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Page last updated at 20:02 GMT, Thursday, 25 June 2009 21:02 UK

Slick Venus eases past Bondarenko

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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Venus Williams
Williams will face Carla Suarez Navarro in the next round

Defending champion Venus Williams breezed into the third round of Wimbledon with a 6-3 6-2 victory over Ukraine's Kateryna Bondarenko.

The American third seed showed no ill effects despite some heavy strapping on her left knee, winning in 69 minutes.

Top seed Dinara Safina overcame Rossana De Los Rios 6-3 7-5 and Svetlana Kuznetsova, seeded fifth, claimed a 6-1 6-3 win against Pauline Parmentier.

Former world number ones Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic both went through.

Next up for Williams is Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro, who overcome Ekaterina Makarova 7-5 4-6 6-1.

The five-time champion pinned Bondarenko back beyond the baseline with an array of powerful ground strokes.

After being undone by breaks in the fifth and final games of the first set, Bondarenko defended her serve with a delicate drop-shot in the sixth game of the second that clinched the longest rally of the match.

But the 22-year-old could not conjure another winner when required two points later and Williams wrapped up her 16th successive Wimbledon win with 20 winners to her name.

Host of players can challenge me - Venus

"That's a great stat for me, a great achievement and I want to make it more. Everything was working for me today," said the 29-year-old, who later partnered sister Serena to victory over Virginie Razzano and Aravane Rezai in the women's doubles.

A jovial Williams played down the knee strapping afterwards and appeared to enjoy keeping reporters guessing over exactly what had prompted her to wear it.

"It was just for support, that's all," she said. "I'll be wearing it in doubles too because it's working out.

"I really hate tape but I needed it this time and I accepted that, because this is Wimbledon."

A losing finalist at this year's Australian and French Opens, Safina has never been beyond the third round at Wimbledon.

Despite a lengthy second set, the Russian always looked in control and did not have to defend any break points as she brushed aside a player ranked 99 places below her.

Belgium's Kirsten Flipkens, who defeated Britain's Elena Baltacha earlier in the day, now stands between her and a career-best performance at SW19.

606: DEBATE

French Open champion Kuznetsova stormed past France's Parmentier, taking the opening set in 25 minutes and then breaking in the fifth game of the second.

World number 78 Parmentier threatened to hit back immediately, but could not convert from 0-30 and Kuznetsova, 23, cruised to victory.

Kuznetsova's victory could have been even more convincing had she converted more than four of the twelve break points she forced.

But a polished performance from the Russian, which included several well-judged charges to the net, will have fuelled her hopes of becoming the first women since Serena Williams in 2002 to win successive Grand Slam titles.

She was however bemused by the scheduling of some of the matches in the ladies' draw.

"They don't have to put me Centre Court, but the schedule is a little bit weird," said Kuznetsova.

"If you look at the schedule, it's not about only me. It's about Dinara Safina plays on court No. 2, Venus plays on court No. 1, and girls who are not very high-seeded, they play Centre.

Ana Ivanovic
Ivanovic is ranked outside the world's top 10 for the first time in two years.

"But in Wimbledon you have to expect anything. That's why I like it, because it's unpredictable."

Jankovic, seeded sixth, brushed past the Czech Republic's Iveta Benesova with a routine 6-2 6-4 win.

Still in search of her first Grand Slam title, the 24-year-old made just six unforced errors as she cantered to a win in just over an hour.

Ivanovic struggled in her tournament opener where she twice saw off match points against her before beating Lucie Hradecka, but the 13th seed looked far more comfortable in beating Italian Sara Errani 7-5 6-1.

The Serb encountered some first-set resistance and had to break to deny her Italian opponent the opener.

But, after winning the next two games, and repeating the trick twice more early in the second she was ensured a more leisurely conclusion.

Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki seemed on course for a swift afternoon's work but Russia's Maria Kirilenko broke twice in the second set as she went down fighting in a 6-0 6-4 defeat to the ninth seed on Centre Court.

The 2006 champion Amelie Mauresmo made short work of her match against Slovakia's Kristina Kucova emerging with an impressive 6-3 6-3 victory in just over an hour.

Polish 11th seed Agnieszka Radwanska was taken deep into a third set by China's Shuai Peng before coming through 6-2 6-7 (8-6) 9-7 on Court 14.

Australian 18th seed Sam Stosur, who reached the semi-finals of the French Open earlier this year, was also pushed hard by Germany's Tatjana Malek, but recovered from 4-1 down in the final set to win 4-6 7-6 (8-6) 6-4.

Italy's Flavia Pennetta, seeded 15th for the tournament, China's Na Li (19th seed), and Spain's Anabel Medina Garrigues (20th seed) all progressed in straight-sets wins.



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see also
Wimbledon day four as it happened
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Masterful Murray crushes Gulbis
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Baltacha bid ends in heavy defeat
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Hewitt stuns fifth seed Del Potro
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Roddick powers into third round
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Sharapova edged out in thriller
24 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Superb Serena powers past Groth
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Results
26 Jun 07 |  Results
Women's singles results
26 Jun 07 |  Results
Wimbledon: Live map
22 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Men's singles draw
26 Aug 11 |  Tennis
Women's singles draw
28 Jan 10 |  Tennis


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