Rafa and The Fed may have fallen but Serena Williams' march towards another Wimbledon title continued imperiously yesterday as he brushed aside Caroline Garcia 6-3, 6-2 to reach the third round. There the No.1 seed will face Kimiko Date-Krumm, the 42-year-old Japanese who beat Romania's Alexandra Cadantu earlier in the day.
“Kimiko is incredibly inspiring,” said Williams after her win. “She is so fit and does so well. I don't know how she does it. I've never played her but I watched her when I was super young and growing up.”
The 100-ranked Garcia failed to qualify for Edgbaston earlier this month, leaving Birmingham with $500 prize money to set against her expenses, but reached Wimbledon through that route. If she was overawed it did not show as she matched the world No.1 for the opening four games. She was then broken, however, and with Williams serving accurately and powerfully a break-back always looked beyond the French teenager. Garcia saved a trio of set points at 3-5 down, but hit a forehand smash into the net on the fourth with the court open. That gave the defending champion the first set in 30 minutes.
The break in the second set again came on Garcia's third service match, Williams seizing upon a weak second serve to lash a drive past her opponent. Prior to that Garcia had frequently gone overlong as she sought to pin Williams back for fear a short return would be pounced upon and bludgeoned past her. Williams followed up her break with a near-perfect service game. One return at the net had Garcia holding her arms aloft as if to say 'what can I do?'. The next two points were won with two shots that showcased Williams' range: a 123mph ace, then a delicate drop shot. Williams broke again to close out the set and the match in 67 minutes.
“Caroline is a really good player, incredibly promising, so it was good to get through,” said Williams. “I live and die for every match at Wimbledon, I have so much fun here.”
Meanwhile, Bernard Tomic progressed to the third round with a straight sets win over James Blake, despite the continued absence of his father and coach John.
Australian Tomic beat James Blake 6-3, 6-4, 7-5 on Court 18.
The 20-year-old has urged Wimbledon and the ATP to lift the ban on his father, who faces an assault charge for allegedly headbutting his son's former training partner.
John Tomic has denied attacking Thomas Drouet but Tomic senior has been banned from attending tournaments as his son's coach, while Wimbledon have prevented him from buying a ticket to watch.
Tomic will play ninth seed Richard Gasquet or Go Soeda in the next round.