LONDON • Serena Williams clinched her 300th Grand Slam victory as the defending champion raced into the fourth round at Wimbledon with a 6-3, 6-0 win over Germany's Annika Beck yesterday.
The women's world No. 1 moved above Chris Evert into sole ownership of second place in the all-time list, with only Martina Navratilova's Open era record of 306 ahead of her.
The 34-year-old American has now won 82 matches at Wimbledon as she remains on course to equal Steffi Graf's Open era record of 22 Grand Slam tennis titles with her seventh Wimbledon crown.
She was in peak form, hitting 25 winners and seven aces as she set up a last-16 clash with Russian 13th seed Svetlana Kuznetsova.
"Oh, was it? Cool. Oh, nice. I had no idea. That's awesome, right? I think that's a lot of matches. It's a lot of wins," Williams said when told of the landmark.
Selected (at press time)
Men's 3rd rd
Richard Gasquet (Fra) bt Albert Ramos (Esp) 2-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 6-3, Lucas Pouille (Fra) bt Juan Martin del Potro (Arg) 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (8-6) 7-5 6-1, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (Fra) bt John Isner (USA) 6-7 (3-7) 3-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 19-17, Nick Kyrgios (Aus) bt Feliciano Lopez (Esp) 6-3 6-7 (2-7) 6-3 6-4.
Women's 3rd rd
Serena Williams (USA) bt Annika Beck (Ger) 6-3 6-0, Svetlana Kuznetsova (Rus) bt Sloane Stephens (USA) 6-7 (1-7) 6-2 8-6, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (Rus) bt Timea Bacsinszky (Sui) 6-3 6-2, Coco Vandeweghe (USA) bt Roberta Vinci (Ita) 6-3 6-4, Elena Vesnina (Rus) bt Julia Boserup (USA) 7-5 7-5, Ekaterina Makarova (Rus) bt Barbora Strycova (Cze) 6-4 6-2 .
"I thought it was good. I still want to get out to a little bit of a faster start but I was really focused and calm. Obviously I love having that Sunday off but I'm a little behind in my matches so I guess I had to play an extra day."
For only the fourth time, Wimbledon threw open its gates on a middle Sunday and Williams' longevity meant she was one of the few current players who had played on the last extra day 12 years ago, defeating Spain's Magui Serna.
The American raced through the match in just 51 minutes, giving the crowd little value for money but providing her with some valuable energy preservation ahead of today's clash with Kuznetsova, who reached the Wimbledon fourth round for the first time since 2008 despite becoming involved in a row with the umpire over coaching.
The 31-year-old 13th seed battled back from 2-5 down in the final set to defeat American 18th seed Sloane Stephens 6-7 (1-7), 6-2, 8-6.
But the Russian was hit with a code violation for coaching early in the final set which prompted a bitter exchange with umpire Marijana Veljovic.
"I'm just doing my job," said the official. "Well, you're not doing it very well," responded Kuznetsova, the 2004 US Open champion and 2009 French Open winner.
Kuznetsova insisted that she was not being coached by Hernan Gumy, claiming he was only passing on encouragement.
"It's really frustrating," said the three-time quarter-finalist. "She warned me but I said, 'Did you hear what he said?' I told her he talks a lot.
"He just said, 'Great job, keep going'. It's very frustrating. I lost a little momentum after that but I managed to fight back."
In the men's draw, Juan Martin del Potro's first Wimbledon campaign for three years ended as the Argentinian crumbled to a 6-7 (4-7), 7-6 (8-6), 7-5, 6-1 defeat by Frenchman Lucas Pouille.
Pouille, seeded 32nd, will face Australian Bernard Tomic next.
Del Potro, who has had three operations on his left wrist since his last appearance at Wimbledon in 2013 when he reached the semi-final, cited the physical toll of his stunning win over fourth seed Stan Wawrinka as the reason for the loss.
"As you can see, I'm exhausted," the 2009 US Open champion said. "Yesterday was even worse than today. My body is hurting everywhere, but that's normal after a big match against Wawrinka."
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS
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