Game, set, milestone: 300 grand slam wins for Serena Williams
Defending Wimbledon champion races into the fourth round with 6-3, 6-0 demolition of Germany’s Annika Beck
Serena Williams clinched her 300th grand slam tennis victory as the defending champion raced into the Wimbledon fourth round with a 6-3, 6-0 demolition of Germany’s Annika Beck on Sunday.
Williams’ triple century moved the world number one above Chris Evert into sole ownership of second place in the all-time list, with only Martina Navratilova’s Open era record of 306 ahead of her.
The 34-year-old has now won 82 matches at Wimbledon as she remains on course to equal Steffi Graf’s Open era record of 22 grand slam titles with her seventh Wimbledon crown.
She was in peak form on Centre Court, hitting 25 winners and seven aces as she took just 51 minutes to set up a last-16 clash with Russian 13th seed Svetlana Kuznetsova who edged 18th-seeded Sloane Stephens 6-7 (1-7), 6-2, 8-6.
“Oh, was it? Cool. Oh, nice. I had no idea,” said Williams when told of her landmark. “That’s awesome, right?
“I think that’s a lot of matches. It’s a lot of wins.
“I thought it was good. I still want to get out to a little bit of a faster start but I was really focused and calm.
“Obviously I love having that Sunday off but I’m a little behind in my matches so I guess I had to play an extra day.”
For only the fourth time, Wimbledon had thrown open its gates on a middle Sunday and Serena’s longevity meant she was one of the few current players who had played on the last extra day 12 years ago, defeating Spain’s Magui Serna.
Beck was just 10 then and she had reached the last 32 at Wimbledon for the first time this year thanks in large part to a first-round escape act when she saved three match points before defeating Heather Watson.
Williams has only lost to a player outside the top 40 once in 16 Wimbledon appearances and she was quickly into her stride to win the first set.
The American raced through the second set, giving the crowd little value for money but providing her with some valuable energy preservation ahead of Monday’s clash with Kuznetsova.
In the men, Nick Kyrgios booked a clash with Andy Murray for a place in the Wimbledon quarter-finals after downing Feliciano Lopez in the third round.
The Australian 15th seed won 6-3, 6-7 (2-7), 6-3, 6-4 on Court One in a match that was tied at one set all when bad light stopped play on Saturday.
Kyrgios will face second seed and 2013 champion Murray in the fourth round on Monday.
The British star is the top seed left in the draw after world number one Novak Djokovic was knocked out by Sam Querrey in a shock result on Saturday.
But Kyrgios fancies his chances nonetheless. “I definitely have the tools to do it, but saying that, he’s probably one of the best players in the world and he’s probably the favourite at the moment since Novak is out,” the Australian said.
“I’m going to go out there and not do anything different.”
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga reached the Wimbledon last 16 by downing US marathon man John Isner 6-7 (3-7), 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2, 19-17.
French 12th seed Tsonga, a semi-finalist in 2011 and 2012, saved a match point in the 32nd game of the final set. The last set alone lasted more than two hours.
Isner, the 18th seed, famously won the longest tennis match ever played when he beat another Frenchman, Nicolas Mahut, 70-68 in the final set at Wimbledon in the first round in 2010.
The five-setter, stretched over three days, lasted 11 hours and five minutes.
Isner had led Tsonga by two sets to one when play was halted at sunset on Saturday.
The American ended the four-hour, 25-minute tie with 38 aces, 101 winners and 53 unforced errors.
Tsonga, who goes on to face fellow Frenchman Richard Gasquet for a place in the quarter-finals, hit 21 aces and 88 winners but made just 20 unforced errors.
Juan Martin del Potro’s first Wimbledon campaign for three years ended as the Argentine crumbled to a 6-7, 7-6, 7-5, 6-1 defeat by Frenchman Lucas Pouille.
After three left wrist operations in three years had put his career in jeopardy, the 27-year-old remained upbeat about his prospects of rejoining the game’s elite, however.
“I’m very confident, very positive with the situation,” said a weary Del Potro, who has battled back to 165 after his ranking fell off a cliff.
“I played three matches in this tournament against big players. I did a great match today against the 30th player in the world and I was there very, very close to winning.
“My level could be better at the end of the year or the next season but I need to work hard physically, my wrist, my backhands. Then I will be competitive on all surfaces.”
Additional reporting by Reuters