Thu, Jun 26, 2014 - Page 18 News List

Li Na, Federer win at All England Club

NADAL STRUGGLES:The two-time Wimbledon champion won in four sets against Martin Klizan and is to face Lukas Rosol, who knocked Nadal out at the same stage last year

Agencies, LONDON

China’s Li Na returns against Austria’s Yvonne Meusburger during their match at the All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, London, on Wednesday.

Photo: AFP

Second seed Li Na proved too powerful for Austria’s Yvonne Meusburger as she eased into the Wimbledon third round with a 6-2, 6-2 win at the All England Lawn Tennis Club in London yesterday.

Australian Open champion Li arrived in London on the back of a dismal clay-court season, concluding with a first-round exit at last month’s French Open, her worst display at a Grand Slam for three years.

The Chinese world No. 2 struggled in her first match against qualifier Paula Kania, but showed signs of a return to form against Meusburger, dictating play from the baseline with a range of powerful ground-strokes that have become her trademark.

Li broke the world No. 38 in the fifth game and went on to win the next four to take the first set, before breaking again early in the second.

Meusburger battled back with a break of her own to level the set, only for two-time Grand Slam champion Li to reel off the last four games to secure her place in the third round.

The three-time Wimbledon quarter-finalist is to face Babora Zahlavova Strycova of the Czech Republic, who defeated 32nd seed Elena Vesnina of Russia 6-4, 6-2 yesterday.

Five-time champion Venus Williams overcame a slow start to beat Kurumi Nara 7-6 (7/4), 6-1 and reach the third round of a major for only the second time in her past 10 Grand Slams.

The 30th-seeded American won six straight points in the tiebreaker and ran off six straight games in the second set to beat Nara on Court Three at the All England Club.

Williams served seven aces and had 43 winners.

Nara took a medical timeout and received treatment from the trainer on her upper-left leg.

Williams, the winner of seven Grand Slam titles, lost in the first round in her last appearance at Wimbledon in 2012.

Fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland, the 2012 runner-up, also advanced to the third round with a 6-4, 6-0 win over Australia’s Casey Dellacqua.

In the men’s singles, the player who shocked Roger Federer at Wimbledon a year ago, Sergiy Stakhovsky, pulled off another surprise.

The 90th-ranked Stakhovsky used the same serve-and-volley style that worked against Federer last year to beat 12th seed Ernests Gulbis of Latvia 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (7/5) and get to the third round.

Last year, seven-time Wimbledon champion Federer’s streak of 36 consecutive major quarter-finals ended with a loss in the second round to Stakhovsky, who then lost his next four Grand Slam matches in a row, but back at Wimbledon, the Ukrainian found his touch again, winning points on 32 of 45 trips to the net.

Gulbis, who reached the semi-finals at the French Open earlier this month, double-faulted nine times.

Meanwhile, there was a storm in a teacup brewing at Wimbledon: British tennis lovers have been told not to bring Thermos flasks of tea to the All England Club.

A flask of tea is a staple of a British summer day out, but punters were warned not to bring one “for security reasons.”

The ban means people have to pay £2.10 (US$3.55) each time they want a cup of tea at the grounds.

A tweet on the tournament’s official Twitter account told people planning a trip to the southwest London site to check the list of prohibited items, adding: “Don’t bring a Thermos.”

Other items on the banned list include knives, illegal substances, political slogans, ambush marketing, tents, camping chairs, flares, klaxons and long lenses.

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