Venus Thumps Wozniacki to Reach Memphis Quarters

Posted on February 21, 2007

MEMPHIS, TN, USA - Venus Williams was in fine form in her second match back Tuesday, dispatching Caroline Wozniacki, 64 64, to advance to the last eight of the $175,000 Regions Morgan Keegan Championships & The Cellular South Cup. Shahar Peer was among the first round winners.

Williams made her return from a four-month left wrist injury lay-off on Monday night with a three set win over Japan's Akiko Morigami; on Tuesday she was more impressive but not without some early struggles, rallying back from a 4-2 first set deficit en route to the two set win over the Dutch teenager.

"I am starting to play the tighter points better now, and as I play more matches I can feel myself getting into better shape," said Williams, who converted on six of nine break point chances and served up seven aces to only two double faults. "The wrist is fine. I feel excited about my opportunity in the quarterfinals."

With her two wins so far this week, Williams is now 20-0 at the Tier III level. She has won all four of her prior Tier III starts, at 1998 Oklahoma City (5-0), 1999 Oklahoma City (5-0), 2002 Gold Coast (4-0) and lastly 2005 Istanbul (4-0). She hasn't been knocking down tin cans, either; she has had some solid wins en route to these titles, including beating a No.2-ranked Davenport in the 1998 Oklahoma City semifinals and a No.7-ranked Henin in the 2002 Gold Coast final match.

In the only other second round match contested Tuesday, Meilen Tu cruised past No.8 seed Jill Craybas, 63 61, in a battle between a pair of American veterans.

Peer, Stosur complete second round line-up

Peer was a 64 63 winner against Finland's Emma Laine in the first match of the day. The No.17-ranked Israeli teenager was a star during the Australian season, winning nine of 12 matches and reaching her first Grand Slam quarterfinal. She had a hiccup in her last event, losing first round at Tokyo [Pan Pacific], but is looking to make another solid run in her Memphis debut.

"It is always hard to play a lefty but I played well enough in my first match here," Peer said afterwards. "I was happy to have a win today."

Samantha Stosur, the second-highest-ranked player left after the withdrawal of No.2 seed Tatiana Golovin and the Monday loss of No.3 seed Marion Bartoli, was a 62 75 winner in her opener with Canada's Aleksandra Wozniak. The No.4-seeded Australian, an 18-time Sony Ericsson WTA Tour doubles titlist, is still in the hunt for her first Sony Ericsson WTA Tour singles title.

Other first round winners on Tuesday were Jarmila Gajdosova, Milagros Sequera, Camille Pin and Sofia Arvidsson. Arvidsson, the defending champion, survived a 63 06 64 battle against Russia's Ekaterina Bychkova.

"She is a very good player and played well; I am happy to win," said Arvidsson, who won her 10th ITF Circuit title in Minnesota over the weekend. "I came here yesterday and was very happy to be back. I feel good and am playing better now. I'm just going to take it one match at a time."

The remaining six second round matches will be played on Wednesday. (WTA)