LONDON, June 22 (Agencies): Five-time champion Venus Williams rallied to defeat Kimiko Date-Krumm 6-7 (6), 6-3, 8-6 and reach the third round at Wimbledon.
Williams trailed 5-1 in the first set on Wednesday and saved three set points before holding her own set point at 6-5. Williams saved four more in the tiebreaker before losing the set.
The 23rd-seeded American missed nearly five months of action this year with a hip injury, but she returned last week at Eastbourne.
The 40-year-old Date-Krumm became the second oldest woman to reach the second round at Wimbledon in the Open era when she defeated Katie O'Brien in her opening match.
Yesterday, one year after escaping from his first-round match at Wimbledon with a five-set victory, Roger Federer and his commanding serve were in no mood for a repeat performance.
The six-time Wimbledon champion won 68 of the 80 points on his serve against Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan and saved the only three break points he faced, winning 7-6 (2), 6-4, 6-2 on Tuesday.
Last year, playing first on Centre Court as defending champion, Federer lost the opening two sets before eventually beating Alejandro Falla 5-7, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (1), 6-0.
�Yeah,� Federer said, �but the result was the same: I was able to win.�
The 16-time Grand Slam champion ended up losing to Tomas Berdych in the quarter-finals at the All England Club last year, his earliest exit since winning his first major in 2003. But he walked out onto Centre Court this year and dominated, winning 29 of the 31 points on his serve in the first set.
�The first rounds here at Wimbledon on Centre Court are never easy,� Federer said. �They�re somewhat nerve-racking because you don�t get a chance to practice on the Centre Courts here.�
If Federer can maintain the form that led him back into the French Open final this month � albeit ending with a fourth loss to Rafael Nadal in the deciding match at Roland Garros � he�ll have a chance to equal the record of seven Wimbledon titles held by Pete Sampras and Willie Renshaw.
�Obviously tying Pete in any stats means you�re right up there with maybe the greatest, one of the greatest players of all times, and that�s always a nice thing,� said Federer, who equalled Sampras� then-record of 14 Grand Slam titles when he won the French Open in 2009. �Winning Wimbledon alone without any records is amazing.�
Federer is playing in his 47th straight major championship, and he has reached the quarter-finals at every one since the 2004 Wimbledon tournament. In all that time, which includes a record streak of 23 straight semifinal appearances, the Swiss great has rarely been bothered by physical problems.
�I think it has helped me with injuries, yes, that my game is somewhat casual, but in a good way, because I had to work on my casualness,� Federer said. �I was very quickly pointed out that if I�m losing I�m not trying, and if I�m winning it�s an amazing situation.
�So I had to really tie my game together, make it solid casual, really. I think I was able to do that.�
Three-time finalist Andy Roddick also eased into the second round with a 6-4, 7-6 (8/6), 6-3 over German qualifier Andreas Beck.
In the women�s category, French Open champion Li Na of China defeated Alla Kudryavtseva from Russia 6-3, 6-3 to reach the women �s singles second round and Maria Sharaprova of Russia ousted the compatriot Anna Chakvetadze 6-2, 6-1.