Wimbledon: Sublime Serena has eyes on Steffi Graf's title record
Serena Williams chose People's Sunday to remind pretenders to her Wimbledon crown she has history in mind this fortnight. A swift 6-3 6-0 victory over Annika Beck offered a breathtaking vision of Williams in prime form, the 51-minute dismantling of one German proof that Williams is ready to match the record of another.
Steffi Graf holds the Open era record for the most grand slam titles with 22, and Williams is one short. Her 21st came at Wimbledon last year, when it seemed likely she would have already matched or passed Graf by the time these championships came around.
But defeats in the semi-final of the US Open and finals of the Australian Open and French Open have led to suggestions Williams, having set spectacularly high standards, may have passed her peak.
The performance against Beck said otherwise, with the 34-year-old crunching down seven aces and making 25 winners against a third-round opponent who was out of her depth on Centre Court.
Williams clinched a double break in the second set with a brutal forehand winner down the line, and sealed a set in which she did not drop a point on her own serve when Beck netted a backhand.
For Williams it was a 300th career singles win at a grand slam, moving her just six away from Martina Navratilova's all-time record.