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Serena, Radwanska cruise into third round at Wimbledon

1:19 PM, Jun 27, 2013   |    comments
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Wimbledon, England (Sports Network) - Reigning champion and five-time overall winner Serena Williams and last year's runner-up Agnieszka Radwanska were a pair of routine second-round victors Thursday at Wimbledon.

The world No. 1 superstar Williams rolled past 19-year-old Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia 6-3, 6-2 in 67 minutes on a calm day at the All England Club. The American great smacked nine aces and was not broken in the predictable matchup.

"She's incredibly promising, she does everything well," Williams said of Garcia. "Her serve is amazing, so I knew it would be a good match on the grass."

Williams was among those restoring order at the year's third Grand Slam event just one day after five former world No. 1 women exited the draw via upset or injury, including former champion Maria Sharapova and reigning two-time Australian Open titlist Victoria Azarenka.

The 31-year-old Williams is now riding a career-best 33-match winning streak and is a brilliant 76-3 since losing in the first round at last year's French Open.

Williams is also the reigning French and U.S. Open champion and owns 16 Grand Slam singles titles overall. She beat Radwanska in last year's final here to capture her third Wimbledon title in four years and also captured an Olympic gold medal at the All England Club last summer.

Her third-round opponent will be 42-year-old Japanese Kimiko Date-Krumm, who is the oldest woman to reach the third round at Wimbledon in the Open Era.

"I don't know how she's able to do so well," Williams said.

Meanwhile, the fourth-seeded Radwanska improved to 8-1 at Wimbledon over the last two years by blasting France's Mathilde Johansson 6-1, 6-3. The Pole's third-round opponent will be American Madison Keys.

Former Grand Slam champs Li Na and Samantha Stosur also reached the round of 32.

The sixth-seeded Li posted a 6-2, 1-6, 6-0 victory over previously hot Romanian Simona Halep.

The bottom half of the draw was turned upside down on Wednesday, when the second-seeded Azarenka, third-seeded Sharapova and ninth-seeded Caroline Wozniacki all exited. Petra Kvitova, the 2011 Wimbledon champ, was the only top-10 seed in the bottom half to survive the carnage and did so thanks to a walkover win against Yaroslava Shvedova.

Halep could have posed a problem for Li, as she entered the All England Club after capturing titles each of the past two weeks -- first in Nuremberg and then in Den Bosch. After dominating the second set by winning 28 of the 40 points played, Halep was no match in the third as the 2011 French Open champ turned the tables and won 28-of-42 points.

Li had lost in the second round at Wimbledon each of the last two years after a quarterfinal appearance in 2011, and was coming off a second-round loss at this month's French Open after a runner-up finish at the Australian Open.

Up next for Li will be Czech slugger Klara Zakopalova.

Stosur, the 2011 U.S. Open champ, had little trouble for the second match in a row this week. The 14th-seeded Australian cruised past Russian Olga Puchkova, 6-2, 6-2, after a 6-1, 6-3 rout of Slovak Anna Schmiedlova in the first round.

The competition will get a little tougher for Stosur in the third round, as Sabine Lisicki now awaits. The 23rd-seeded German, a Wimbledon semifinalist in 2011 and twice a quarterfinalist in the London suburb, thumped Russian veteran Elena Vesnina, 6-3, 6-1.

Eleventh-seeded Italian Roberta Vinci snuck into the third round with a 6-1, 4-6, 9-7 decision against Slovak Jana Cepelova, while other winners Thursday included 18th-seeded Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova, a 32nd-seeded Zakopalova, Keys, Date-Krumm, Croat Petra Martic, New Zealand's Marina Erakovic, and Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova.

Cibulkova needed just 49 minutes to dispatch Spain's Maria Teresa Torro-Flor, 6-0, 6-1; Zakopalova topped German Annika Beck 7-6 (7-5), 6-3; Erakovic upended 24th-seeded Chinese Peng Shuai 7-6 (8-6), 6-2; Keys knocked out 30th- seeded German Mona Barthel 6-4, 6-2; Date-Krumm advanced with a 6-4, 7-5 triumph over Romania's Alexandra Cadantu; Martic claimed a 7-6 (9-7), 6-1 win over Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic; and Pironkova downed Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 7-5, 6-3. Pironkova was a semifinalist here in 2010 and quarterfinalist in 2011.

The Sports Network

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