Wimbledon - Clijsters to face Henin in fourth round
Kim Clijsters did her bit to set up an eagerly anticipated fourth-round clash with fellow Belgian Justine Henin by crushing Russian Maria Kirilenko 6-3 6-3 in her third-round match.
Henin, who like Clijsters came out of retirement to try and win an elusive Wimbledon crown, made sure she kept up her end of the bargain by swatting aside Russian 12th seed Nadia Petrova 6-1 6-4.
Clijsters, twice a semi-finalist here, blitzed her way to the opener in 27 minutes on a sunbaked Court Two at the All England Club.
Kirilenko, the world number 28, recovered an early break to draw level at 3-3 in the second but eighth seed Clijsters forged ahead again, breaking twice more and sealed victory after 62 minutes when the Russian double faulted.
Jelena Jankovic did not expend any unnecessary energy on a sweltering day as she stifled Ukrainian Alona Bondarenko 6-0 6-3 to reach the fourth round.
While fans and officials were seen grabbing programmes and any scraps of paper to fan themselves on a sun-baked Court Two, Jankovic had no problem turning up the heat on Bondarenko who succumbed to her 11th defeat in 12 meetings with the Serb.
The fourth seed, who turned up on her day off at Wimbledon for a royal appointment with Queen Elizabeth on Thursday, will be hoping to produce another regal performance when she faces 21st seed Vera Zvonareva on Monday, after the Russian beat 15th-seeded Belgian Yanina Wickmayer 6-4 6-2.
Five-times champion Venus Williams dodged a potential banana skin with relative ease when she dispatched Russian 26th seed Alisa Kleybanova 6-4 6-2.
The 30-year-old American fell to an early break against the imposing Kleybanova, but broke back quickly and started to find her range both with serve and on her ground-strokes.
She peppered seven aces, one bomb clocked at 128mph, to put the Russian on the back foot and despite stretching the second set to almost an hour the Russian could not pierce the armoury of Williams, who prevailed in an hour and 37 minutes.
Venus will face Australia's Jarmila Groth for a place in the quarter-finals, after the world number 92 beat German Angelique Kerber 6-3 7-5.
The French 11th seed will next face world number 82 Tsvetana Pironkova after Russia's Regina Kulikova retired injured with the Bulgarian leading 6-4 2-0.