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Wimbledon: Serena Williams eliminates Maria Sharapova

June 28, 2010 |  8:47 am

Serena Williams The top-seeded and defending champion Serena Williams needed every bit of her power, all of her 19 aces and 31 winners, to beat 16th-seeded Maria Sharapova, the 2004 Wimbledon champion, on Monday. Williams had to save three set points in the first set and won the match 7-6 (9), 6-4 in 1 hour, 36 minutes. Next for Williams is Li Na in the quarterfinals.

Sharapova had a 6-4 lead in the first-set tiebreak after Williams put a forehand into the net, and Sharapova had the chance to serve but lost her advantage by dumping a forehand into the net, cutting her lead to 6-5. With Serena serving down 6-5, Williams saved the second point with a strong backhand winner. Sharapova's final set point came on a Williams serve, and the 23-year-old Russian couldn't put her return back.

Williams said of Sharapova, "She played really well, I thought she played so well today. She's really doing good." The Centre Court crowd seemed firmly on Sharapova's side, but Williams said, "The crowd was great."

-- Diane Pucin in Wimbledon, England

Photo: Serena Williams puts some power into a backhand shot in her July 28, 2010, match against Maria Sharapova. Credit: Matthew Stockman / Getty Images