Serena, Roddick enter third round

Wimbledon, June 27:

After another slow start, Serena Williams got her grass-court game back on track. The two-time champion came back from 4-2 down in the first set and beat Australia’s Alicia Molik 7-6 (4), 6-3 on Wednesday to reach the third round of Wimbledon.

Also getting past the second round was third-seeded Andy Roddick, who defeated 114th-ranked Danai Udomchoke of Thailand 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (3). Roddick had 15 aces and 40 winners and broke three times.

Top-seeded Justine Henin took exactly one hour to oust Vera Dushevina of Russia 6-0, 6-4 to make the third round in her bid for the only Grand Slam title to elude her.

Williams, who also struggled in the first set of her opening-round win Monday over Lourdes Dominguez Lino, fell behind again early against Molik. But she finally got her power game going and finished with 10 aces and 35 winners to 18 errors.

The match ended in bizarre circumstances on Williams’ third match point in the final game. A line judge called Molik’s shot wide, but the two continued playing until Williams hit a winning forehand volley.

The players approached the net to congratulate each other, but Molik was allowed to challenge the line judge’s call. The new “Hawk-Eye” replay system showed the ball was out. The two smiled, and Williams saluted the crowd.

A similar incident occurred at the end of Henin’s victory. Serving for the match, Henin saved a break point, then produced two straight aces to finish the contest. Dushevina challenged the call on the final ace, but the replay showed the ball was on the line.

Williams showed lots of emotion during the match as her sister, Venus, and parents watched from the stands. The turning point came in the tiebreaker with Molik leading 4-2. The Australian made groundstroke errors on the next four points and Williams pounded a 121 mph ace down the middle to close out the set.

In other women’s play, French Open runner-up and No 6-seeded Ana Ivanovic beat Melinda Czink of Hungary 6-0, 7-6 (3) in a first-round match. Also reaching the second round were No 12 Elena Dementieva, No 14 Nicole Vaidisova and No 17 Tatiana Golovin. Ninth-seeded Martina Hingis, the 1997 champion, defeated Aiko Nakamura of Japan 6-1, 6-2 to reach the third round.

In men’s play, No 5 Fernando Gonzalez beat Alejandro Falla of Colombia 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (7-1), and No 12 Richard Gasquet beat fellow Frenchman Nicolas Mahut 6-4, 6-3, 6-4.