Wimbledon, England – Reigning world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka and Wimbledon champion Serena Williams were a pair of third-round winners Wednesday at the Olympic Tennis Event.
The Belarusian Azarenka was pushed in a 7-6 (8-6), 6-4 victory over 16th- seeded Russian Nadia Petrova on Court 1, while the fourth-seeded former No. 1 Williams lambasted 13th-seeded Russian Vera Zvonareva 6-1, 6-0 on the famed Centre Court at the venerable All England Club. Williams also whipped the 2008 Beijing bronze medalist Zvonareva in a Wimbledon finale here two years ago.
Azarenka, who has spent the majority of 2012 at No. 1 after capturing her first major title at the Australian Open in January, awaits the Angelique Kerber-Venus Williams victor.
The Day-5 rout for Serena was over in 51 minutes, as the powerful American fired 12 aces, did not commit a double fault, and struck 29 more winners (32-3) than her helpless Russian counterpart.
The 30-year-old Serena, who's now 10-0 on grass this year, owns 14 major singles titles and needs an Olympic gold medal to complete a career "Golden Slam."
Serena's quarterfinal opponent will be eighth-seeded former top-ranked Dane Caroline Wozniacki or capable Slovak Daniela Hantuchova.
Meanwhile, sixth-seeded former Wimbledon champ Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic cruised into the quarters with a 6-3, 6-0 pasting of overmatched Italian Flavia Pennetta. The left-handed Kvitova will meet 14th-seeded Russian Maria Kirilenko in the round of eight. Kirilenko moved on with a 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 victory over German Julia Goerges.
In a battle of former No. 1s on Wednesday, Belgian star Kim Clijsters upended 11th-seeded Serb Ana Ivanovic 6-3, 6-4. Clijsters is a four-time Grand Slam champ, while Ivanovic is a former French Open titlist.