23
Jun
11

Serena Williams survived a major scare on Court Two to reach the third round of the Wimbledon women’s singles.

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The American would have plummeted from 25th to 311th in the world rankings if she lost to Romanian teenager Simona Halep, relinquishing almost all the points she earned for her triumph in London last year. And when the opening set went to 19-year-old Halep, the four-time champion was in trouble. But Williams had scraped her way past France’s Aravane Rezai in a deciding set in the opening round, leading to a flood of tears, and had another comeback in store which allowed her to deny Halep and win 3-6 6-2 6-1. If Williams was looking to be tested in the early rounds in preparation for the more accomplished opponents she would expect to meet in the second week, her wishes have been granted. The more sets she plays the more she might look capable of winning a third successive Wimbledon title, which no female player has managed since Steffi Graf dominated from 1991 to 1993.

But Williams was not convincing on Thursday, and after her 49-week absence from the tour – caused by a foot injury and a blood clot – it would rank as perhaps her greatest achievement should she triumph in the final on Saturday week.

 

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