Both Williams sisters advanced into the third round at the French Open on Thursday, but by decidedly different means.
No. 2-seeded Serena Williams pummeled Spaniard Virginia Ruano Pascual 6-2, 6-0, while No. 3-seeded Venus Williams barely escaped a rain-delayed three-set encounter, beating Czech Lucie Safarova 6-7(5), 6-2, 7-5.
“Yesterday I think I did too many things wrong. She was just firing for every shot and making them,” Venus Williams told reporters. “There was a lot to think about during the delay, and when I came back I just tried to be as aggressive as I could. The last two sets were really close and she was playing well. But these kinds of matches are really rewarding, and I felt like I deserved the win today.”
Other Top 10-seeded winners were No. 4 Elena Dementieva who advanced when Aussie Jelena Dokic retired in the second set with injury, No. 5 Jelena Jankovic who defeated Magdalena Rybarikova, No. 7 Svetlana Kuznetsova who bageled Galina Voskoboeva, and No. 10 Caroline Wozniacki who dropped five games in defeating American Jill Craybas.
“She has always been in great shape,” said Wozniacki of the 34-year-old Craybas. “She works extremely hard. She’s a great girl, and it’s amazing she can continue on such a high level for such a long time. I’m really impressed with her game.”
On the upset tip Thursday, Tathiana Garbin topped No. 13 Marion Bartoli, Virginie Razzano beat No. 18 Anabel Medina Garrigues, Sorana Cirstea ousted No. 21 Alize Cornet, and Melinda Czink outlasted No. 28 Sybille Bammer 10-8 in the third.
American hope Alexa Glatch, who upset the seeded Flavia Pennetta in the opening round, lost a tight straight-setter to Lourdes Dominguez Lino, again leaving the Williams sisters as the lone U.S. representatives.
Highlights on Friday at Roland Garros are France’s own Aravane Rezai va. 16-year-old Michelle Larcher De Brito, Maria Sharapova vs. Yaroslava Shvedova, (32) Iveta Benesova vs. (8) Ana Ivanovic, (3) Venus Williams vs. (29) Agnes Szavay, (1) Dinara Safina vs. (27) Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in an all-Russian, and (9) Victoria Azarenka vs. (22) Carla Suarez Navarro.
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