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Serena into Wimbledon last 16

sports Updated: Jun 25, 2011 21:32 IST
AFP
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Defending champion Serena Williams eased past Russia's Maria Kirilenko 6-3, 6-2 to reach the last 16 at Wimbledon on Saturday in her most dominant display at the tournament so far.

Williams, the four-time winner, will face France's Marion Bartoli, the 2007 runner-up, for a place in the quarter-finals.

The American seventh seed had come into her 12th Wimbledon on the back of an 11-month injury lay-off caused by a foot injury followed by life-threatening blood clots on her lungs.

But after needing three sets to see off Aravane Rezai and Simona Halep in her first two matches, the 29-year-old looked back to her best on Court One on Saturday.

She fired down 10 aces and 32 winners past the out-classed 27th-seeded Kirilenko, wrapping up victory on her third match point.

"I'm feeling better and glad to still be in the tournament," said Williams.

"I just need that rhythm that I have been missing and keep serving like I did did today."

Williams, who was furious to have been exiled to Court Two for her previous match, said she expected a tough challenge against Bartoli.

"She won at Eastbourne. She's doing really well, it should be a great match."

Williams needs to make the semi-finals to ensure that she doesn't drop out of the world's top 100.

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