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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Hingis, Sampras Set for Quarterfinals




LONDON -- Defending champion Pete Sampras resumed normal service at Wimbledon on Monday, crushing Sweden's Jonas Bjorkman 6-3, 6-2, 7-5 to reach the quarterfinals.


A painful leg injury had threatened the American's bid for a seventh title in eight years last week, but it was not the wounded bear of Saturday but the Sampras of old who prowled Center Court against Bjorkman.


The top seed crashed down 17 aces, pulverized the ball on both sides of the court and showed off his trademark jumps - a sure sign Sampras's game has returned to near 100 percent efficiency - to smash anything high and loose.


"I felt better about the way I played today. I had more energy," Sampras said afterward. "The injury is sore but it's ok , and I'm going to go out there and try my best under the circumstances," he added.


Top women's seed Martina Hingis set up a mouth-watering quarterfinal against Venus Williams after both won in straight sets and Serena, the younger Williams sister, gave away just two games as she thrashed Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand 6-1, 6-1.


Serena Williams now plays fellow American Lisa Raymond, who beat Olga Barabanschikova of Belarus 6-4, 6-2.


The 18-year-old has lost 11 games in four matches and, along with her sister and Hingis, has yet to lose a set.


Hingis beat 11th seed Anker Huber for the 10th time in succession, 6-1, 6-2, allowing her concentration to wane in the eighth game of the final set as she squandered two matchpoints.


"I was playing well, just kept the pressure on her all the time," said Hingis. "I'm looking forward to it [playing Venus], it is now the tournament begins."


Venus Williams also went mental "walkabout" when leading 5-1 in the second set and with three matchpoints to her credit.


She let Appelmans claw her way back into the match before eventually closing out a 6-4, 6-4 win.


"Yeah, it is really annoying. But I can raise the level of my game. I just have to get my mind there," said Williams.


"There is no way these girls should be competing like that against me in these sets unless of course I let them."


Sampras, who next plays either ninth seed Thomas Enqvist or American Jan-Michael Gambill, suffered from acute tendinitis after beating Karol Kucera on Wednesday and lost the first set against Justin Gimelstob in abject fashion Saturday.


He eventually beat his compatriot in four sets, but only at 80 percent of his grasscourt ability.


Another day's rest Sunday brought his confidence - and feared service - back to full capacity, and he swept Bjorkman away.


"My body has been fragile over the past couple of years, but this is the big one and I'm going to do whatever I have to to get through," said Sampras.


Belarus qualifier Vladimir Voltchkov, a former Wimbledon boys' champion, reached the quarterfinals by beating Wayne Ferreira of South Africa 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (7-0).


Voltchkov, ranked 237 in the world, beat sixth seed Cedric Pioline in the second round and could well reach the semifinals at only his fifth Grand Slam tournament.


He plays Byron Black of Zimbabwe or Gianluca Pozzi of Italy in the last eight.


Defending champion Lindsay Davenport battered fellow American Jennifer Capriati 6-3, 6-3 to book her place in the quarterfinals.


She will face another American, sixth seed Monica Seles, for a semifinal berth. Seles beat ninth-seeded Spaniard Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario 6-3, 6-4.