Kuznetsova awaits Serena as several seeds tumble

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Four seeds in the women's singles were sent packing at Wimbledon on Sunday, but there were no problems for Serena Williams as the world number one cruised into round four.

Williams crushed Annika Beck 6-3 6-0 on Centre Court as the All England Club played host to matches on the middle Sunday of the tournament for only the fourth time, following poor weather earlier in the week.

Yet Roberta Vinci, Timea Bacsinszky, Barbora Strycova and Sloane Stephens bowed out, all bar the latter losing to lower-ranked opponents.

Stephens, the 18th seed, took the first set against Svetlana Kuznetsova, only to be beaten 8-6 in a decider by the Russian, who will now face Williams.

 

KUZNETSOVA EXCITED BY SERENA SHOWDOWN

After coming from behind to win an epic encounter with Stephens on No.1 Court, spanning almost two and a half hours, Kuznetsova expressed excitement at earning a fourth-round meeting with the reigning champion.

"It's a great thing to play Serena in Wimbledon. It's a great match," said the Russian.

"I'm really happy about it. She will be the favourite, but, you know, I enjoy playing that kind of match. I will just try to do my best."

 

NEXT STEP KEY TO WILLIAMS' DEFENCE?

In her past seven visits to Wimbledon, Williams has been crowned champion on each occasion she has made it past round four.

Her successes in 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2015 came either side of fourth-round defeats in 2011 and 2013, and a third-round loss to Alize Cornet two years ago.

If 13th seed Kuznetsova is beaten, Williams will surely take some stopping.

COCO POPS VINCI'S BUBBLE

Despite being seeded sixth, Vinci was not expected to contend for the title having never previously reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon.

The Italian's latest relatively early exit was inflicted by American Coco Vandeweghe, who proved particularly strong behind her first serve on Centre Court.

Asked if Vandeweghe, the 27th seed, could go on to win Wimbledon, Vinci replied: "I don't know. If she plays like this, why not? She has a good chance on this surface."

 

IMPRESSIVE QUARTET NOT RUSSIAN HOME

Vandeweghe will meet Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the fourth round after the latter eased past 11th seed Timea Bacsinszky.

There were also wins on Sunday for two of Pavlyuchenkova's compatriots, Elina Vesnina and Ekaterina Makarova, who will now meet in the last 16. The latter dropped only six games against Barbora Strycova, the 24th seed.

With Kuznetsova also through, a quarter of the 16 remaining players hail from Russia.