Nadal, Murray Advance at Wimbledon, Venus Williams Needs 3 Sets

Rafael Nadal
Spanish player Rafael Nadal reacts after beating U.S. player Ryan Sweeting. Photographer: Carl DeSouza/AFP/Getty images

Top-seeded Rafael Nadal and men’s No. 4 Andy Murray moved into the third round at the Wimbledon tennis tournament with straight-set wins, while five-time champion Venus Williams needed three sets to advance.

Nadal beat Ryan Sweeting of the U.S. 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 yesterday, lifting his winning streak at the grass-court Grand Slam to 16 matches since losing the 2007 final to Roger Federer. Nadal missed the 2009 event because of a knee injury.

“I’m doing well but I need a few more adjustments,” Nadal, 25, said in a televised courtside interview. “The next match will be a big test for me.”

Nadal next faces Gilles Muller of Luxembourg, who advanced when Milos Raonic of Canada quit with an injury after slipping in the first set. Muller beat Nadal in the second round of Wimbledon in 2005 and is the last player other than six-time champion Federer to defeat the Spaniard at the All England Club.

Among today’s action, women’s defending champion Serena Williams of the U.S. faces Simona Halep of Romania, while Switzerland’s Federer plays France’s Adrian Mannarino. Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic of Serbia meets South Africa’s Kevin Anderson.

Venus Williams came from behind to beat 40-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm and avoid her earliest Wimbledon exit in seven years. The 23rd-seeded American won 6-7 (6-8), 6-3, 8-6, in a second-round match that took just under three hours on Centre Court. Williams last failed to reach the third round in 2004.

‘Perfect Storm’

“She played unbelievable,” Williams, 31, said in a news conference. “I just thought today was a perfect storm for her to try to get a win. Thankfully I had some answers.”

The Centre Court roof was closed because of rain that delayed play on the outer courts until after 3 p.m. local time.

Date-Krumm, the oldest player in the tournament, took a 5-1 lead in the opening set before Williams won the next five games. The Japanese player held serve to force the tiebreaker, in which she opened a 6-2 lead.

Williams came back to 6-6, fighting off four set points, before Date-Krumm hit a shot that caught the edge of the line and was confirmed by video review. Date-Krumm then closed out the set after 64 minutes.

Williams, who returned to tennis last week after being out injured since January’s Australian Open, broke Date-Krumm twice in the second set. Each player then scored an early break in the third set and stayed on serve until Williams broke again in the final game, clinching the win as Date-Krumm sent a shot wide.

Roddick Wins

Three-time finalist Andy Roddick of the U.S. closed Centre Court play yesterday by beating Romania’s Victor Hanescu. The 28-year-old won 6-4, 6-3, 6-4. Roddick played for the Wimbledon title in 2004, 2005 and 2009, losing to Federer each time.

“There were only a couple shots I wanted back out there tonight,” Roddick said in a televised courtside interview. “I’m really happy with how I played. There’s not much not to be excited about.”

The fourth-seeded Murray defeated Germany’s Tobias Kamke on Court 1, 6-3, 6-3, 7-5. The 24-year-old reached the semifinals at Wimbledon the past two years, losing to Roddick in 2009 and Nadal last year.

Murray is trying to become the first British man since Fred Perry in 1936 to win Wimbledon. He’s the first British man since tennis turned professional in 1968 to reach the semifinals or better at all four majors.

Berdych, Fish

Last year’s men’s runner-up, Tomas Berdych, 25, reached the third round for the seventh straight year with a 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 victory over Julien Benneteau of France. American Mardy Fish, the 10th seed, defeated Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan, 7-6 (8-6), 6-4, 6-4.

France’s Richard Gasquet beat Russia’s Igor Kunitsyn in straight sets. Another Frenchman, Gael Monfils, the ninth seed, beat Grega Zemlja, who was trying to become the first Slovenian man to reach the third round of a Grand Slam. Italy’s Simone Bolelli upset 14th seed Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland.

Women’s No. 2 seed Vera Zvonareva, who lost to Serena Williams in last year’s final, beat fellow Russian Elena Vesnina 6-1, 7-6 (7-5) in a second-round match.

Fourth seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus and eighth-seeded Petra Kvitova moved on with straight-set victories. Germany’s Andrea Petkovic, the No. 11 seed, overcame Canada’s Stephanie Dubois in three sets to reach the third round.

Delayed Upset

In opening-round matches delayed by rain, Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska advanced when Olga Govortsova of Belarus quit. Germany’s Julia Goerges, the No. 16 seed, defeated Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain in straight sets. Lower-ranked seeds Flavia Pennetta of Italy, Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia and Australia’s Jarmila Gajdosova also reached the second round.

Japan’s Misaki Doi upset American Bethanie Mattek-Sands, the 30th seed, in three sets. Doi said that Li Na’s victory at the French Open, where she became China’s first Grand Slam singles champion, had served as an inspiration to her.

“There was no Asian Grand Slam champion ever, so I feel I can do,” Doi said through a translator.

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