London: Serena Williams needed just 51 minutes to clinch the 300th Grand Slam win of her career yesterday as the defending champion made the Wimbledon last 16. The 34-year-old American brushed aside Germany's World No 43 Annika Beck 6-3, 6-0 on the back of 25 winners and seven aces and goes on to face long-time Russian rival Svetlana Kuznetsova.
Serena Williams celebrates her win over Annika Beck on Day Seven of Wimbledon at the All England Lawn Tennis Club yesterday. Pic/AFP
"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," said Williams, who is just six wins short of Martina Navratilova's Open era record of 306 Slam wins. Williams has now won 82 matches at Wimbledon as she remains on course to equal Steffi Graf's Open Era record of 22 Grand Slam titles with her seventh Wimbledon title.
Williams took the starring role as play was held on the middle Sunday for only the fourth time in Wimbledon history, and the first time since 2004, as organisers tried to clear the backlog caused by days of rain.
Nick Kyrgios, the Australian 15th seed, booked a last-16 clash with World No 2 Andy Murray after beating Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 6-7 (2/7), 6-3, 6-4 in another tie held over from Saturday at one set all. Murray, the 2013 champion, is the top seed left in the draw after World No 1 Novak Djokovic was knocked out by Sam Querrey on Saturday.
The fiery Australian went into Sunday's resumption under fire for using the "retarded" when he lambasted his support team on Saturday night. But the 21-year-old apologised, "I didn't mean to be disrespectful," said Kyrgios.
It looked like the fans who had managed to secure surprise tickets yesteday were in for another long day on Court Two where Jo-Wilfried Tsonga downed US marathon man John Isner 6-7 (3/7), 3-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-2, 19-17. French 12th seed Tsonga, saved a match point in the 32nd game of the final set. The last set alone lasted more than two hours.
Two-time Grand Slam champion Kuznetsova reached the fourth round for the first time since 2008 defeating US 18th seed Sloane Stephens 6-7 (1/7), 6-2, 8-6. French 32nd seed Lucas Pouille saw off former US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro 6-7 (7/4), 7-6 (8/6), 7-5, 6-1 in a tie held over from Saturday. Pouille next faces Australian 19th seed Bernard Tomic in what will be his first appearance in the last 16 at a major.