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Second Week Line-Up Takes Shape

Elena Dementieva and Serena Williams were among those reaching the fourth round on Friday.

Published June 26, 2009 04:31

LONDON, UK - Facing one of the few players in the upper echelon of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour who is a natural net player, Serena Williams definitely came through with flying colors on Friday, beating Roberta Vinci in two sets.

Williams, the No.2 seed, was playing the 53rd-ranked Vinci for the first time and had no trouble with her mix of spins and slices and forays into the net, hitting 34 winners to just 12 unforced errors during the one-hour, seven-minute victory. The Italian didn't go without drawing blood, breaking Williams' serve twice, although she lost hers four times. The final scoreline was 63 64.

Awaiting Williams in the round of 16 is Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia, who beat Japanese doubles partner Ai Sugiyama in her third round match, 64 63.

"I don't think I played great today at all, but I'm glad to have gotten through it and go on to the next match," said Williams, who is 6-1 lifetime against Hantuchova, including 2-0 on grass. "Daniela is such a smooth player. I have to make sure I don't rush myself because she's playing well and moving well."

"Obviously it's going to be a tough one for me," said Hantuchova, whose two grass court losses to Williams came here, in the quarterfinals in 2002 and the fourth round in 2007. "I've played her many times before. I know what to expect. She's one of the best players in history. But I've been playing well too."

Williams' projected semifinal opponent, No.4 seed Elena Dementieva, had an even easier time in her match, crushing qualifier Regina Kulikova, 61 62.

"Regina is a very good player. She was very impressive throughout the whole week. She beat some good players in the qualifying, too. I think today maybe I was too aggressive for her," Dementieva said. "She has a powerful serve and a good baseline game, and I think she has a really good future."

Seventh seed Vera Zvonareva was forced to withdraw from the tournament due to a right ankle injury, sending No.26 seed Virginie Razzano into the fourth round for the second straight Grand Slam, after doing it at Roland Garros. Eighth seed Victoria Azarenka survived a tight first set but ended up moving through in routine fashion against No.28 seed Sorana Cirstea, 76(2) 63.

In other matches not involving Top 8 seeds, No.10 seed Nadia Petrova beat Gisela Dulko, 36 63 64; Elena Vesnina upset No.14 seed Dominika Cibulkova, 75 46 64; and in the last match of the day, Francesca Schiavone upset No.12 seed and 2007 Wimbledon finalist Marion Bartoli in straight sets, 76(5) 60.

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