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Venus Williams, Madison Keys lead strong American showing at Wimbledon

By The Sports Xchange
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Venus Williams, Madison Keys lead strong American showing at Wimbledon
American Venus Williams returns the ball in her match against German Maria Sakkari on Day four of the 2016 Wimbledon Championships in Wimbledon, London June 30, 2016. Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI | License Photo

Venus Williams withstood a furious challenge from 21-year-old Greek qualifier Maria Sakkari, winning 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 to advance to the third round at Wimbledon on Thursday.

It was a banner day for Americans, with No. 18 seed Sloane Stephens handling Shuai Peng 7-6, 6-2 in her first-round match, which had been rescheduled during a rainy start to Wimbledon.

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No. 9 seed Madison Keys is back in the third round for the third consecutive year, notching a 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 victory over Kirsten Flipkens.

In a stunning upset, second-seeded Garbine Muguruza of Spain was sent packing by Slovakian qualifier Jana Cepelova, who posted a 6-3, 6-2 victory. Cepelova easily dispatched the French Open champion by winning five of the first six games of both sets.

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Third-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland fought off an upset bid to post a 6-2, 4-6, 9-7 victory over Croatia's Ana Konjuh. Fourth-seeded German Angelique Kerber rolled to a 6-1, 6-4 win over American Varvara Lepchenko.

American Coco Vandeweghe, seeded 27th, posted a 6-2, 6-3 win over Hungary's Timea Babos.

On the men's side, second-seeded Andy Murray sailed to a 6-3, 6-2, 6-1 victory over Taipei's Yen-Hsun Lu. Murray is 48-9 lifetime at the All England Club.

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"If you can win matches easily it does help because you can rest," Murray said afterward. "It has been a good start. I will just try and do my best -- work hard, keep my head down and hopefully have a good tournament."

Murray next faces Australian John Millman, who recorded a 7-6 (5), 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 victory over 26th-seeded Benoit Paire of France.

Fifth-seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan advanced with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 victory over France's Julien Benneteau and seventh-seeded Richard Gasquet of France moved on with a 4-6 7-5, 6-3, 6-1 win over Spain's Marcel Granollers.

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Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov posted a 6-3, 7-6 (1), 4-6, 6-4 victory over Gilles Simon in a match that included an angry exchange between Simon and umpire John Blom.

Simon was angry that he had to play through a drizzle during the second set and the Frenchman was overheard saying, "If I play and get injured, I will sue you and you will pay."

In other matches, Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic swept eighth-seeded Austrian Dominic Thiem 7-6 (4), 7-6 (5), 7-6 (3); Slovakian qualifier Lukas Lacko defeated 23rd-seeded Ivo Karlovic of Croatia 6-4, 7-6 (5) 6-2, and 18th-seeded American John Isner defeated Cyprus' Marcos Baghdatis 7-6 (2), 7-6 (5), 6-3.

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Sam Querrey beat Thomaz Bellucci 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 to reach the third round at Wimbledon for the first time since 2012. He'll face No. 1 Novak Djokovic, who has won 30 consecutive Grand Slam matches.

Donald Young defeated Leonardo Mayer 6-4, 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 to advance to the second round.

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