Center Court at Wimbledon has been the scene of many memorable moments for Venus Williams. So she was quite comfortable there Tuesday when she advanced to the third round of the Olympics, ousting Alexsandra Wozniak, 6-1, 6-3. Williams was overpowering and aggressive, which make her so dangerous on grass. She won 15 of 16 points when she reached the net, and of the points she has won through two rounds, nearly one-third have come when she moved forward.
Williams is also serving well and ripping returns. She broke Wozniak six times in eight games.
“Every day I’m just concentrating on trying to bring my best tennis out,” Williams said. “And honestly, if there’s a time to do it, it’s now.”
Maria Sharapova also won her second-round match Tuesday, hitting 10 aces under the Centre Court roof to beat Laura Robson of Britain 7-6 (5), 6-3.
Sharapova, seeded No. 3, will next play No. 15-seeded Sabine of Germany.
Williams has not won a tournament in 2½ years, and she took a long layoff after being diagnosed in 2011 with an autoimmune disease that causes fatigue.
But at age 32, she seems rejuvenated by the chance at a record fourth gold medal in Olympic tennis.
“Much improvement in the last few weeks,” U.S. coach Mary Joe Fernandez said. “And this is where she feels at home. It’s great to be back on the grass.”
Williams has won five of her seven major titles at the All England Club, most recently in 2008. Her opponent Wednesday will be No. 7 Angelique Kerber.
Against Wozniak, Williams took charge by winning eight consecutive games — which she didn’t realize.
“I know I’m in the zone when I don’t know the scores,” she said. “In the second set, I had to look up and see what the score was. I didn’t realize the first set was 6-1. I’m just playing. So that’s always a good sign.”