London: Roger Federer extended his flawless winning streak at Wimbledon to 26 consecutive sets as the defending champion crushed Lukas Lacko, while Venus Williams battled back to beat Alexandra Dulgheru in Wednesday’s second round action. Federer delivered a Centre Court masterclass lasting 89 minutes as the Swiss star hit 48 winners and 16 aces in his 6-4, 6-4, 6-1 victory.
The 36-year-old is now on his joint second longest streak of sets won at Wimbledon – his best was 34 between the third round in 2005 to the 2006 final. Next up for Federer is a third round tie against 39-year-old Croatian Ivo Karlovic or German world number 64 Jan-Lennard Struff. In his 20th Wimbledon appearance, top seed Federer, a 20-time major winner, is bidding to become only the second player to claim nine singles titles at the All England Club after Martina Navratilova. -Agencies
1st-ever opening round loss for maria
London: Maria Sharapova insists she is not finished as a Grand Slam force despite her worst ever performance at Wimbledon, a tournament which should be her perfect showcase. The 31-year-old gave up a set and a 5-2 lead to lose in the first round on Tuesday to fellow Russian Vitalia Diatchenko, an injury-plagued qualifier ranked a lowly 132 in the world. Diatchenko, who needed treatment on her back on three occasions, celebrated an unlikely 6-7(3), 7-6(3), 6-4 triumph after more than three hours on Court Two. The match ended in twilight, a fitting metaphor for Sharapova who slipped to her first ever opening round defeat at the All England Club where she first burst upon the scene in 2003.
‘Oldest woman’ Venus battles into third round
Five-time champion Venus Williams battled into the third round with a 4-6, 6-0, 6-1 win over Romanian qualifier Alexandra Dulgheru. Venus returned to the All England Club stuck in a rut after losing in the first round of both the Australian and French Opens this year. Making her 21st Wimbledon appearance, 38-year-old Venus is the oldest woman in this year’s tournament. Milos Raonic won 7-6(4), 7-6(4), 7-6(4) against John Millman.