Reporting from Wimbledon, England — Top-seeded and defending champion Serena Williams needed only 49 minutes to win her second-round match over Anna Chakvetadze of Russia, 6-0, 6-1, Thursday.
It took Williams much less time to give her thoughts about playing on Court 2 on Thursday night, away from Centre Court where Queen Elizabeth II had come to watch tennis for the first time since 1977.
“I have mixed feelings about that,” Williams said. “You know, I don’t think I should be out there. I feel like, you know, with my popularity. … It’s cool to see, though. When I was leaving I stayed for a while and I signed tons of autographs. A lot of these people can’t get into Centre Court.”
She might have been feeling snubbed, but Williams almost certainly will be appearing again on Centre Court based on her form against Chakvetadze, who has been ranked as high as No. 5 in the world.
After many discussions about how and whether she would curtsy at Centre Court for the queen, Williams had been sent off to Court 2. She still did an awkward curtsy at the end of her drubbing of Chakvetadze. Williams said she bent so low that her knee hurt.
Williams did get to curtsy for the queen, though. She joined her sister Venus, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andy Roddick and former champions Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova in greeting the queen, who stayed only to watch fourth-seeded Andy Murray’s 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 win at Centre Court over Jarkko Nieminen of Finland.
Williams, despite her dominant performance Thursday, said she doesn’t feel her game is at its best yet.
“Honestly,” she said, “I’m feeling a bit off. I don’t feel like I’m connecting with some shots. I’m framing some shots in practice.”
Second-seeded Rafael Nadal needed five sets to beat Robin Haase, 5-6, 6-2, 3-6, 6-0, 6-3, but the Spaniard, who won Wimbledon in 2008, didn’t lose a point on his serve in the final set. Another former Wimbledon champion, Maria Sharapova (she won in 2004) remained on course to meet up with Williams in the fourth round with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Ioana Raluca Olaru.
Also advancing to the third round Thursday were third-seeded Caroline Wozniacki and, on the men’s side, sixth-seeded Robin Soderling and 18th-seeded Sam Querrey of Santa Monica.
Nadal said he wasn’t surprised to be pushed so hard in the second round. “I’m very happy to win in five sets,” he said. “I played probably four bad points in two sets and I lose both sets. That’s tennis. But mentally I think I was perfect in the fourth and the fifth.”
Former U.S. Open champion and French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, who was seeded 19th, was eliminated by Anastasia Rodionova, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4.