HomeSportSerena cruises, Venus in 12-year Paris low

Serena cruises, Venus in 12-year Paris low


PARIS — Serena Williams buried the misery of her 2012 Roland Garros horror show to storm into the French Open tennis second round on Sunday.


The 31-year-old Williams, bidding for a 16th Grand Slam singles title, suffered her worst defeat at a major in Paris 12 months ago when she was dumped out of the first round by Frenchwoman Virginie Razzano.

But on Sunday, Williams extended her current winning streak to 25, the best of her career, with a 6-0, 6-1 demolition of Georgia’s Anna Tatishvili, the world number 80. It took Williams just 51 minutes to complete victory on a chilly Court Philippe Chatrier, firing 27 aces to her opponent’s four.

Williams, who won over the usual hard-faced Paris crowd by delivering an on-court interview in French, admitted that Roland Garros is the tournament which has caused her the most problems.

“It hasn’t been working out for me. I just think I may have gotten nervous in the past or may have basically choked a few matches away,” she said. “Some matches I just lost because maybe I wasn’t intense enough or maybe I didn’t do enough work.”

Williams next faces France’s Caroline Garcia who, as a raw 17-year-old, was a set and 4-1 to the good against Maria Sharapova in 2011 before slipping to defeat. While Williams was untroubled, big sister Venus suffered her first opening round defeat in Paris since 2001 when she slumped to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-7 (4/7), 6-4 loss to Poland’s Urszula Radwanska, 10 years her junior.

The seven-time major champion went down fighting, however, coming back from 0/4 down in the second set tiebreak to force a decider where she eventually went down on a second match point after three hours 19 minutes on court.

“I am still shaking,” said Radwanska. “It was a real long match and Venus was playing really well.”

Ana Ivanovic, the 2008 champion and 14th seed, clinched a 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 win over Croatia’s Petra Martic and next faces either France’s Mathilde Johansson or Chanelle Scheepers for a place in the last 32.

Italian fifth seed Sara Errani had the honour of being the first player to reach the second round, breezing past Dutchwoman Arantxa Rus 6-1, 6-2.

Russian 11th seed Nadia Petrova was the day’s biggest seeded casualty, losing 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 to Puerto Rica’s Monica Puig, one of 15 teenagers in the draw and who is making her Grand Slam debut.


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