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Wimbledon: Serena Williams advances to fourth round with some vintage play

Defending women's champion Serena Williams serves 10 aces but continues to exhibit an uncertain backhand on her way to dispatching Russian Maria Kirilenko. Williams next faces ninth-seeded Marion Bartoli of France.

June 25, 2011|By Diane Pucin
  • Serena Williams during her third round match against Maria Kirilenko of Russia on Day Six of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships in London, England.
Serena Williams during her third round match against Maria Kirilenko of… (Michael Regan/Getty Images )

Reporting from Wimbledon, England — Serena Williams served 10 aces, howled "Come on!" at least a dozen times and did a four-corners wave Saturday after she moved into the fourth round of Wimbledon with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Russian Maria Kirilenko.

Sometimes it was vintage Serena tennis – she won the first three games in 12 minutes – and sometimes she was flummoxed by her backhand, which still seems not surprisingly uncertain since Williams missed almost 11 months of tennis until coming to England three weeks ago.

Next up for the seventh-seeded and defending champion is Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli, the ninth seed, who won a three-hour, nine-minute third-round match over Italy's Flavia Pennetta, 5-7, 6-4, 9-7. Pennetta double faulted on match point, an unfortunate ending for a well-played match.

Photos: Wimbledon 2011

Also winning Saturday on the women's side was top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki, who was dominant in a 6-3, 6-2 win over Jarmila Gajdosova and fifth-seeded Russian Maria Sharapova, who said she felt confident after easily eliminating Klara Zakopalova 6-2, 6-3.

Mardy Fish, who lives in Beverly Hills, played to his seeding of No. 10 and will be the only American man playing when the tournament resumes after its off day Sunday. Fish, who had never been past the third round here, beat Robin Haase of the Netherlands 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-2, 1-1, ret.

Top-seeded Rafael Nadal, the men's defending champion, completed a carried-over third-round match by finishing off Gilles Muller 7-6 (6), 7-6 (5), 6-0. Nadal will meet up with 2009 U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro in a highly anticipated fourth-round match.

Del Potro is seeded only 24th because he missed much of last year with a wrist injury and Nadal recognizes that it is unfortunate that Del Potro was placed so low in the seedings.

"In my opinion he's top five," Nadal said. "I'm not lucky to play against him in the round of 16. His level is much better than what the ranking says. I have to be playing my best tennis to try to win."

And six-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer made things look easy in a 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 win over David Nalbandian, who was a runner-up here in 2002.

Williams seemed to be finding her best tennis near the end of her win over the 27th-seeded Kirilenko. Williams has made it to at least the fourth round here in 10 of her 12 Wimbledon appearances and she never was in danger of falling behind her 24-year-old opponent.

Photos: Wimbledon 2011

diane.pucin@latimes.com

Twitter.com/mepucin

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