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Serena collects 300th major win on rare Wimbledon Middle Sunday

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 03: Serena Williams of The United States plays a forehand during the Ladies Singles third round match against Annika Beck of Germany on Middle Sunday of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 3, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)
July 3, 2016 11:05 AM

By Ashley Marshall, USTA.com

World No. 1 Serena Williams won her 300th career Grand Slam match on a rare day of play on the Middle Sunday of Wimbledon to book her place in the round of 16.

Record rainfall in the English capital forced players to take the court, traditionally scheduled as a full day of rest, but the American women in action didn’t seem to be deterred by having to return to the All England Club.

Williams toppled unseeded German Annika Beck, 6-3, 6-0, in just 51 minutes and No. 27 seed CoCo Vandeweghe defeated Roberta Vinci, 6-3, 6-4.

Williams’ win sets up a fourth-round match with Svetlana Kuznetsova, while Vandeweghe’s triumph creates a round-of-16 clash with Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Should both Americans win on Tuesday, they would meet in the quarterfinals.

On Sunday, Williams (pictured above) sent down seven aces, won 86 percent of points on her first serve and earned five breaks of serve. With the win, Williams leapfrogged Chris Evert for second all-time in Slam victories and now trails only Martina Navratilova’s record of 306, a mark she could potentially surpass at the US Open later this summer.

The top seed, a six-time champion in London, outmuscled Beck from the beginning, collecting 25 winners to Beck’s two and rolling through 11 of the final 12 games. Williams is now four wins away from capturing her 22nd Grand Slam women’s single title, which would tie Steffi Graf’s Open era record.

Earlier on Centre Court, Vandeweghe made light work of No. 6 seed Vinci, winning in 66 minutes. The American dropped just six points on her first serve and recorded 21 winners to Vinci's nine to earn a spot in the fourth round of a major for just the second time in 23 times. Vandeweghe, who has yet to drop a set this year, reached the quarterfinals at Wimbledon last July, and has her sights set on another deep run this time around.

Elsewhere on Sunday, doubles action also resumed, with the winningest men's team of all time, Bob and Mike Bryan, advancing to the third round. With the doubles reduced to a best-of-three match to help accommodate the scheduling, the Bryan brothers, seeded No. 2, defeated Malek Jaziri and Lukas Rosol, 6-3, 6-4, in 55 minutes.

Also in action was big-serving John Isner, who found himself experiencing a spot of déjà vu on the grass of southwest London. The No. 18 seed, who won the longest match in tennis history against Nicolas Mahut six years ago at Wimbledon, was this time on the wrong side of an epic five-set battle with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 6-7(3), 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-2, 19-17, in four hours and 24 minutes.

In the women’s draw, No. 18 seed Sloane Stephens fell to 13th-seeded Kuznetsova of Russia, 6-7(1), 6-2, 8-6.