Defending champion Serena Williams defeated Kimiko Date-Krumm of Japan in straight sets late last night. Date-Krumm, at 42 the oldest woman on the tour, put up a decent fight and it took Williams 35 minutes to take the first set. But she raced away with the second to take the match 6-2 6-0 in 61 minutes.
Tomorrow Williams plays Germany's Sabine Lisicki, who won a thrilling match against Sam Stosur of Australia 4-6 6-2 6-1, and if Laura Robson wins her fourth-round match tomorrow against Kaia Kanepi of Estonia, who defeated the American Alison Riske 6-2 6-3, Williams and Robson will meet in the quarter-finals. They have played each other only once before, in Rome earlier this year, when the American won in straight sets.
Williams's match was scheduled on Court One in the last pairing of the day and was moved well after 8pm to Centre Court, where it was played under the closed roof. The move will reignite the debate about a perceived slight of the five-time champion in SW19, who in previous championships has been scheduled on the distant Court No 2; it's unlikely that Roger Federer, for instance, would be treated in the same way.
Elsewhere, fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland was pushed hard by American Madison Keys but won 7-5 4-6 6-3. Bulgaria'sTsvetana Pironkova also needed three sets to beat Petra Martic of Croatia 6-1 4-6 6-2, as did sixth seed Li Na of China to beat the Czech Klara Zakopalova 6-4 0-6 8-6. Seventh seed Roberta Vinci of Italy went past the Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova 6-1 6-4.
In the bottom half of the draw, the 2011 Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic beat the Russian Ekatarina Makarova 6-3 2-6 6-3, while in another rain-delayed match the American Sloane Stephens went past the Czech Petra Cetkovska 7-6 0-6 6-4.
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