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LONDON (AP) — Serena Williams sailed past Wimbledon's wave of upsets and now faces an opponent more than a decade older than her.
The five-time champion beat Caroline Garcia 6-3, 6-2 on Thursday, avoiding the sort of early exit that has sent many top players tumbling from the tournament. Next up for the 31-year-old Williams is Japan's Kimiko Date-Krumm, who at 42 became the oldest woman to reach the third round at Wimbledon in the Open era.
Date-Krumm beat Alexandra Cadantu of Romania 6-4, 7-5 to advance this far at Wimbledon for the first time since 1996, when she went to the semifinals.
"I have so much respect for her," said Williams, who herself became the third oldest woman in the Open era to win a Grand Slam tournament when she captured this year's French Open. "I think she's so inspiring to be playing such high level tennis at her age. And she's a real danger on the grass court, I know that. I definitely will have to be ready."
Date-Krumm is the second-oldest woman to have won a match at Wimbledon after Martina Navratilova, who was 47 when she reached the second round in 2004. She took a 12-year break from tennis before returning in 2008.
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