Wimbledon 2011: Serena Williams powers past Maria Kirilenko

By Mike HensonBBC Sport at Wimbledon
Serena Williams
Williams is aiming to emulate Steffi Graf, the last women to win three successive Wimbledon singles titles

Four-time champion Serena Williams breezed into Wimbledon's last 16 with a 6-3 6-2 win over Maria Kirilenko.

After being taken to three sets on Court Two in the previous round, Williams looked more at home with a powerful performance on Court One.

A break in Kirilenko's opening game was enough to take the first set, before the 27th seed surrendered again in the third and fifth games of the second.

The American will play ninth seed and Eastbourne champion Marion Bartoli in the fourth round.

"I feel like I keep improving," Williams told BBC Sport.

"It is just getting the rhythm that I have been missing a little bit and its getting better.

"I just want to keep serving better, as I did today, and just hold on out there, keep moving and enjoy myself."

The defending champion had been unhappy to play her second-round match against Simona Halep away from Wimbledon's two main arenas and she responded to her return with a muscular performance.

Williams snapped away at Kirilenko's serve, placing the Russian under pressure as soon as she missed with her first attempt.

After moving ahead early on, Williams survived a reviewed decision as Kirilenko fired millimetres wide on a chance to break back in the fifth.

Williams' serve rarely looked in danger again however, while Kirlenko's creaked under a barrage of thumping groundstrokes.

The 24-year-old Kirilenko won over the majority of the crowd with her dogged retrival of two match points at 5-1 down, but it was to be all she had to show at the end of the contest.

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