From pizzas and cheeseburgers to gluten-free and low carb diet, tennis players want that little edge over competition.
Fourth-seed Maria Sharapova survived the embarrassment of firing down three successive double faults to surrender her serve to beat Richel Hogenkamp 6-3 6-1 and move into the third round at Wimbledon.
Though she was never troubled by the Dutch world number 123, Sharapova’s serve was ragged all day as she sprinkled eight double faults and repeated re-tosses among crushing forehand winners.
Hogenkamp looked slightly embarrassed to walk to her chair a game better off after barely laying a racket on the ball but her pleasure was shortlived as Sharapova broke back in the next game and served out successfully for the set.
Still somewhat our of sorts, Sharapova did at least eventually find her range with a series thunderous ground strokes that left Hogenkamp’s racket flailing and her face reddening as she struggled for any sort of foothold in hot, humid conditions.
Meanwhile, top-seed Serena Williams was kept waiting to get on Centre Court but she swept aside big-serving Hungarian Timea Babos 6-4, 6-1 inside an hour.
She broke her 93rd-ranked opponent in the opening games of both sets, wrapping up the first in 34 minutes, and never looked in any danger despite having to salvage two break points in the fourth game of the second set.
“I’m definitely playing well,” she said as she came off court after 59 minutes. “I had to pick up my game today. She has such a huge serve.”
Williams’s next opponent will be Heather Watson, the only British woman to reach the second round.
Aleksandra Krunic (Serbia) beat 19-Sara Errani (Italy) 6-3 6-7(2) 6-2
16-Venus Williams (U.S.) beat Yulia Putintseva (Kazakhstan) 7-6(5) 6-4
1-Serena Williams (U.S.) beat Timea Babos (Hungary) 6-4 6-1
6-Lucie Safarova (Czech Republic) beat Hsieh Su-Wei (Taiwan) 6-2 6-3
23-Victoria Azarenka (Belarus) beat Kirsten Flipkens (Belgium) 6-3 6-3
Bethanie Mattek-Sands (U.S.) beat 7-Ana Ivanovic (Serbia) 6-3 6-4
Sloane Stephens (U.S.) beat Lauren Davis (U.S.) 6-4 6-4
30-Belinda Bencic (Switzerland) beat Anna-Lena Friedsam (Germany) 7-5 4-6 6-0
Heather Watson (Britain) beat Daniela Hantuchova (Slovakia) 6-4 6-2
4-Maria Sharapova (Russia) beat Richel Hogenkamp (Netherlands) 6-3 6-1
Zarina Diyas (Kazakhstan) beat Aliaksandra Sasnovich (Belarus) 7-5 6-1