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Page last updated at 12:25 GMT, Friday, 26 June 2009 13:25 UK

Serena sweeps into fourth round

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
Tennis on the BBC

By Chris Bevan
BBC Sport at Wimbledon

Serena Williams
Serena celebrates after booking her place in the fourth round

Serena Williams overcame a late wobble against Roberta Vinci to win 6-3 6-4 and reach the last 16 at Wimbledon.

The second seed, champion in 2002 and 2003, was surprisingly asked to play on the new Court Two but the unfamiliar surroundings did not affect her game.

Vinci, the world number 53 from Italy, battled gamely but simply did not have the weapons to keep Williams at bay.

Some unforced errors at 4-1 in the second set held up Williams' charge but she steadied herself to seal victory.

Playing on the outside courts is something Williams has had to get used to in recent years and she insisted playing on the smaller stage did not bother her.

"I always played on [the old] Court Two anyway," she said afterwards. "It's not a court for Roger Federer but it's a court for me - but then he has won five titles, I guess two are not enough.

"I enjoyed myself. The court had a challenge system and it worked for me. I could also get far more involved with the crowd, and I liked it."

Williams, who lost to her sister Venus in last year's final, will play unseeded Daniela Hantuchova in the fourth round, after the Slovakian beat her doubles partner Ai Sugiyama in straight sets.

Michael Jackson 'a sad loss' - Serena

She is unlikely to find it as easy against Hantuchova as she did against Vinci, with her biggest hiccup being her late arrival that kept her opponent waiting on court for almost 10 minutes past the intended start time of midday.

Williams said the delay was not deliberate, explaining: "I thought someone was coming to get me. I was warming up and waiting but nobody did.

"I didn't know what to do, so in the end I just walked out there on my own."

Once play began, the American was immediately into her stride, holding serve to love, then breaking Vinci with some rasping winners from either flank.

She stumbled in the next game, allowing Vinci to break back, but quickly rediscovered her range with her thumping groundstrokes to move 3-1 ahead and from then on the first set was a formality

Williams kept up the pressure and it appeared she would quickly wrap things up when she broke twice in the second set to move 4-1 ahead.

606: DEBATE

But for the first time, errors began to creep into her game and Vinci took advantage, using her drop shot to good effect and forcing Williams to work harder for her win.

The end for Vinci eventually came after an hour and seven minutes, with Williams finishing the match in the same way she began it - with an ace.

It was a useful work-out for the two-time champion, who showed signs she is close to finding her best form ahead of the second week at SW19.



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see also
Wimbledon day five as it happened
26 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Federer comes through first test
26 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Djokovic shines in win over Fish
26 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Dementieva powers past Kulikova
26 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Mixed fortunes for GB in doubles
26 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Slick Venus eases past Bondarenko
25 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Sharapova edged out in thriller
24 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Superb Serena powers past Groth
24 Jun 09 |  Tennis
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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