Serena Williams clinched her 300th Grand Slam victory as the defending champion raced into the Wimbledon fourth round with a 6-3, 6-0 demolition of Germany’s Annika Beck on Sunday.
Williams’s triple century moved the world number one above Chris Evert into sole ownership of second place in the all-time list, with only Martina Navratilova’s Open era record of 306 ahead of her.
The 34-year-old has now won 82 matches at Wimbledon as she remains on course to equal Steffi Graf’s Open era record of 22 Grand Slam titles with her seventh Wimbledon crown.
She was in peak form on Centre Court, hitting 25 winners and seven aces as she took just 51 minutes to set up a last 16 clash with Russian 13th seed Svetlana Kuznetsova.
“Oh, was it? Cool. Oh, nice. I had no idea. That’s awesome, right? I think that’s a lot of matches. It’s a lot of wins,” Williams said when told of her landmark.
“I thought it was good. I still want to get out to a little bit of a faster start but I was really focused and calm.
“Obviously I love having that Sunday off but I’m a little behind in my matches so I guess I had to play an extra day.”
For only the fourth time, Wimbledon had thrown open its gates on a middle Sunday and Serena’s longevity meant she was one of the few current players who had played on the last extra day 12 years ago, defeating Spain’s Magui Serna.
Beck was just 10 then and she had reached the last 32 at Wimbledon for the first time this year thanks in large part to a first round escape act when she saved three match points before defeating Heather Watson.
Having avoided her earliest ever Wimbledon exit when she came back to win after dropping the first set against Christina McHale in the second round, Williams had made a point of proclaiming she had a “warrior mentality” that couldn’t be broken.
If that was meant to serve as a warning to future opponents, the world number 43 clearly didn’t heed it as she grabbed the first break in the third game.
But Serena had only lost to a player outside the top 40 once in 16 Wimbledon appearances and she was quickly into her stride, taking five of the next six matches to win the first set.
The American raced through the second set, giving the crowd little value for money but providing her with some valuable energy preservation ahead of Monday’s clash with Kuznetsova.