Serena eyes possible clash with Venus

Serena Williams eased past Japan's Shinobu Asagoe 6-3 6-1 on Sunday to reach the last eight at the French Open for the fourth consecutive year and then cast an eye toward a potential semi-final showdown with sister Venus.
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Published on May 31, 2004 03:27 AM IST
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PTI | ByReuters, Paris

Former world number one Serena Williams eased past Japan's Shinobu Asagoe 6-3 6-1 on Sunday to reach the last eight at the French Open for the fourth consecutive year and then cast an eye toward a potential semi-final showdown with sister Venus.

The second seed faces a tough match against fellow American and seventh seed Jennifer Capriati in the last eight, but admitted she was already looking forward to what would be the 13th meeting between the two sisters.

Serena leads their head-to-head meetings 7-5, having won their last six clashes, including five grand slam finals, but knows victory will be far from easy.

"She (Venus) has been dominating me in practice," Williams said. "She is really hitting the ball well and I am going to have to up my game in the next matches.

"I don't do that well in practice normally, though, I do much better on court. But she is playing well and is going to do well here I think."

After dropping her serve in the opening game of the match against world number 52 Asagoe, Serena looked in confident mood, hitting 24 winners on her way to victory in 55 minutes.

Before she can consider a clash with Venus, however, Serena knows she will have her hands full with Capriati, who beat her in their last encounter, in the semi-finals in Rome earlier this month.

"We always go three sets," Serena said, "or it seems like that anyway."

"Our matches are always intense and the scoreline always goes one way and then another. It will be a great match and I will have to play well."

Capriati, champion at Roland Garros in 2001, moved into the quarter-finals for the sixth time with a straightforward 7-5 6-1 victory over Italian Francesca Schiavone, the 17th seed.

After clinching a 49-minute first set thanks to a fortunate net cord on set point, Capriati raced through the second set in 21 minutes to take her place in the last eight.

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