LONDON (Reuters) - Top seed Roger Federer’s bid for a ninth Wimbledon title gathered momentum after he cruised into the third round with a 6-4 6-4 6-1 win over Slovakian world number 73 Lukas Lacko on Wednesday.
The 36-year-old Swiss did not face a single break point and struck 48 winners as he extended his winning streak to 26 successive sets at the All England Club.
Federer will next face Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff, who edged past Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic in five sets.
Seven-time champion Serena Williams proved too powerful for Bulgarian Viktoriya Tomova in a 6-1 6-4 win as she continued her steady progress on her return to Wimbledon, having missed last year’s event after taking a maternity leave.
Serena’s sister Venus also progressed into the third round, but was forced to fight back from a set down to beat Romanian qualifier Alexandra Dulgheru 4-6 6-0 6-1.
The top seeds in the women’s draw continue to tumble as Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki suffered a 6-4 1-6 7-5 defeat by Russian Ekaterina Makarova.
The Dane became 11th women’s seed to exit on the first three days of the championships.
Play was suspended for the day after a spell of rain, with men’s third seed Marin Cilic leading 6-3 6-1 3-4 against Argentine Guido Pella on Court One.
Highlights from day three of the Wimbledon championships on Wednesday (times GMT):
Federer delivers shot-making masterclass
Serena powers past qualifier into third round
Venus rolls over qualifier after slow start
Wozniacki joins seed exodus after stinging loss
Federer hits out at “lethargic” Swiss team following World Cup exit
Better day for seeds after two days of shocks
Power servers are boring to watch, says Keys
Pliskova reaches third round for first time
Agassi open to ‘high pressure’ coaching role
Nadal critical of 25-second shot clock plan
France’s Kristina Mladenovic raced into the third round with a comfortable 6-2 6-2 win over Germany’s Tatjana Maria after action resumed on Centre Court under the roof.
Play remains suspended on all outer courts due to a spell of rain.
Play was interrupted on all courts due to a spell of rain.
German Jan-Lennard Struff outlasted big-serving Ivo Karlovic in their second-round match to win 6-7(5) 3-6 7-6(4) 7-6(4) 13-11 in three hours 54 minutes.
The pair sent down a combined 92 aces in the marathon contest on Court 15, with Karlovic accounting for 61 of them.
Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki’s late fightback was in vain as she was beaten 6-4 1-6 7-5 by Ekaterina Makarova in the second round.
Russian world number 35 Makarova secured victory on her sixth match point after allowing Wozniacki to claw her way back from 5-1 down in the decider.
“I told myself I was not going to lose this match, I had so many match points, I forgot it and started over,” Makarova said.
Seven-times champion Serena Williams fired 24 winners past Bulgarian Viktoriya Tomova to post a convincing 6-1 6-4 victory in 66 minutes on Centre Court.
“It was better than my first-round match, I’m happy to be going in the right direction,” Williams said.
“I’m getting there, I’m not there yet but I expect to get there not only for Wimbledon but for tournaments in the future.”
Roger Federer’s quest for a ninth Wimbledon crown gained momentum with a flawless 6-4 6-4 6-1 win over Slovakian world number 73 Lukas Lacko in 89 minutes.
The Swiss defending champion has now won 26 consecutive sets at the All England Club.
“I felt good, less nervous than in the first round,” Federer said.
“Lacko can play well on the grass, he’s won his fair share of matches. Not wasting too much energy in the first matches is nice to have. From my end I’m very happy.”
Five-times champion Venus Williams overcame a slow start to defeat Romanian qualifier Alexandra Dulgheru 4-6 6-0 6-1 in nearly two hours for her 89th match victory at Wimbledon.
“She played well the first set. I don’t know if I’ve ever played her before which is tough,” said Williams, who booked her place in the third round for the 18th time.
“Credit to her, she just played really well. It’s just about winning the match.”
1400 KEYS JOINS CHORUS OF SUPPORT FOR ENGLAND WORLD CUP SIDE
American Madison Keys has backed England to bring home the World Cup after becoming a supporter of the Three Lions during their round-of-16 victory over Colombia on Tuesday.
Keys, who watched the match with Briton Laura Robson, said: “She was singing the ‘it’s coming home’ song consistently for, like, two-and-a-half hours.
“Where I am in the village I can hear the Rose & Crown. My TV was ahead of theirs, so something would happen and Laura would scream... five seconds later the whole pub would scream. I was actually into it at the end. Now I’m cheering for England.”
Lucas Pouille suffered a shock defeat, going down 6-4 6-2 6-7(8) 3-6 6-2 to Austrian qualifier Dennis Novak on Court number 18. Novak, ranked 171, converted six out of 11 break points en route to victory in nearly three hours. He reached the third round of a grand slam for the first time.
1330 PLISKOVA BREAKS SECOND-ROUND JINX
Karolina Pliskova proved too strong for Victoria Azarenka in the battle of former world number ones, prevailing 6-3 6-3 in 72 minutes to enter the third round at Wimbledon for the first time in her career.
The Czech world number eight had lost in the second round at the All England Club for five straight years since 2013.
Milos Raonic, seeded 13th, was made to work hard against Australia’s John Millman before prevailing 7-6(4) 7-6(4) 7-6(4) in two hours 38 minutes on Court Two.
The Canadian made 39 unforced errors to Millman’s 18 but also turned up the heat when required, firing 67 winners including 34 aces to advance.
American Madison Keys kicked off her Fourth of July celebrations with a 6-4 6-3 victory over Thailand’s Luksika Kumkhum. The U.S. Open runner-up was a quarter-finalist at Wimbledon in 2015 but has struggled to build on that in the last two years.
In-form Romanian Mihaela Buzarnescu hardly broke sweat as she dismissed Briton Katie Swan 6-0 6-3 in one hour 14 minutes to book her place in the third round. She next faces Karolina Pliskova or Victoria Azarenka.
Reporting by Hardik Vyas and Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; editing by Clare Fallon Ed Osmond and Neil Robinson