The Williams sisters entered into Wimbledon third round action today at the All England Club as the only last standing champions in the women’s draw, but it was the younger of the two, Serena, that made progress to the fourth round.
Serena, 36, kept her hopes of an eight Wimbledon title alive with a 7-5, 7-6(2) victory over France’s Kristina Mladenovic on Friday.
The victory brought up her 17th straight win on grass-court and leaves her as the only last standing Wimbledon champion in the women’s draw.
“This is only my second serious tournament back,” Serena said. “I worked really, really hard [to get back playing] and it’s been a long, arduous road but I always expected to come out and do the best I can do.”
Next up for the 23-time Grand Slam champion is world No.120 Evgeniya Rodina, who stunned 10th seed Madison Keys 7-5, 5-7, 6-4.
Elsewhere, five-time champion and last year’s finalist Venus Williams couldn’t get past Kiki Bertens as she was edged 6-2, 6-7(5), 8-6 by the Dutch 20th seed.
Bertens had never beaten a top 10 player at a tournament played on a surface other than clay until the win over Venus today.
The Dutch, who’s into the fourth round of Wimbledon for the first time in her career, will next face either No. 7 seed Karolina Pliskova or No. 29 Mihaela Buzarnescu.