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Serena sharpens game; Fish lives on

Last standing: Tampa’s Mardy Fish is the lone American man in the draw, leading two sets to one when Robin Haase retired.

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Last standing: Tampa’s Mardy Fish is the lone American man in the draw, leading two sets to one when Robin Haase retired.

WIMBLEDON, England — Serena Williams has been known to say she isn't satisfied with this or that aspect of her game, even after easily winning, say, 6-3, 6-2.

So it was somehow refreshing to hear Williams praise herself after a victory by that score over 26th-seeded Maria Kirilenko at Wimbledon on Saturday.

Yes, only five matches since returning to the tour after nearly a full year off because of a series of health scares, Williams produced a performance worthy of the 13-time Grand Slam champion she is. After hitting 10 aces and compiling a 32-9 edge in winners, Williams termed her showing the "best I've played since I came back."

"I was a little more consistent, and I played my game more," said Williams, trying to become the first woman since Steffi Graf in 1991-93 to win three consecutive Wimbledon titles. "Wasn't as tight and nervous and uptight. I was able to relax more today."

She was part of a parade of past champions who breezed into the fourth round. Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova were straight-set winners, too. Top-seeded woman Caroline Wozniacki, seeking her first Grand Slam title, and two-time Australian Open men's champion Novak Djokovic, who is 44-1 in 2011, also moved on.

No. 10 Mardy Fish, a Tampa resident, advanced to face No. 6 Tomas Berdych. Fish moved on when Robin Haase retired in the fourth set with a leg, back and knee ailments.

"It's lonely," said Fish, the last American man in the field. "It doesn't feel great. … You know, I want the guys here."

There were two upsets of some significance.

Robin Soderling, seeded fifth, was dealing with stomach problems and bowed out against 158th-ranked Bernard Tomic 6-1, 6-4, 7-5. Tomic is the first 18-year-old to reach the men's fourth round at Wimbledon since Michael Chang and Goran Ivanisevic in 1990.

"I was very calm, but inside I was bursting. I tried not to show it to him. He was getting a bit frustrated," Tomic said.

No. 9 Gael Monfils lost to 93rd-ranked Lukasz Kubot of Poland 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3. Kubot is the first man from Poland to make it this far at Wimbledon since Wojtek Fibak in 1981.

Men, Singles, Third Round Tomas Berdych (6), Czech Republic, d. Alex Bogomolov Jr., U.S., 6-2, 6-4, 6-3; Rafael Nadal (1), Spain, d. Gilles Muller, Luxembourg, 7-6 (6), 7-6 (5), 6-0; Mardy Fish (10), U.S., d. Robin Haase, Netherlands, 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-2, 1-1, retired; Juan Martin del Potro (24), Argentina, d. Gilles Simon (15), France, 7-6 (8), 7-6 (5), 7-5; Lukasz Kubot, Poland, d. Gael Monfils (9), France, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3; Roger Federer (3), Switzerland, d. David Nalbandian (28), Argentina, 6-4, 6-2, 6-4; Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (12), France, d. Fernando Gonzalez, Chile, 6-3, 6-4, 6-3; David Ferrer (7), Spain, d. Karol Beck, Slovakia, 6-4, 6-3, 6-3; Bernard Tomic, Australia, d. Robin Soderling (5), Sweden, 6-1, 6-4, 7-5; Michael Llodra (19), France, d. Yen-hsun Lu, Taiwan, 6-3, 6-3, 6-1; Mikhail Youzhny (18), Russia, d. Nicolas Almagro (16), Spain, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (3), 6-3; Xavier Malisse, Belgium, d. Jurgen Melzer (11), Austria, 7-6 (5), 6-3, 6-0; Novak Djokovic (2), Serbia, d. Marcos Baghdatis (32), Cyprus, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Women, Singles, Third Round Caroline Wozniacki (1), Denmark, d. Jarmila Gajdosova (27), Australia, 6-3, 6-2; Maria Sharapova (5), Russia, d. Klara Zakopalova, Czech Republic, 6-2, 6-3; Dominika Cibulkova (24), Slovakia, d. Julia Goerges (16), Ger., 6-4, 1-6, 6-3; Peng Shuai (20), China, d. Melinda Czink, Hungary, 6-2, 7-6 (5); Marion Bartoli (9), France, d. Flavia Pennetta (21), Italy, 5-7, 6-4, 9-7; Petra Cetkovska, Czech Republic, d. Ana Ivanovic (18), Serbia, 6-3, 7-6 (0); Sabine Lisicki, Ger., d. Misaki Doi, Japan, 6-4, 6-2; Serena Williams (7), U.S., d. Maria Kirilenko (26), Russia, 6-3, 6-2; Tamira Paszek, Austria, d. Francesca Schiavone (6), Italy, 3-6, 6-4, 11-9.

Men, Doubles, Second Round Christopher Kas, Ger., and Alexander Peya, Austria, d. Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares (13), Brazil, 6-7 (2), 6-1, 6-4, 6-2; Robert Lindstedt, Sweden, and Horia Tecau (8), Romania, d. Julien Benneteau and Nicolas Mahut, France, 6-4, 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 (4); Arnaud Clement, France, and Lukas Dlouhy, Czech Republic, d. Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes (3), India, 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (1), 6-4; Juan Ignacio Chela and Eduardo Schwank (12), Argentina, d. Matthias Bachinger and Frank Moser, Ger., 6-2, 7-6 (4), 6-7 (5), 6-7 (6), 6-3; James Cerretani, U.S., and Philipp Marx, Ger., d. Daniele Bracciali, Italy, and Frantisek Cermak (16), Czech Republic, 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (5), 6-4; Kevin Anderson, South Africa, and Julian Knowle, Austria, d. Max Mirnyi, Belarus, and Daniel Nestor (2), Canada, 7-6 (2), 7-6 (7), 6-3; Wesley Moodie, South Africa, and Dick Norman (11), Belgium, d. Jamie Delgado and Jonathan Marray, Britain, 4-6, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (6), 6-2.

>>Fast Facts

Wimbledon

All England Club, London

No matches today

Monday's key matches

Men: No. 1 Rafael Nadal vs. Juan Martin del Potro, No. 2 Novak Djokovic vs. Michael Llodra, No. 3 Roger Federer vs. Mikhail Youzhny

Women: No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki vs. Dominika Cibulkova, No. 7 Serena Williams vs. No. 9 Marion Bartoli

Serena sharpens game; Fish lives on 06/25/11 [Last modified: Saturday, June 25, 2011 9:52pm]
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