Serena Williams into Wimbledon third round in three-set win

09:48, June 24, 2011      

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Defending champion Serena Williams fought back from a set down to to dispatch Simona Halep 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 Thursday advancing into the third round of Wimbledon.

After dropping the first set, the four-time Wimbledon champion regained her powerful shot-making to dominate the rest of the match.

The winner of 13 Grand Slam singles titles is still searching for her form after a yearlong absence because of injuries and health issues.

"I'm just happy to be playing and hopefully I'll get better as the tournament goes on," Williams said. "It was a little windy out there and I just was a little tight so I just got to relax and enjoy myself more."

From 4-2 in the second set, the seventh-seeded American won eight out of the last nine games to re-establish her supremacy on the grass at the All England Club.

In men's play, second-seeded Novak Djokovic, who has twice reached the semifinals at Wimbledon and will take over the No. 1 ranking if he makes the final this year, swept into the third round by beating South Africa's Kevin Anderson 6-3, 6-4, 6-2. The Serb has won his opening two rounds in straight sets after his 43- match winning streak was ended by Roger Federer in the French Open semifinals.

Williams used her big serve to control the match, snatching seven aces, winning 88 percent of points on her first serve and smacking a 183 kph (114 mph) service winner to end the match.

Williams finished with 34 winners and 19 unforced errors, nine in the first set.

Also advancing were sixth-seeded Francesca Schiavone, who downed Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 7-5, 6-3; No. 12 Svetlana Kuznetsova, who beat Alexandra Dulgheru of Romania 6-0, 6-2; and 18th-seeded and former No. 1-ranked Ana Ivanovic, a 6-3, 6-0 winner over Eleni Daniilidou.

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