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Wimbledon 2016: Venus beats Sakkari to reach third round


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Five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams progressed to the third round with victory in three sets over qualifier Maria Sakkari.
The eighth seeded American won 7-5 4-6 6-3 in two hours and 24 minutes against the Greek 20-year-old on Court 18.
The 36-year-old will play Russian 29th seed Darya Kasatkina for a place in the last 16.
Fifth seed Simona Halep also reached the third round with a straight-sets win over Italy’s Francesca Schiavone.
The Romanian 24-year-old, a semi-finalist in 2014, needed little more than an hour to beat the 111th-ranked 36-year-old 6-1 6-1 and will meet Dutch 26th seed Kiki Bertens next after the 24-year-old beat Germany’s Mona Barthel.
American ninth seed Madison Keys, 21, also progressed on day four, beating Belgium’s Kirsten Flipkens 6-4 4-6 6-3. She faces the winner of the match between Italy’s Sara Errani and France’s Alize Cornet.
Sakkari was aged four when Williams won the first of her Wimbledon titles in 2000 and, despite a nervy start, the 115-ranked qualifier put up a stern test for the seven-time Grand Slam winner out on the smallest of the venue’s show courts.
Barring defeat to an unranked Kim Clijsters at the 2009 US Open, Williams has not lost to a player ranked outside the world’s top 100 at a Grand Slam this century, but was broken three times in the second set.
She appeared fatigued at times against Sakkari, who was attempting to become the first Greek woman to reach the third round at a major since 2005, and incurred a time violation on her serve in the final set.
But eventually the quality and experience of Williams, the oldest woman in the main draw, proved decisive as she recorded her 78th win at Wimbledon – two matches behind sister Serena’s tally. - THE SUN

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