Maria Sharapova sailed into the fourth round of Wimbledon with a comfortable 6-3, 6-0 win over American Alison Riske on Centre Court on Saturday.
Riske, rated 44th in the world, broke the fifth seed in the opening game to move 3-1 up, but the Russian broke back to level and took over the initiative to close out the match winning the last 11 games in a row.
The 2004 champion next faces the winner of Angelique Kerber and Kirsten Flipkens.
“I felt better as the match went on. Alison is a great grass court player so I knew it was going to be a challenge today,” said Sharapova.
“I’m very happy to be in the second week and giving myself another chance at this tournament.”
Top seed Serena Williams failed to witness the second week of the 2014 championship. It is the first time in nine years that Williams have been knocked out so early, and only the third time in 15 visits to Wimbledon.
The five-time champion lost 1-6 6-3 6-4 to Frenchwoman Alize Cornet.
“A few years ago I couldn’t even play on grass & now I’ve beaten Serena Williams. I cannot believe it,” said Cornet, who has now defeated the American twice this season.
Williams broke serve three times and reeled off five games in a row to take the set 6-1.
But Cornet raced into a 4-0 lead in the second set, with Williams leading in numbers of unforced errors- 9 to nill from the world number 24.
Cornet’s failed to serve out the set at 5-1; sending a forehand into the tramlines at 30-30 to hand back two breaks before digging dip to take it 6-3 at the second attempt.
Cornet did well on the Williams second serve early into the third set and moved to within two point of victory on serve at 5-2.
Williams tried a fight-back with a break of serve, but two games later a wayward forehand and a poor volley gave the Frenchwoman match point, and Williams steered his backhand into the net to hand off the tie.