WIMBLEDON, England -- Jennifer Capriati flexed her
muscles on People's Sunday to send France's Nathalie Dechy
packing from the third round of Wimbledon with a solid 7-5, 6-1
Court 1 was less than half full when the American seventh seed won the first singles match
completed in more than 40 hours at Wimbledon.
As the match progressed, Capriati said she sensed a difference
in the crowd.
"You can definitely feel a difference in the atmosphere," she
said. The members of Sunday's crowd "really feel honored to be there almost."
Capriati moved into a fourth-round contest with 10th-seeded
Nadia Petrova, who beat her at the 2003 French Open.
Petrova beat Tatiana Perebiynis of Ukraine 7-6, 6-2 in their
third round clash on Sunday.
"I felt pretty good ... got better as the match went on,"
said the player who remained on track for a quarterfinal
showdown with champion and top seed Serena Williams.
Centre Court was full by the time Williams beat Spain's Magui Serna 6-4, 6-0 in 58
The top-seeded Williams looked subdued with both her mother and
father watching from the stands, but still had 11 aces and 29
winners with only one double-fault and 11 errors.
The American, seeking her third successive singles crown at
the All England Club, started steadily but eventually her power
and movement overwhelmed the 53rd-ranked Spaniard on Centre Court.
Williams barely broke a sweat as Serna handed her victory with
an errant service return on the American's second match point.
In other women's matches, Karolina Sprem returned from her upset
over Venus Williams with a 7-6 (5), 7-6 (2) win against No. 32
French fourth seed Amelie
Mauresmo wasted little time securing her fourth-round berth with 6-1, 6-4 victory over Slovakian Ludmila Cervanova.
The 2002 semi-finalist, playing on a thinly-populated Court 1, took an immediate grip on proceedings and completed a
routine workout to move into the last 16.
Mauresmo, in the same half of the draw as defending champion Serena Williams, plays either Italian Silvia Farina Elia or
Spain's Virginia Ruano Pascual for a place in the last eight.
Wimbledon was 120 matches behind schedule after six days,
forcing organizers to institute a People's Sunday for the first
time since 1997.
Information from The Associated Press and Reuters was used in this report.