Tennis: Serena surges into Wimbledon third round

Williams reacts after beating Viktoriya Tomova of Bulgaria.
Williams reacts after beating Viktoriya Tomova of Bulgaria.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

LONDON (AFP) - Serena Williams powered to her 16th successive win at Wimbledon as the seven-time champion routed Bulgarian qualifier Viktoriya Tomova 6-1, 6-4 on Wednesday (July 4).

Williams was in dominant mood on Centre Court, brushing aside Tomova in just 66 minutes with 24 winners and four aces to extend her streak of consecutive match wins at the All England Club.

"It was better than the first round. I'm happy I'm going in the right direction," Serena said.

"I'm getting there. I expect to get there, not only for Wimbledon but for the tournaments in the future."

The 36-year-old, whose winning run encompasses her Wimbledon titles in 2015 and 2016, missed the grass-court Grand Slam last year while she prepared to give birth to daughter Alexis Olympia in September.

But the 23-time major winner - playing just her second major as a mother - has quickly shaken off the rust in her 18th appearance at Wimbledon.

Serena, seeded 25th after her return from maternity leave, faces France's Kristina Mladenovic or Germany's Tatjana Maria for a place in the last 16.

If she wins Wimbledon, Williams would equal Margaret Court's record of 24 Grand Slam titles.

Her last major title came at the 2017 Australian Open when she played while in the early stages of her pregnancy.