Federer through

Wimbledon, June 28:

Roger Federer won his 50th straight match on grass today, beating Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina 6-2, 7-5, 6-1 to reach the third round at Wimbledon.

The four-time defending champion, who will next face Marat Safin, had led 2-0 in the third set before rain halted play on Wednesday. When they resumed, Federer needed only 11 minutes to win the match. Two-time Grand Slam champion Safin beat Pakistan’s Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi 6-4, 6-2, 7-6 (4).

Three-time champion Venus Williams beat Czech Hana Sromova 6-2, 6-2 to reach the third round. Also Maria Sharapova advanced to the third round with a 6-0, 6-3 victory over Sabine Bremond of France. The Russian fourth seed now faces Japan’s Ai Sugiyama for a place in the last 16, where she could come up against Venus.

French Open finalist Ana Ivanovic also entered the third round beating Meilen Tu of the US 6-4, 6-3. Also, No 8 Anna Chakvetadze defeated Tatiana Poutchek of Belarus 6-2, 6-1, while No 10 Daniela Hantuchova, No 12 Elena Dementieva, No 14 Nicole Vaidisova and No 15 Patty Schnyder also won. No 17 Tatiana Golovin, No 21 Tathiana Garbin of Italy and No 29 Francesca Schiavone of Italy lost.

Wayne Arthurs, playing in the final tournament of his 17-year career and at 36 the oldest man in the starting draw, upset No 11 Tommy Robredo of Spain 6-3, 7-6, (5), 6-3. No 9 James Blake beat Andrei Pavel of Romania 6-4, 6-3, 6-3, and former top-ranked player Juan Carlos Ferrero defeated Gilles Muller of Luxembourg 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (2), 7-6 (8).

No 13 Tommy Haas and No 15 Ivan Ljubicic also won, while No17 David Ferrer and No 24 Juan Ignacio Chela lost.