Defending champion Serena Williams today cruised into the Wimbledon quarter--finals with a crushing victory over France’s Tatiana Golovin.
While her sister and former champion Venus crashed out in the second round, Serena had breezed through to the last 16 without dropping a set and for the loss of just 12 games.
And the top seed lost only three more against the Moscow-born teenager to book a last-eight clash with either Jennifer Capriati or Nadia Petrova.
Williams has not played in a Grand Slam final since winning her second title at the All England Club last year, undergoing knee surgery last August and enduring an eight-month lay-off.
She looked understandably rusty in losing to Capriati in the quarter-finals of the French Open, but was ominously playing herself into form and had little trouble taking the first set 6-2 on Centre Court.
Williams raced into a 3-0 lead and had another break point to make it 4-0, Golovin breathing a sigh of relief after holding to get her first game on the board.
That even gave her the confidence to break Williams in the next game to reduce the deficit to 3-2, but served only to force the champion to raise her level to take the next three games and the set in 29 minutes.
Golovin briefly threatened to make a game of it when she broke Williams’ serve in the opening game of the second set, but two forehand errors immediately gifted the defending champion the next game.
Williams then asserted her dominance with three aces – although one should have been called out – for a 2-1 lead, and Golovin simply went to pieces.
She served two double faults to lose her serve to love and was a helpless spectator as yet more aces flew past – the last clocked at 126mph – as Williams took 19 out of 21 points for a 5-1 lead.
Three more aces took her total to 12 and the brink of victory, and although Golovin saved two match points, another thunderous serve forced an errant return and Williams was safely through with a 6-2 6-1 win in 55 minutes.