Top seed sounds title intent

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The Independent Online

The world No 1 Amélie Mauresmo sounded another title warning as she dispatched the doubles expert Samantha Stosur in straight sets on Centre Court. The 26-year-old top seed has been a semi-finalist here in each of the Past three years - and it was easy to see why she is fancied to go one better this time around.

Mauresmo, who won her first Grand Slam singles championship at the Australian Open in January, simply had too much quality for the world No 50. She broke Stosur in the very first game and never looked back, wrapping up the first set in 32 minutes.

The Australian No 1 did threaten a fightback, but it was all too brief as Mauresmo tightened up her play to comfortably book a place in round three.

During the match, the impressive French ace had moved through the full range of her repertoire, coming to the net with great effect.

Stosur did at least try to take the game to the top seed, producing a number of cross-court winners during the middle of the first set. However, Mauresmo closed out the set 6-4 when Stosur hit a baseline return into the net.

Partnering the American Lisa Raymond, the 22-year-old Stosur had won the doubles title at Roland Garros and is top of the women's rankings.

But the girl from the Gold Coast was out on her own in what was already a best performance at Wimbledon, having never before reached round two.

Stosur looked more determined at the start of the second set, which went with serve until game three.

A netted forehand gave Mauresmo a break point which she expertly dispatched with a strong backhand past Stosur's right side to take the upper hand.

The match then reverted to something of a baseline battle, with Mauresmo moving ahead 4-2 following a fortunate net cord, which spun past Stosur.

A backhand into the net handed the world No 1 two break points, which she claimed first time with a fine drop shot, the ball clipping the net on the way down.

Mauresmo went on to hold her next service game to love and close out the match, 6-4, 6-2, in 58 minutes.

Unable to emulate the success of her Swiss compatriot Roger Federer, Patty Schnyder became the highest women's seed to exit this year's tournament after the world No 8 lost 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, to the Frenchwoman Severine Bremond.

Bremond, No 129 in the world, reached her first Grand Slam third round with a battling performance in a match that had been halted on Wednesday because of fading light.

Schnyder led 6-4, 1-6, 2-1 on the resumption but Bremond outplayed her to seal the biggest victory of her career. The 26-year-old from Montpellier will play the Argentinian Gisela Dulko in the third round.

Schnyder has a poor record at Wimbledon, her best performance being reaching the third round back in 2001.

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