At the age of 28, Monica Seles may be too far down the line to entertain realistic hopes of a Wimbledon crown to add to the nine Grand Slams she has already won, but she still performs consistently at the All England Club.
Today, in her ninth appearance at The Championships, she moved into the third round with a solid 6-4 6-0 victory in 57 minutes over the exotically-named Rosanna Neffa-De Los Rios from Paraguay.
The problem for Neffa was that she plays virtually the same baseline game as Seles, but not to the same level of excellence. Though she matched Seles shot for shot in the opening set, it was clear that the 1992 Wimbledon runner-up was biding her time, waiting to pounce.
The opportunity came in the tenth game when the South American’s concentration faltered, offering Seles set point on a backhand lob which floated beyond the baseline. Seles seized the moment, won the set and was in the driving seat.
The advantage was rammed home ruthlessly as Monica broke serve in the second and fourth games, cruised into a 5-0 lead and watched Neffa self-destruct in the final game with an overhit backhand to match point down, then a weak forehand into the net. The second set lasted a mere 22 minutes.