AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
Published — Thursday 27 June 2013
Last update 28 June 2013 7:22 pm
LONDON: Defending champion Serena Williams and evergreen Kimiko Date-Krumm, two players with a combined age of 73, set up a battle of Wimbledon senior citizens yesterday.
Top seed Williams extended her winning streak to 33 matches, just two behind the record set by sister Venus in 2000, with a 6-3, 6-2 win over French 19-year-old Caroline Garcia, who she also beat at the French Open.
Williams, 31, chasing a sixth Wimbledon title and 17th major, wrapped up victory, the 599th of her career, in 67 minutes with 30 winners and nine aces.
Date-Krumm, 42, reached the Wimbledon third round, 17 years after she last did so, with a 6-4, 7-5 win over Romania’s Alexandra Cadantu, 19 years the Japanese’s junior, to become the oldest woman to make the last 32 at the All England Club.
The previous oldest player was Britain’s Virginia Wade, who was 39 years and 362 days old when she made the same stage in 1985.
Despite their many years on tour, Williams and Date-Krumm have never played each other.
“Kimiko is so incredibly fit and inspiring. I have never played her but I watched her when I was super-young,” said Williams.
“Venus has played her, so I will definitely be talking to her about it.”
Date-Krumm made the semi-finals in 1996 where she lost to Steffi Graf before taking what turned out to be a 12-year break from tennis.
After the shockwaves of Wednesday, which saw Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova knocked out and world number two Victoria Azarenka one of a record seven injury withdrawals and retirements, normal service was resumed Thursday.
There were still hints, however, of aches and pains.
Veteran French serve-volleyer Michael Llodra retired through illness after dropping the first set of his second round clash against Italy’s Andreas Seppi.
He was the eighth pullout of the second round, equalling the previous Wimbledon mark set in 2008.
China’s sixth seed Li Na also went into the third round with a 6-2, 1-6, 6-0 win over Simona Halep but not before the Romanian required treatment on a back injury.
Li next plays Czech 32nd seed Klara Zakopalova who beat German teenager Annika Beck, 7-6 (7/5), 6-3.
Big-hitting German Sabine Lisicki, a semi-finalist in 2011, defeated Eastbourne title-holder Elena Vesnina of Russia, 6-3, 6-1.
She will face former US Open champion Samantha Stosur, the Australian 14th seed, who saw off Russia’s Olga Puchkova 6-2, 6-2
In men’s second round action, Czech seventh seed Tomas Berdych, the runner-up in 2010, defeated Daniel Brands of Germany, 7-6 (8/6), 6-4, 6-2.
Berdych goes on to face South Africa’s Kevin Anderson, the 27th seed, who put out Poland’s Michal Przysiezny, 6-4, 7-6 (7/2), 6-4.
Also progressing were Argentine eighth seed Juan Martin del Potro who took out left-handed Canadian Jesse Levine, 6-2, 7-6 (9/7), 6-3.
Del Potro could face Bulgarian 29th seed Grigor Dimitrov, the boyfriend of Sharapova, who needed treatment on the right ankle he hurt in a fall on Court Three in his second round clash against Grega Zemlja of Slovenia.
Australia’s Bernard Tomic, a quarter-finalist in 2011, eased past America’s James Blake, 6-3, 6-4, 7-5.
Later Thursday, top seeded Novak Djokovic, the 2011 champion, looks to reach the last 32 when he faces Bobby Reynolds, the 30-year-old American, ranked at 156 in the world and who had to come through qualifying.