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Serena advances to quarters

sports Updated: Jun 01, 2009 19:50 IST
AP
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Serena Williams dispensed with any drama and won easily on Monday to reach the quarterfinals of the French Open. The No 2-seeded Williams extended her Grand Slam winning streak to 18 matches by beating Aleksandra Wozniak 6-1, 6-2 in the fourth round.

It was a straightforward, 53-minute victory, in contrast to Williams' previous match, when she accused her opponent of cheating and had a coughing fit during a changeover.

"I feel like it was my most focused match so far," said Williams, who has been battling a cold but said she's feeling better.

She's seeking her 11th major title and third in a row. She won last year's US Open and the Australian Open in January. Her next opponent will be No 7-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova. "I feel like I have nothing to lose," Williams said. "This is when everything counts, you know. I have to pick up my level and play again a really good, strong match, especially playing somebody like Svetlana, who is a great clay-court player and who moves extremely well and doesn't do anything bad."

Kuznetsova, winner of the 2004 US Open, advanced by beating No 12 Agnieszka Radwanska 6-4, 1-6, 6-1. The Russian hit 32 winners to 13 for Radwanska.

The tournament's final week began in perfect weather _ mild and sunny _ and Williams was close to flawless, too. She committed only eight unforced errors and totaled 25 winners to nine for Wozniak. The rout was nothing like her three-set match in the third round, when Williams accused opponent Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez of cheating, saying the Spaniard failed to admit that a shot had bounced off her arm on a critical point.

Williams at 27 the oldest woman to reach this year's round of 16 reached the quarterfinals at Roland Garros for the sixth time. She won her only French Open title in 2002.

The aftershock of Rafael Nadal's upset loss on Sunday will be felt throughout the final week of the tournament. With the four-time defending champion eliminated by Robin Soderling, those hoping to take advantage of Nadal's departure included Roger Federer, seeking the only Grand Slam title he has yet to win.

Federer was scheduled to play Tommy Haas in a fourth-round match on Monday. Also seeking his first berth in the quarterfinals at Roland Garros was Andy Roddick of United States, who was to play Gael Monfils of France.

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