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Wimbledon 2015: Serena Williams set to draw on experience of facing home heroes

By Duncan Bech

Serena Williams expects home advantage to give "super sweet" Heather Watson a fighting chance in their Wimbledon third-round tie.

Williams set up the match against the British No 1 after overcoming Timea Babos 6-4 6-1 on Centre Court and believes having the full support of SW19 will even the odds for a player ranked 59 in the world.

"It will be a huge advantage for her. The home court will probably help her a little bit. It's going to be a great big match for us both," Williams said. "I've been used to playing against a lot of local people, doesn't matter what country it's in, and hopefully that experience will help me a little bit.

"I don't know her at all. I see her around the locker room. She's always smiling, so she seems to be super sweet. I know it's not going to be easy for me.

"She has nothing to lose. She's going forward."

Five-time Wimbledon champion Williams was tested in the opening set by the big-serving World No 93 from Hungary, but by the second she was in full control and emerged an emphatic winner on Centre Court.

Watson, the British No 1, now awaits Williams as she seeks to add the Wimbledon crown to the Australian and French Open titles she has already claimed this year.

Babos trailed 2-0 in the blink of an eye and the early break conceded as she settled into the match was to prove costly, but she held her serve in the third to gain a foothold in the opening set.

Williams challenged a call when chasing the third of a hat-trick of aces in the sixth and while she was unsuccessful, a forehand smash and another ace enabled the American to take the game with ease.

Just as Babos appeared to have settled, showing poise to win the seventh, Williams responded by speeding through the next game with a series of unstoppable serves including one that clocked 121mph. Babos was impressive on her own serve and it was this resistance that ensured it took Williams 35 minutes to win the set.

A long, looping forehand saw Babos broken immediately when the second set began, but Williams had to survive two break points in the fourth, greeting her eventual success with a roar.

The end arrived for Babos in the seventh as a brutally methodical Williams closed out the game without dropping a point and marked her progression beyond the second round with a celebratory twirl.

The All England Club was evacuated after close of play last night after a fire broke out in Centre Court.

London Fire Brigade said 3,000 people were told to leave the grounds as a simple precaution following a small blaze in a plant room.

A Wimbledon spokesman said the cause of the fire was due to a suspected electrical fault.

The fire brigade said the blaze was brought under control shortly after 10pm, just over an hour after they were first called.

Opened in 1922 and extensively renovated since, including the addition of a roof, Centre Court is the premier show court at the tournament.

Security staff were allowed to leave at 10.30pm, with the situation said to be "under control" by a spokesman.

Belfast Telegraph


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