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Serena rout helps restore normalcy

sports Updated: Jun 28, 2013 14:13 IST

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An air of calm, and light rain, descended at Wimbledon on Thursday as Serena Williams avoided the trail of destruction that decimated the field at the All England Club on day three of the grasscourt major.

A day after men's champion Roger Federer and Williams' two closest rivals for the Rosewater Dish, Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova, perished during a 'Whacky Wednesday Wipeout', it was left to the American to restore a semblance of normality.

The world number one did just that by bullying her way past Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia 6-3 6-2 and then summed up what a daunting prospect her rivals face every time they tackle her.

"I wouldn't want to play me at 21 or 31!" the 31-year-old top seed, who is looking to draw level with Federer's haul of 17 grand slam titles, told reporters.

At 42, Japan's Kimiko Date-Krumm will have nothing to lose when she takes on the world number one in the third round.
Williams was excited about the prospect of playing the Japanese warrior, who became the oldest female to reach the Wimbledon third round in the professional era with a 6-4 7-5 victory over Romanian Alexandra Cadantu.

"She's incredibly inspiring. She's so fit. I watched her when I was super young growing up. I don't know how she's able to do so well," said Williams.
Meanwhile, fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska reached the third round with a 6-1, 6-3 win over France's Mathilde Johansson. Radwanska, the runner-up to Williams last year, next plays America's Madison Keys for a place in the last 16.

Asian hopefuls who managed to avoid the wreckage which has hit Wimbledon were 12th seed Kei Nishikori who downed Leonardo Mayer 7-6(5) 6-4 6-2 while Chinese sixth seed Li Na recovered from a second set meltdown to beat Simona Halep 6-2 1-6 6-0.

Juan Martin del Potro moved into the third round with a 6-2, 7-6 (7), 6-3 victory over Jesse Levine of Canada.

Eighth-seeded Del Potro, the 2009 U.S. Open champion, overcame a 3-0 deficit in the second-set tiebreaker to win, then took the third set in 31 minutes.

Del Potro, who didn't play the French Open because of a respiratory illness, is the only man left in the Wimbledon draw other than Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray with a Grand Slam tournament title to his name.

However, rain played spoilsport later in the day with the roof over the Centre Court closing for the first time this year.