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Wimbledon 2014: Serena Williams storms into third round

Chanelle Scheepers swept aside on Court One

Chanelle Scheepers stood up on her toes, swivelled and darted a back-hand winner down the line. It earned her the first point of her second-round match with Serena Williams and against the top-seed’s serve too. A murmur went round Court One. It was as good as it got for Scheepers, the world No 94. Three-quarters of an hour later and all was done and dusted and Williams was marching off court with a place in the third round secured having barely had to break sweat.

The South African’s first sortie beyond the first round here could not have been more one-sided. She was outgunned, Williams rocketing down serves that were a good 10mph quicker, and out run too with Williams moving well around the court. Barely a ball was beyond her reach.

At the French Open Williams was embarrassed at this stage, suffering what is regarded as her worst performance in a Grand Slam match as she won only four games against Garbine Muruguza of Spain. There was never any danger of something similar happening here. After that first point Williams won the next eight to take her first break. After nine minutes it was 3-0, after 25 minutes the first set was gone, sealed with an emphatic volley that thundered into the wall behind the court.

The second set followed the pattern of the first as Williams, calm and unruffled throughout, made the inevitable progress towards a third round meeting with Alice Cornet of France, who overcame Petra Cetkovska in three sets. The second set was even quicker, occupying only 18 minutes of the Court One crowds’ time – in all Williams’ afternoon’s work extended to 43 minutes.


“I am always favourite and that can be a little bit of pressure,” said Williams. “But I have learnt to deal with that.”

It was all rather more straightforward than last night’s doubles with her sister where they lost the first set and then Serena ended up careering into the crowd as she chased a wide return. She, and Venus, recovered to win the match – of course. “It was super fun doubles last night,” said Serena, who described the man who had caught her as a “wonderful gent.”