Wimbledon, England (Sports Network) - Reigning champion and five-time titlist
Serena Williams and last year's runner-up Agnieszka Radwanska were a pair of
easy opening-round winners Tuesday at Wimbledon.
The world No. 1 superstar Williams extended her career-best winning streak to
32 matches by handling Luxembourg's Mandy Minella 6-1, 6-3 on Centre Court at
the venerable All England Club.
Williams won every point on serve in a lopsided first set, but Minella
stunningly broke the American stalwart and then held for a 2-0 lead in the
The formidable Williams, however, then went on to win four straight games,
including a pair of breaks, to assume control once again. Minella would later
fight off a match point before the American great converted on a second to
"For me, it's the greatest moment for a tennis player, to walk out on Centre
Court," Williams said. "That was such a great moment, too. So many great
memories on this court."
Williams is now 75-3 since losing in the first round at last year's French
Open. The 31-year-old is the reigning Wimbledon, French Open and U.S. Open
champ who owns 16 Grand Slam singles titles overall. She beat Radwanska in
last year's final here to capture her third Wimbledon title in four years and
also captured an Olympic gold medal at the All England Club last summer.
Up next for Williams will be France's Caroline Garcia.
The fourth-seeded Radwanska routed helpless Austrian Yvonne Meusburger 6-1,
The high-flying Williams and Radwanska were joined in the round of 64 by
sixth-seeded Australian Open runner-up and former French Open champ Li Na, as
the Chinese star drubbed Dutchwoman Michaella Krajicek 6-1, 6-1. Krajicek is
the half sister of former men's Wimbledon winner Richard Krajicek.
Seventh-seeded German left-hander Angelique Kerber moved on by driving out
American Bethanie Mattek-Sands 6-3, 6-4.
Also, left-handed British crowd favorite Laura Robson took out 10th-seeded
Russian Maria Kirilenko 6-3, 6-4, 11th-seeded Italian Roberta Vinci vaulted
past South African Chanelle Scheepers 6-2, 6-1, and 14th-seeded former U.S.
Open champion Sam Stosur whipped Slovak Anna Schmiedlova 6-1, 6-3 on Day 2.
Kirilenko was a Wimbledon quarterfinalist a year ago.
Meanwhile, 18th-seeded Slovak Dominika Cibulkova snuck past Italian Maria
Elena Camerin 6-4, 4-6, 6-4; 24th-seeded Chinese Peng Shuai pasted Spaniard
Anabel Medina Garrigues 6-3, 6-2, Romanian Alexandra Cadantu vanquished 28th-
seeded Austrian Tamira Paszek 6-2, 7-5; 30th-seeded German Mona Barthel held
off Romanian Monica Niculescu 6-3, 4-6, 7-5; and American Alison Riske
upended 31st-seeded Romina Oprandi 6-7 (5-7), 7-5, 3-1, as the Swiss retired
in the third set. Paszek had reached the Wimbledon quarterfinals the last two
Several other women landed in the second round, including American Madison
Keys, hot Romanian Simona Halep, Poland's Urszula Radwanska, Estonian Kaia
Kanepi, and 42-year-old Japanese Kimiko Date-Krumm, who is the second-oldest
player to win a main-draw match at Wimbledon. The great Martina Navratilova
holds the record, at 47 years of age.
Halep headed to Wimbledon having won back-to-back tournaments, on clay in
Germany and grass in The Netherlands, respectively. She's now enjoying an 11-
match winning streak after beating Belarusian Olga Govortsova in three sets.
And Russian Olga Puchkova topped Arantxa Rus 6-4, 6-2, as the Dutchwoman Rus
tied the WTA record for consecutive match losses at 17, equaling the mark
set by Sandy Collins between 1984-87.
"I need to play better to win matches at this level," Rus said. "I try my
best. I try to keep working hard. That's the only thing you can do."
The Sports Network