Wimbledon, England (SportsNetwork.com) – Former champions Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and Venus Williams posted second-round wins, while former world No. 1 Ana Ivanovic exited the draw on a record-hot Wednesday at The Championships, Wimbledon.
The top-seeded Serena handled Hungarian Timea Babos 6-4, 6-1 to win her 23rd straight Grand Slam match.
The 33-year-old Serena, the reigning French, Australian and U.S. Open champ, boasts 20 career Grand Slam singles titles, including five at the venerable All England Club.
Her third-round opponent will be heavy British crowd favorite Heather Watson.
The fourth-seeded Sharapova blew past little-known Dutchwoman Richel Hogenkamp 6-3, 6-1 on a day when the temperature soared to 96 degrees.
Sharapova trains in Florida and said she’s used to hotter temperatures.
“It’s much warmer in my hometown of Long Boat Key, Florida,” Sharapova said. “I think I’ve trained quite long in the heat over there. … You want to make the points quicker than normal because of the heat, just being a little bit smarter out there is the most important.”
The five-time Grand Slam champion and 2015 Australian Open runner-up Sharapova captured her lone Wimbledon title in 2004 and was the runner-up here in 2011.
Up next for Sharapova will be Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu.
The seventh-seeded Ivanovic was no match for American Bethanie Mattek-Sands, who knocked out the former French Open champion from Serbia in 6-3, 6-4 fashion on Day 3 of the fortnight.
The 30-year-old Mattek-Sands suffered first-round losses in her previous four trips to Wimbledon, where she’s now 6-7 lifetime in her main-draw matches.
A 16th-seeded Venus bested Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 to improve to 75-12 lifetime at Wimbledon, where, like her younger sister Serena, she’s a five-time champion. Venus is also a three-time runner-up at the “Big W.”
Venus’ third-round opponent will be Serb Aleksandra Krunic.
Sixth-seeded French Open runner-up Lucie Safarova moved on by tackling Taiwan’s Su-Wei Hsieh 6-2, 6-3. The Czech lefty has now won eight of her last nine Grand Slam matches.
Another upset came when 23-year-old American Coco Vandeweghe popped 15 aces in taking out 11th-seeded Czech slugger Karolina Pliskova 7-6 (7-5), 6-4, while 14th-seeded German Andrea Petkovic avoided the upset bug by handling Colombian Mariana Duque-Marino 6-3, 6-1.
In other second-round action involving seeds, Krunic toppled 19th-seeded former Roland Garros finalist Sara Errani of Italy 6-3, 6-7 (2-7), 6-2; No. 22 Aussie and former U.S. Open champ Samantha Stosur handled Pole Urszula Radwanska 6-3, 6-4; No. 23 former world No. 1 and two-time Wimbledon semifinalist Victoria Azarenka drubbed Belgian Kirsten Flipkens 6-3, 6-3; a No. 29 Begu outlasted Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko 7-5, 6-7 (4-7), 7-5; and No. 30 Swiss Belinda Bencic held off German Anna-Lena Friedsam 7-5, 4-6, 6-0.
The first round concluded on Wednesday, including a victory for 21st-seeded American Madison Keys, who got past Swiss Stefanie Voegele 6-7 (6-8), 6-3, 6-4 in a match that was suspended here on Tuesday night.
Additional wins came for the aforementioned Watson, France’s Kristina Mladenovic, Kazakhstan’s Zarina Diyas and Sloane Stephens, who dismissed fellow American Lauren Davis 6-4, 6-4. Stephens is rewarded with a third-rounder against the hot Safarova.
The second round is scheduled to conclude on Thursday, including matches for second-seeded two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova and fifth-seeded former world No. 1 and 2014 U.S. Open runner-up Caroline Wozniacki. Kvitova will face Japan’s Kurumi Nara, while Wozniacki will meet Czech Denisa Allertova.
Kvitova whipped Canadian Genie Bouchard in last year’s final to corral a second Wimbledon title in four years.
Also on the Day 4 schedule are eighth-seeded Russian Ekaterina Makarova, 10th-seeded German Angelique Kerber, 13th-seeded former Wimbledon runner-up Agnieszka Radwanska and the aforementioned Keys.