Serena, Henin through at sun-kissed French Open
Top seed Serena Williams and four-time champion Justine Henin cruised into the French Open third round on Friday, as a packed women's schedule swollen by rain delays on the previous two days began.sports Updated: May 28, 2010 17:50 IST
Top seed Serena Williams and four-time champion Justine Henin cruised into the French Open third round on Friday, as a packed women's schedule swollen by rain delays on the previous two days began.
Williams, the world number one, demolished German world number 77 Julia Goerges 6-1, 6-1 in just 55 minutes in a second-round match that had originally been scheduled to take place on Thursday.
She will face Russian 29th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova for a place in the last 16, while Henin could be set for a meeting with Maria Sharapova after finishing off a 6-3, 6-3 defeat of Czech Klara Zakopalova.
Asked what she could possibly learn from such a comfortable win, Williams replied: "I can learn a lot, like 'What am I doing today? Why aren't all my matches like this and what can I do to make them like that?'
"Those are the questions I ask myself and that I have to try to answer."
On a day when the sun returned to Roland Garros after two days of gloom, Williams demonstrated that she is well placed to end her eight-year wait for a second Roland Garros singles title.
She was playing Goerges, 21, for the first time and the American quickly established her authority by breaking to love for a 3-1 lead, before securing a double break and then serving out for the set.
Goerges managed to produce a selection of well-placed winners in the second set but she was unable to prevent herself falling to a heavy defeat as Williams made up for lost time in style.
Henin, who returned to the sport earlier this year after retiring in 2008, resumed her match with Zakopalova at 6-3, 3-2 up following the match's curtailment on Thursday.
The Belgian broke her opponent in the first game before closing out a straightforward win that puts her on course for a clash with either former world number one Sharapova or Belgian Kirsten Flipkens, whose second-round match resumes later with 12th seed Sharapova leading 6-3, 2-2.
"Playing again in front of the Paris crowd and all the Belgian supporters warms my heart," said Henin, whose last visit to Roland Garros in 2007 saw her claim her fourth title.
"I've missed it and the sensations are coming back bit by bit."
In other delayed second-round matches, Chinese 25th seed Zheng Jie was upset 6-4, 6-3 by Russian qualifier Anastasia Pivovarova and 13th seed Marion Bartoli saw off fellow Frenchwoman Olivia Sanchez 7-5, 6-2.
Second seed Venus Williams was due to face Slovakian 26th seed Dominika Cibulkova in the third round later, while third seed Caroline Wozniacki takes on Romanian 31st seed Alexandra Dulgheru, who triumphed in Warsaw last week.
Defending champion Svetlana Kuznetsova and fellow Russian Elena Dementieva are also in third-round action, with Kuzentsova meeting number 30 seed Maria Kirilenko and fifth seed Dementieva tackling Canada's Aleksandra Wozniak.
First Published: May 28, 2010 17:48 IST