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Thursday afternoon proved to be a good one to be a seed with tournament favourites Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams leading the way for the ladies into the third round of Wimbledon. Sharapova completed her match carried forward from last night to blank the Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova in the final set after the gutsy grass court specialist had levelled proceedings by sneaking the second in a tiebreak. Serena Williams, who shared in her press conference that she'd love to get some flowers from someone from the opposite sex, had no trouble in her on court appearance, cruising past Hungarian qualifier Melinda Czink, 6-1, 6-4.
There were also straight set wins for Eastbourne runner-up Angelique Kerber, French Open runner-up Sara Errani, former French Open champions Ana Ivanovic and Francesca Schiavone among others. Not quite so fortunate though was the only seed to make an early exit today - former Wimbledon runner-up Marion Bartoli.
Top seed Maria Sharapova battled back from 2-5 down, and saved a clutch of set points en route to taking the opening set 7-3 in a tiebreak against Pironkova, who seems to play her best tennis at SW19. Play resumed today with Maria up 3-1 in the second set, but the petitie Bulgarian refused to go away quietly, and levelled the match at a set apiece by repeating the favour taking the second set in a tiebreak by the same score. Sharapova though came out all guns blazing in the decider and ran away with it 6-0 in one of the most dominating displays of tennis one is likely to see at Wimbledon this year.
Maria will next take on Chinese Taipei's Hsieh Su-Wei, who is unlikely to pose as big a threat as Pironkova.
Four time Champion Serena Williams, seeded 6th, raced through her match with Melinda Czink, who will be disappointed with her effort having come into this contest on the back of four consecutive wins. Williams will next face the 25th seed Zheng Jie of China, an easy winner over Alexandra Wozniak of Canada.
French Open runner-up Sara Errani appears to have brought her good form with her to Wimbledon, crushing British hope Anne Keothavong 6-1, 6-1. She will face Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan in the third round.
In what will no doubt be the glamour clash of the third round, Ana Ivanovic and Julia Goerges, kept their respective ends of the bargain by defeating Kateryna Bondarenko and Anastasia Yakimova respectively in straight sets.
No. 8 seed Angelique Kerber won the battle of the left-handers with Ekaterina Makarova, while Francesca Schiavone, Nadia Petrova, Christina McHale and Roberta Vinci also registered wins.
The only upset of the day came courtesy veteran Croatian Mirjana Lucic, who stunned 9th seed Marion Bartoli, 6-4, 6-3.
Singles - Second Round
(1) Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL) 76(3) 67(3) 60
(6) Serena Williams (USA) d. (Q) Melinda Czink (HUN) 61 64
(8) Angelique Kerber (GER) d. Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) 75 63
Mirjana Lucic (CRO) d. (9) Marion Bartoli (FRA) 64 63
(10) Sara Errani (ITA) d. Anne Keothavong (GBR) 61 61
(14) Ana Ivanovic (SRB) d. Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) 63 76(3)
(20) Nadia Petrova (RUS) d. Timea Babos (HUN) 64 67(3) 97
(21) Roberta Vinci (ITA) d. Marina Erakovic (NZL) 64 63
(22) Julia Goerges (GER) d. Anastasiya Yakimova (BLR) 76(3) 62
(24) Francesca Schiavone (ITA) d. (Q) Kristyna Pliskova (CZE) 64 64
(25) Zheng Jie (CHN) d. Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN) 64 62
(28) Christina McHale (USA) d. Mathilde Johansson (FRA) 75 75
Klara Zakopalova (CZE) d. Olga Govortsova (BLR) 26 61 62
Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) d. Galina Voskoboeva (KAZ) 46 63 86
Tamira Paszek (AUT) d. AlizÃ© Cornet (FRA) 62 61
(WC) Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ) d. Kiki Bertens (NED) 64 64
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