Venus secures fourth round spot

London: Five-time champion Venus Williams secured a place in the fourth round at Wimbledon with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Russia`s Alisa Kleybanova.

Williams last won Wimbledon in 2008 and, although she never reached her best against Kleybanova, the American second seed remains on course to add a sixth title to her collection.

Venus had been in typically vibrant form in the first two rounds, winning both matches for the loss of just nine games.

So when some wayward ground-strokes allowed the Russian 26th seed to secure an early break, the Court One crowd let out an audible murmur of surprise.

But Venus has too much poise and power to be subdued for long on grass by anyone except her sister Serena – the defending champion who beat Venus in last year`s final.

Williams, who beat Kleybanova in the fourth round here in 2008, broke back quickly and gradually started to wind up those huge forehands that so often bludgeon opponents into submission.

Kleybanova had done well to repell the assault for this long and eventually she cracked as Venus broke again to take the set.

With the crucial first set in the bag, Venus set about delivering the final blows to Kleybanova`s morale.

She refused to give the 20-year-old an easy start to the second set and was able to secure a break in the first game.

Kleybanova had plasters with smiling faces drawn on them stuck to her dress and cap, but the Russian`s own expression was rather more sombre as Venus broke again at 4-2 to seal a meeting with Jarmila Groth or Angelique Kerber.


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