Venus Speeds Into 4th Round
WIMBLEDON, England - WIMBLEDON, England - One swing from completing her week's work, Venus Williams toed the baseline, dribbled the ball, gave it a toss and delivered yet another thunderclap serve at sun-kissed Wimbledon. The ace bounced off the Court 1 backstop as Williams trotted to the net. The scoreboard said 127 mph, the fastest women's serve ever recorded at Wimbledon. The scoreboard also had Williams winning her third-round match, 6-1, 7-5 Saturday against qualifier Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez. It was an upset-filled first week at Wimbledon and a rough one for American tennis, but the nonconformist Williams sisters ignored both trends.Both advanced to Monday's round of 16, as did No. 2-ranked Rafael Nadal on the men's side. With No. 1-ranked Ana Ivanovic and No. 2 Maria Sharapova eliminated, and with No. 3 Jelena Jankovic limping to victory Saturday, prospects look good for an all-Williams final next weekend. It would be their first meeting in a Grand Slam final since Serena beat Venus for the 2003 Wimbledon title. Potential pitfalls remain, Jankovic foremost among them. But she hurt her left knee in the first set against Caroline Wozniacki. Jankovic won 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, finishing the match with her leg heavily wrapped. Unable to overcome a thigh injury was French Open runner-up Dinara Safina, who finished in tears as she lost to Shahar Peer 7-5, 6-7 (4), 8-6. Alla Kudryavtseva reached the fourth round at a major event for the first time by beating Peng Shuai 6-3, 1-6, 6-4. Nadal barely beat darkness but easily defeated Nicolas Kiefer 7-6 (3), 6-2, 6-3.
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