in the first set of her match with Swiss Timea Bacsinszky before taking it, and then breezing through the second set to seal a 7-5 6-1 win.

Italian Francesca Schiavone came through a hard-fought encounter with Portugal's Michelle Larcher De Brito, winning 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-4) to set up a meeting with Bartoli in the next round.

De Brito, who has become notorious for her 'grunting' this week, was on top in the early stages but London-based Schiavone hauled her back before easily winning the first tie-break.

Schiavone looked like she was running away with the second set but the Portuguese teenager upped her game - and the volume - to force another tie-break.

But in the gathering gloom, De Brito's tactic of charging the net became less successful, and it was Schiavone who came through to seal her victory late on Wednesday evening.

China's Zheng Jie - a semi-finalist in last year's Wimbledon - was denied another memorable run this year, beaten 6-3 7-5 by Laura Robson's round one conqueror, Slovakian Daniela Hantuchova.

Zheng, seeded 16th, broke in the first game of the match but the powerful Hantuchova gave signal of her poise and resolve by breaking back to level at 3-3 before breaking again and serving out the set.

Elena Dementieva
Dementieva was US and French Open runner-up in 2004

It was Hantuchova's turn to break early in the second set but this merely set in motion a see-saw tussle with numerous breaks of serve.

However, at 5-5, Hantuchova was able to break and then hold to claim victory.

Zheng admitted that her performance last year as a wild card had worked against her.

"I felt a little bit under pressure because of the semi-final last year and she (Hantuchova) played more aggressively," said Zheng.

Hantuchaova now faces a third-round clash with Japan's Ai Sugiyama, who had earlier beaten Spanish qualifier Arantxa Parra Santonja 7-6 (7-5) 6-3.

Another Slovakian through to round three is 14th seed Dominika Cibulkova who beat Urszula Radwanska of Poland 6-2 6-4.

French Open semi-finalist Cibulkova, 20, took the first set comfortably but underwent treatment from the trainer before the start of the second.

However, her mobility seemed unaffected and she left it until the 10th game of the second set to seal her victory via a break of serve, superbly wrong-footing Radwanska on match point.

In the third round, Cibulkova will face Elena Vesnina who came through an all-Russian tie with a 6-3 6-4 win over Vera Dushevina.



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see also
Sharapova edged out in thriller
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Sharapova v Dulko as it happened
24 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Federer & Djokovic make progress
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Verdasco squeezes past Vliegen
24 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Wimbledon day three as it happened
24 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Murray laments British failings
24 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Bogdanovic faces wildcard threat
24 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Keothavong crashes out of doubles
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Wimbledon: Live map
22 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Men's singles results
26 Jun 07 |  Results
Women's singles results
26 Jun 07 |  Results


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