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Venus keeps her wits about her to down Greek qualifier

Britain Tennis - Wimbledon - All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club, Wimbledon, England - 30/6/16 Greece's Maria Sakkari in action against USA's Venus Williams REUTERS/Paul Childs
Britain Tennis - Wimbledon - All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club, Wimbledon, England - 30/6/16 Greece's Maria Sakkari in action against USA's Venus Williams REUTERS/Paul Childs

LONDON (Reuters) - A time violation warning, a few spots of rain and the thunderous groundstrokes of her rival could not throw Venus Williams off her long-limbed stride as she reached the Wimbledon third round with a 7-5 4-6 6-3 win over Greek qualifier Maria Sakkari on Thursday.

Playing an opponent who was not even aged three when she won the first of her seven grand slam titles at Wimbledon in 2000, Williams proved that it would take more than mere determination to topple the American eighth seed.

Barring a loss to an unranked Kim Clijsters at the 2009 U.S. Open, Williams had not lost to a player ranked outside the world's top 100 at a grand slam this century.

World number 115 Sakkari's hopes of ending that run gathered momentum when she broke the 36-year-old three times in the second set.

But Williams, who dropped her serve in the seventh game of the first set after incurring a time violation warning for switching rackets, was back into her groove in the third set and set up a meeting with Russian Daria Kasatkina.

(Reporting by Pritha Sarkar, editing by Ed Osmond)

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