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Serena cruises into Wimbledon last 16 but fears 'performance anxiety' as she teams up with Murray

Elsewhere, world number one Ashleigh Barty booked her maiden place in the fourth round.

Marching on: Serena Williams.
Marching on: Serena Williams.
Image: Adam Davy

SEVEN-TIME CHAMPION SERENA Seven-time champion Serena Williams reached the fourth round at Wimbledon for the 16th time on Saturday before joking she feared “performance anxiety” when she teams with Andy Murray in mixed doubles.

The 37-year-old American defeated Germany’s Julia Goerges 6-3, 6-4 and goes on to face Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro for a place in the quarter-finals.

Before that, however, she will play mixed with Murray later Saturday against Andreas Mies and Alexa Guarachi.

“I feel like I have a little bit of performance anxiety,” said Williams as she prepares to partner the Briton for the first time.

It’s such a buzz going around about me and Andy now, that I’ve got nervous

“I wanted to play mixed because I’ve only played just about 15 matches so far this year.”

Eleventh seed Williams, who defeated Goerges in last year’s semi-finals, is bidding to equal Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 Grand Slam titles.

It was her fifth win in five meetings with Goerges and just her second victory over a top 20 player in 2019.

“It’s been an arduous year for me, so every match I’m hoping to improve tons. Every time I get out there, I try,” added Williams.

Elsewhere, world number one Ashleigh Barty booked her maiden place in the fourth round, overwhelming British wildcard Harriet Dart 6-1, 6-1.

Wimbledon 2019 - Day Six - The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club Barty following her victory. Source: Mike Egerton

Barty, bidding to become the first Australian Wimbledon women’s champion since Evonne Goolagong Cawley won her second title in 1980, will play unseeded American Alison Riske for a place in the last eight.

She is also the first Australian woman to make the second week since 2010.

“That was really good,” said Barty. “I served really well and getting out of the love 40 game was massive.

“Incredible it is a first for me (to be in the last 16), new territory for me.”

Two-time champion Petra Kvitova also reached the last 16 for the first time in five years — the last time she did in 2014 she won her second title.

Czech sixth seed Kvitova defeated Poland’s Magda Linette 6-3, 6-2 and will face either Britain’s Johanna Konta or Sloane Stephens of the United States for a place in the quarter-finals.

On the men’s side, Kei Nishikori equalled Ai Sugiyama’s record of four appearances in the last 16 of Wimbledon by a Japanese player as he dismissed American journeyman Steve Johnson 6-4, 6-3, 6-2.

- © AFP, 2019

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