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Serena struggles but advances

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Diane Pucin
June 24, 2011
— It can be a workout, walking to outer courts at the All England Club.

Players have to swing their shoulders, wiggle an elbow and even follow security guards through the narrow aisles, especially if they are named Serena Williams.


Williams, the defending and four-time Wimbledon champion, was sent out to Court 2 on Thursday for her second-round match, and that seemed to put the 29-year-old in a grumpy place.


She spent a set unable to figure out the serve of a 19-year-old who was playing Wimbledon for the first time, and even after she beat Simona Halep, 3-6, 6-2, 6-1, Williams was not happy.


Serena’s sister Venus Williams, a five-time Wimbledon champion, played on Court 2 on Monday.


“They like to put us on Court 2, me and Venus, for whatever reason. I haven’t figured it out yet,” Serena said.


On Centre Court on Thursday, for example, fifth-seeded Robin Soderling beat former Wimbledon champion Lleyton Hewitt, 6-7 (5), 3-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-4, then third-seeded Li Na was upset by 21-year-old German wild card Sabine Lisicki, 3-6, 6-4, 8-6, and six-time champion and third-seeded Roger Federer moved quickly to the third round with a 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 win over 93rd-ranked Adrian Mannarino of France.


On Court 1, second-seeded Novak Djokovic and 12th-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga also won and fifth-seeded former champion Maria Sharapova and Laura Robson of Britain were scheduled but didn’t play because of rain.


In answer to a question about men such as Djokovic and Rafael Nadal not appearing, yet, on Court 2, Serena said, “They’re never moved across. Actually, Venus and I have won more Wimbledons together than a lot of the players. So at the end of the day, I don’t know. They’re not going to change, doesn’t look like.”


In response, the All England Club issued a statement.


“Match scheduling at Wimbledon is a complex business and involves the referee and his experienced team in trying to achieve a fair and balanced draw from many competing interests and wishes, including the players. There is certainly no intention to favor any player or players, and in this instance I am sure the 4,000 spectators on No. 2 Court would have been delighted to see our reigning ladies’ champion win.”



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