London: Two-time champion Rafael Nadal eased into the Wimbledon last 16 for the ninth time on Saturday with a comfortable 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 win over France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
The third seed will be playing in his 45th fourth round tie at the Slams where he will face either Joao Sousa of Portugal or Britain’s Dan Evans.
Tsonga, 34, who made the Wimbledon semi-finals in 2011 and 2012, is now ranked at 72 in the world after undergoing knee surgery last year.
French Open champion Nadal is chasing a 19th title at the majors having recently captured a 12th Roland Garros crown.
Victory on Saturday was achieved in just one hour and 48 minutes and was a much less raucous affair than his bad-tempered second round duel with Nick Kyrgios.
World number one Ashleigh Barty, meanwhile, booked her maiden place in the fourth round while Serena Williams made the second week for the 16th time.
Barty overwhelmed British wild card Harriet Dart 6-1, 6-1 while 37-year-old, seven-time champion Williams produced her most convincing display in dispensing with German Julia Goerges 6-3, 6-4.
Barty, bidding to become the first Australian Wimbledon women’s champion since Evonne Goolagong Cawley won her second title in 1980, will play unseeded American Alison Riske for a place in the last eight.
She is also the first Australian woman to make the second week since 2010.
“That was really good,” said Barty. “I served really well and getting out of the love 40 game was massive.
“Incredible it is a first for me (to be in the last 16), new territory for me.”
Williams reached the fourth round for the 16th time and goes on to face Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro for a place in the quarter-finals.
Eleventh seed Williams, who defeated Goerges in last year’s semi-finals, is bidding to equal Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 Grand Slam titles.
“It’s been an arduous year for me, so every match I’m hoping to improve tons,” said Williams, who had a knee problem which affected her season.
“Every time I get out there, I try. I’m getting a really late start but all that matters is that I’m still here.”
Two-time champion Petra Kvitova reached the last 16 for the first time in five years — the last time she did in 2014 she won her second title.
Czech sixth seed Kvitova defeated Poland’s Magda Linette 6-3, 6-2 and will face either Britain’s Johanna Konta or Sloane Stephens of the United States for a place in the quarter-finals.
Earlier, Kei Nishikori equalled Ai Sugiyama’s record of four appearances in the last 16 by a Japanese player as he dismissed American journeyman Steve Johnson 6-4, 6-3, 6-2.
Mixed doubles rarely gets centre stage but British fans will wait till the bitter end as former world number one Andy Murray will partner Serena Williams against Andreas Mies of Germany and Chile’s Alexa Guarachi later.
“I wanted to play mixed because I’ve only played just about 15 matches so far this year,” said Serena.
“It’s such a buzz going around about me and Andy now, that I’ve got nervous.
“I’m ready and excited but I’m definitely nervous.”
Men’s Singles (Third Round)
Sam Querrey, United States, def. John Millman, Australia, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (8), 6-3.
Tennys Sandgren, United States, def. Fabio Fognini (12), Italy, 6-3, 7-6 (12), 6-3.
Rafael Nadal (3), Spain, def. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, France, 6-2, 6-3, 6-2.
Kei Nishikori (8), Japan, def. Steve Johnson, United States, 6-4, 6-3, 6-2.
Women’s Singles (Third Round)
Ashleigh Barty (1), Australia, def. Harriet Dart, Britain, 6-1, 6-1.
Alison Riske, United States, def. Belinda Bencic (13), Switzerland, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.
Serena Williams (11), United States, def. Julia Goerges (18), Germany, 6-3, 6-4.
Carla Suarez-Navarro (30), Spain, def. Lauren Davis, United States, 6-3, 6-3.
Barbora Strycova, Czech Republic, def. Kiki Bertens (4), Netherlands, 7-5, 6-1.
Elise Mertens (21), Belgium, def. Qiang Wang (15), China, 6-2, 6-7 (9), 6-4.
Petra Kvitova (6), Czech Republic, def. Magda Linette, Poland, 6-3, 6-2.