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Wimbledon: Serena Wobble To Victory

Posted: Jun 30, 2015 at 12:10 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Uzor Odigbo  –  Lagos, with agency report

 

World number one Serena Williams overcame a minor blip against debutant Margarita Gasparyan to progress to the second round of Wimbledon with ease.

Five-time champion Williams, 33, was broken in the first game of the match, but came through to win 6-4, 6-1.

Serena Williams

Serena Williams

Williams, the reigning Australian and French Open champion, was not at her best – forced to save six break points – but ultimately had too much nous.

“She did good, she should be really proud,” said Williams of Gasparyan, 20.

The task before the Russian, who had not played at Wimbledon even as a junior, had been described by one American newspaper as the most daunting in modern tennis.

Williams is the favourite for the women’s title. Should she triumph at SW19 for a sixth time, the top seed will move closer to completing a calendar Grand Slam and emulate Steffi Graf, who won all four in 1988.

To the surprise of many, Gasparyan – 113 places below the world number one in the rankings – broke the American at the very start. Parity was restored in the sixth game, when Williams seized on her second break point of the game to level at 3-3, her opponent’s backhand volley drifting wide.

Although Gasparyan was not initially overawed, confidently hitting clean winners at the start of the match, Williams eventually overpowered her opponent as the experience of a woman who has lost just one of her 59 first-round matches in a Grand Slam told.

Williams went 3-0 ahead in the second set and when she saved three break points in the fifth game for a 4-1 lead, victory felt like an inevitability.

The win, her 73rd singles victory at Wimbledon which equals her sister Venus’ tally, was achieved with a vicious overhead smash on her second match point.

The American will next play either Timea Babos of Hungary or Czech Petra Cetkovska in the next round.