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Wimbledon, Day 7: Serena enters last 16, Tsonga beats Isner in epic 5-setter

The 300th win at the majors takes Serena to within six of Martina Navratilova`s all-time record.

Wimbledon, Day 7: Serena enters last 16, Tsonga beats Isner in epic 5-setter

London: Serena Williams on `People`s Sunday` took just 52 minutes to dismantle Germany`s Annika Beck to complete her 300th Grand Slam win and a spot in the last 16 at Wimbledon 2016.

Defending champion Williams is chasing a seventh All England Club title and an Open era record-equalling 22nd Grand Slam trophy.

She has never met 22-year-old Beck, the world number 43, and started as the heavy favourite with the German only having won one match on four previous visits before this year. 

But it was Beck who took the charge early in the match, breaking Serena in the third game. But Serena broke back in the next game and further consolidated by another break of service in the sixth game, for a 6-3 first set win in 32 minutes.

The second set proved lot easier for the 34-year-old American, as she broke the German three times, alternately starting with the first game. The 6-0 score-line reflected the complete control Serena had in the set, which lasted 20 minutes.

The 300th win at the majors takes her to within six of Martina Navratilova`s all-time record. Steffi Graf (377) and Martina Navratilova (332) are the only players ahead of Serena in the all-time most Slam wins list.

For only the fourth time in history, and first since 2004, play is taking place on the middle Sunday as organisers try to clear the backlog caused by days of heavy rain.

The All England Club put 22,000 tickets on general sale for Sunday which took just 27 minutes to sell out. Around 111,000 people tried to purchase them.

Before the Serena-Beck match on Centre Court, American 27th seed Coco Vandeweghe defeated veteran Italian sixth seed Roberta Vinci — who shocked Serena in the US Open semi-finals last year — 6-3, 6-4.

The 24-year-old Vandeweghe made the Wimbledon quarter-finals in 2015.

Tomas Berdych, the Wimbledon runner-up in 2010, beat 19-year-old German Alexander Zverev 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 in the third round. The win helped Berdych, seeded 10th, to eighth fourth round in 13 trips to the All England Club.

However, the men`s draw is still reeling from Saturday`s shock exit of defending champion Novak Djokovic in the third round. And Andy Murray will now be the joint-favourite with Roger Federer to succeed Djokovic.

Murray will play Nick Kyrgios, who defeated Feliciano Lopez in the third round.

The Australian 15th seed won 6-3, 6-7 (2/7), 6-3, 6-4 on Court One in a match that was tied at one set all when bad light stopped play on Saturday.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga reached the Wimbledon last 16 by downing US marathon man John Isner 6-7 (3/7), 3-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-2, 19-17.

French 12th seed Tsonga, a semi-finalist in 2011 and 2012, saved a match point in the 32nd game of the final set. The last set alone lasted more than two hours.

Isner, the 18th seed, famously won the longest tennis match ever played when he beat another Frenchman, Nicolas Mahut. 70-68 in the final set at Wimbledon in the first round in 2010. The five-setter, stretched over three days, lasted 11 hours and five minutes.

Isner had led Tsonga by two sets to one when play was halted at sunset on Saturday. The American ended the four-hour, 25-minute tie with 38 aces, 101 winners and 53 unforced errors.

Tsonga, who goes on to face fellow Frenchman Richard Gasquet for a place in the quarter-finals, hit 21 aces and 88 winners but made just 20 unforced errors.

On Court 12, French 32nd seed Lucas Pouille defeated former US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro 6-7 (7/4), 7-6 (8/6), 7-5, 6-1. The match resumed on Sunday with both men having bickered and argued for large parts of Saturday`s action.

On Court One, two-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova reached the fourth round for the first time since 2008 despite becoming involved in a row with the umpire over coaching. The 31-year-old 13th seed battled back from 2-5 down in the final set to defeat US 18th seed Sloane Stephens 6-7 (1/7), 6-2, 8-6 and set up a last-16 clash with defending champion Serena Williams.

But the Russian was hit with a code violation for coaching early in the final set which prompted a bitter exchange with umpire Marijana Veljovic. Kuznetsova inisted that she was not being coached by Hernan Gumy, claiming he was only passing on encouragement.

(With AFP inputs)

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