Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 July 2014

Serena and Venus show their class

Serena Williams admits she is taking great pleasure from silencing those who claimed she and sister Venus would never again hold the top two spots in the world rankings.

The pair arrived at this year's French Open as officially the best two players in the world for the first time in seven years.

And so far at Roland Garros, both have done just about enough to justify their status, each winning their latest matches yesterday.

Serena gave herself plenty of recovery time for her next match, against 29th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, by racing through her postponed second-round clash with Julia Goerges 6-1 6-1 in just 55 minutes on Suzanne Lenglen Court.

Asked afterwards about the rankings, the world number one said: “When I first found out we'd be number one and two again it was cool, because some people said we would never be number one and two again, and I was like: ‘In your face'.”

Her fourth-round opponent Pavlyuchenkova beat Jill Craybas 6-4 6-1.

Venus became the first woman through to round four after easing past 26th seed Dominika Cibulkova 6-3 6-4 on Philippe Chatrier Court.

Svetlana Kuznetsova's defence of her French Open title ended after she was dumped out in round three by Maria Kirilenko, 6-3, 2-6, 6-4.

Four-time champion Justine Henin extended her winning streak at Roland Garros to 23 matches and 39 sets by polishing off Klara Zakopalova 6-3 6-3.

The 22nd seed will now face Maria Sharapova in arguably the clash of the tournament so far, after the Russian 12th seed also converted a one-set overnight lead into 6-3 6-3 success over Kirsten Flipkens. Marion Bartoli finished off her match against Olivia Sanchez with a 7-5 6-2 win.

In second-round clashes which started yesterday, seventh seed Samantha Stosur beat Rossana De Los Rios 4-6 6-1 6-0, Daniela Hantuchova (23) got past Olga Govortsova 7-5 6-3 and Yanina Wickmayer (16) ousted Sybille Bammer 7-6 (7/4) 1-6 7-5.

Jie Zheng was beaten 6-4 6-3 by Anastasia Pivovarova.

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