Created on Wednesday, 25 June 2014 Written by STEPHEN WILSON, AP Sports Writer
LONDON (AP) — Andy Murray was a man in a hurry. Venus Williams took awhile to get going.
The defending men's champion and five-time women's winner took different routes Wednesday to reach the third round at Wimbledon.
Murray dropped just two games and needed only 81 minutes to blow away Blaz Rola of Slovenia 6-1, 6-1, 6-0, a dominant performance that showed he'll be tough to beat as he bids to become the first British player to retain the Wimbledon title in 77 years.
"If you can finish matches as quickly as possible it definitely helps in the long run," Murray said.
Williams overcame a slow start to beat Japan's Kurumi Nara 7-6 (4), 6-1 to get past the second round of a major for only the second time in her last 10 Grand Slam tournaments.
"It's definitely a step in the right direction," Williams said. "The thing that I just have to really work on is being on tour consistently and playing tournaments."
Next up for Williams is a third-round clash with 2011 champion Petra Kvitova, the Czech lefthander who downed Mona Barthel of Germany 6-2, 6-0.
"I think we both play similar games, really go for it," Williams said. "She's one of the kind of players who can get kind of hot against me."
No. 7 David Federer became the highest seeded men's player to go out so far. The Spanish clay-court specialist was beaten by Russia's 118th-ranked qualifier Andrey Kuznetsov, 6-7 (5), 6-0, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.
The loss ended Ferrer's streak of reaching at least the third round at 17 consecutive Grand Slam tournaments. Kuznetsov, the boys' champion at Wimbledon in 2009, achieved his first win over a top-10 player.
"He was better," Ferrer said. "A lot of winners. In important moments, he was more aggressive than me."
In women's play, eighth-seeded Victoria Azarenka was eliminated by Serbia's Bojana Jovanovski, 6-3, 3-6, 7-5. Azarenka, a two-time Australian Open champion and former No. 1, was playing in just her second event since the Australian Open after being sidelined with a left foot injury.
Azarenka won more total points than Jovanovski (104 to 100) and had many more winners (48 to 27) but converted only three of 16 break points.
The 30th-seeded Williams won six straight points in the tiebreaker after being down 1-4 and ran off six straight games in the second set to beat 41st-ranked Nara.
Williams, winner of seven Grand Slam titles, lost in the first round in her last appearance at Wimbledon in 2012. The only other time she has made it past the second round in her last 10 Grand Slams was at the 2013 Australian Open. She hasn't reached the fourth round at a major since Wimbledon in 2011.
Also advancing to the third round was second-seeded Australian Open champion Li Na, who beat Yvonne Meusburger of Austria 6-2, 6-2 on Court 2. Meusburger had only four winners in the match. Li had 33 winners to go with 21 unforced errors.
Fourth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland opened play on Centre Court and needed less than an hour to beat Australia's Casey Dellacqua 6-4, 6-0.
The man who shocked Roger Federer at Wimbledon a year ago, Sergiy Stakhovsky, pulled off another surprise Wednesday. The 90th-ranked Ukrainian used the same serve-and-volley style that worked against Federer in 2013 to beat 12th-seeded Ernests Gulbis 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (5).
No. 11 Grigor Dimitrov, coming of his win at the grass-court warm-up at Queen's Club, sailed into the third round by beating Australian qualifier Luke Saville 6-3, 6-2, 6-4.
Also advancing were No. 16 Fabio Fognini, No. 20 Kevin Anderson, No. 21 Alexandr Dolgopolov and No. 27 Roberto Bautista Agut.