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Venus out, Ivanovic advances at French Open

Third seed Venus Williams crashed out of the French Open on Friday losing a third round tie 6-0, 6-4 to Hungary's Agnes Szavay.

india Updated: May 29, 2009 19:11 IST

Venus Williams was eliminated from the French Open on Friday, losing in the third round of the clay-court major for the third straight year.

The third-seeded Williams, who reached the 2002 final at Roland Garros, lost to No. 29 Agnes Szavay of Hungary 6-0, 6-4. The seven-time Grand Slam champion was playing for the third straight day. She lost the first set of her second-round match on Wednesday, but saved a match point before beating Lucie Safarova in three on Thursday. She was also stretched to three sets in the first round.

Ana Ivanovic had little trouble in her match, advancing to the fourth round by dominating another opponent in a 6-0, 6-2 win over Iveta Benesova of the Czech Republic.

The defending champion from Serbia has lost only eight games since being taken to a tiebreaker in her opening match. "(The) score doesn't indicate how hard I had to work for some points," Ivanovic said. "She started playing much, much better in the second set, and started hitting the ball much heavier. I just played really good and stayed in the moment and did what I had to do out there."

Ivanovic, a former No. 1-ranked player, won her only Grand Slam title at last year's French Open. She lost in the final at Roland Garros in 2007.

Novak Djokovic reached the third round in the men's tournament, quickly completing his suspended match by easily winning the final set and beating Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine 6-3, 6-4, 6-1.

The fourth-seeded Djokovic won the first two sets Thursday, but the match was stopped because of darkness. He broke Stakhovsky to open the third set and had little trouble the rest of the way. "It's not pleasant when you don't finish a match in one day," Djokovic said.

"But I was lucky to come back and be two sets up." Djokovic won his only Grand Slam title at the 2008 Australian Open, but the Serb has reached at least the semifinals at all four major tournaments.

No. 29 Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany also advanced to the third round, beating 2003 French Open champion Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-4, 2-6, 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-3 in another match suspended by darkness Thursday night.

Later Friday, top-seeded Dinara Safina was scheduled to get back on court, as were four-time defending champion Rafael Nadal and third-seeded Andy Murray.

On Thursday, Jelena Dokic's professional comeback took a painful turn.

The Australian was leading fourth-seeded Elena Dementieva in the second round of the tournament when she twisted her body into position for a backhand. Not too long after that, she retired from the match in tears.

"Don't know what it is yet," said Dokic, who reached the quarterfinals at the Australian Open after a three-year absence from Grand Slam tennis. "It was very painful, and I just hope it's not too serious."

The withdrawal, with the unseeded Dokic leading 6-2, 3-4, sent Dementieva into the third round at Roland Garros along with Serena Williams, and Jelena Jankovic.

Roger Federer also made it through, rallying from a 5-1 deficit in the third set on his least favorite surface to beat Jose Acasuso of Argentina 7-6 (8), 5-7, 7-6 (2), 6-2. Fifth-seeded Juan Martin del Potro and No. 6 Andy Roddick also advanced.

First Published: May 29, 2009 18:29 IST