Mauresmo, Sharapova enter fourth round

Wimbledon, June 30:

Amelie Mauresmo of France easily advanced to the fourth round at Wimbledon on Saturday, beating Mara Santangelo of Italy 6-1, 6-2. Also advancing to the fourth round was Russia’s Maria Sharapova. Sharapova defeated Ai Sugiyama of Japan 6-3, 6-3.

The defending champion at the All England Club is seeded only No 4 because she was sidelined following an appendectomy in March and had a groin problem that contributed to an early exit at the French Open.

Mauresmo beat Justin Henin in last year’s Wimbledon singles final. She also won the 2006 Australian Open and reached the semi-finals at the US Open.

On Friday, Juan Carlos Ferrero, former top-ranked player, rallied to win 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, 7-6 (4) against James Blake, leaving Andy Roddick as the lone American man to reach the second week at Wimbledon.

Seeded ninth, Blake lost in the third round at Wimbledon for the second year in a row, and has yet to advance beyond that point. The No 3-seeded Roddick won his 17th tiebreaker in a row to close out a victory over Fernando Verdasco, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (2).

Martina Hingis lost to Laura Granville of the United States 6-4, 6-2. Four-time defending champion Roger Federer made it to the fourth round, beating Marat Safin 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 (4) despite trailing by a break in the second set.

Federer, who stretched his grass-court winning streak to 51, is trying to win a fifth consecutive Wimbledon title, something only Bjorn Borg has done in the past 100 years.