It was a stroll in the park for Monica Seles who obviously hadn’t heard of the court’s “Graveyard of Champions” reputation. Indeed, it didn’t augur well when she and her Thai opponent, Tamarine Tanasugarn, arrived at No. 2 Court only to scamper back as the heavens opened up.
They returned some two hours later, and within 49 minutes Seles stepped up to serve out to love and advance into the quarter-finals, 6-2, 6-2.
For Tanasugarn, who had never beaten Seles in their previous four meetings, the defeat meant that she had been unable to break her jinx of progressing past the fourth round, the stage at which she has now been ousted from The Championships every year since 1998.
Seles, 28, seeded fourth and playing her ninth Wimbledon, dominated Tamasugarn from the outset. Her ground strokes were as accurate and powerfully struck as ever. She won seven consecutive games from 3-2 in the first to 4-0 in the second.
This quick win means she won’t have extended herself too much. Her next opponent is Justine Henin, who has struggled so far in these Championships and has not reproduced the form that took her to the final against Venus Williams last year.
If Seles continues to maintain the form she showed today over next few days, then she could well be the dark horse of the tournament.