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Serena speeds into French Open quarterfinals

Serena Williams sounds an ominous warning to her rivals by racing into the last eight with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Russia's Dinara Safina.

sports Updated: Jun 03, 2007 23:14 IST

Serena Williams sounded an ominous warning to her French Open rivals on Sunday by racing into the last eight with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Russia's Dinara Safina.

The eighth seeded American needed just 77 minutes to wrap up the fourth round tie against a shell-shocked Safina who was powerless in the face of the Williams' onslaught.

The win sets up a potential quarter-final showdown against title-holder and top seed Justine Henin on Tuesday. The Belgian plays her fourth round tie against Austria's Sybille Bammer later Sunday.

Australian Open champion Williams blasted out of the blocks against Safina, the 10th seed and sister of Marat, the former men's world number one.

She broke her opponent's first two service games to go 4-0 up and wrapped up the set 6-2 in 36 minutes.

The second set was a different story with both players struggling to hold on to their serves and Safina, a quarter-finalist here last year, at times matching Williams for power off her groundstrokes.

The pair exchanged two service breaks each to get to 3-3 but in the following game Williams made the difference with a third service break before moving 5-3 ahead.

There was no way back for Safina who had her service broken for the sixth time in the match as Williams returned to the French Open quarter-finals for the first time since 2004, the last time she played at Roland Garros.

First Published: Jun 03, 2007 16:13 IST