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Sharapova, Venus reach third round at London Games

Tue 31st, July 2012

Wimbledon, England (Sports Network) - French Open champion Maria Sharapova and former gold medalist Venus Williams were second-round winners Tuesday at the 2012 Olympic Tennis Event.

The third-seeded former world No. 1 Sharapova got past game 18-year-old British left-hander Laura Robson 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 under the roof on Centre Court at the All England Club, where rain delayed play on the outside courts for a good portion of the day.

Sharapova needs an Olympic gold medal to complete a career "Golden Slam." She secured a career Grand Slam by capturing her first French Open title last month.

The 25-year-old superstar's third-round opponent will be 15th-seeded German Sabine Lisicki, who ousted the tall Russian in straight sets in a fourth-round Wimbledon match earlier this month.

Meanwhile, the former top-ranked Williams handled Canadian Aleksandra Wozniak 6-1, 6-3 on the famed Centre Court, where the American has captured no less than five Wimbledon titles.

"Every day I'm just concentrating on trying to bring my best tennis out," Williams said. "And honestly, if there's a time to do it, it's now."

Williams secured a singles gold medal at the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney.

The unseeded American should have her hands full with seventh-seeded German Angelique Kerber in the third round. The lefthanded Kerber, who reached the Wimbledon semifinals earlier this month, whipped helpless Hungarian Timea Babos 6-1, 6-1 on Day 4 of this nine-day tournament.

Two other Germans joined Kerber in the round of 16, as the aforementioned Lisicki came from behind to beat Kazakhstan's Yaroslava Shvedova 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 and Julia Goerges grounded rising American Varvara Lepchenko 6-3, 7-5.

Sixteenth-seeded Russian Nadia Petrova snuck into round three with a 6-3, 6-7 (5-7), 6-2 victory over Georgian Anna Tatishvili.

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