LONDON: Serena Williams handed South Africa’s Chanelle Scheepers a Wimbledon masterclass as the five-time champion raced into the third round with a 6-1, 6-1 victory on Thursday.
Top seed Serena needed only an hour to dismiss Anna Tatishvili in the first round and the world number one was even more ruthless against Scheepers, crushing her in 49 minutes to set up a last 32 meeting with French 25th seed Alize Cornet.
The 32-year-old had seethed over her shock second-round exit against Garbine Muguruza at the French Open last month and appears intent on taking out those frustrations on her Wimbledon opponents.
She admitted that being expected to rout lower ranked opponents like Scheepers can sometimes be a burden, but she is thriving despite the pressure of her status as tournament favourite.
“It’s been like that for the past two or three years,” said Serena. “I am always the favourite and that can be a bit of pressure, but it’s ok. I have learnt to deal with it.”
Meanwhile, Kei Nishikori admitted he had made a perfect start to his Wimbledon campaign as the Japanese 10th seed moved into the third round with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-1 thrashing of American qualifier Denis Kudla on Thursday.
“It’s been almost perfect first and second rounds for me,” said Nishikori.
Men’s top seed Rafael Nadal avenged his shock 2012 Wimbledon defeat to Lukas Rosol with a tense and hard-fought 4-6, 7-6 (8/6), 6-4, 6-4 win over the big-hitting Czech.
World number one Nadal did it the hard way, however, dropping the first set and then trailing 2-4 in the second before having to save a set point in the tiebreaker.
But the 2008 and 2010 champion, who lost in the first round to Steve Darcis in 2013, wrapped up a place in th`e third round for the first time since 2011 on a third match point.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 27th, 2014.
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