Venus Sparkles Into Second Week
Published September 03, 2010 12:00
NEW YORK, NY, USA - She had never fallen in the first week of the Open, and that still holds. Venus Williams rolled into the round of 16 at her home major on Friday night, beating Grand Slam debutante Mandy Minella, 62 61.
Williams, the No.3 seed and a two-time US Open champion in 2000 and 2001, fired 29 winners during the one-hour, 14-minute win, Minella's first career match against a Top 10 player and the pair's first career meeting. Williams was dazzling not just from her game but also from her sparkling black outfit.
"So far this year, my outfits have been based off of cities I play in. This outfit was really about New York," Williams said. "It's firework bursts, actually on the dress. It's about a celebration of me playing my best at home, doing what I love and wearing something fun while I do it. I always try to have fun on the court."
There was a special guest supporting Williams from the stands, namely her sister and the No.1-ranked player in the world, Serena Williams. "I've had her there so many matches. It was good to see her tonight," Venus Williams said. "Usually we're at the tournament together. It's good to have her back."
The Williams sisters interviewed each other on ESPN after the match and Serena then did commentary on the first set of men's No.1 Rafael Nadal's night match. "I'm sure she's doing a great job," Venus told reporters.
Next up for Williams will be No.16 seed Shahar Peer, who won a tight two-setter against No.19 seed Flavia Pennetta, 64 64. Williams leads her head-to-head with Peer, 5-0, never having lost a set to the Israeli trailblazer.
"She'll be the first seed I'll have the opportunity to play. We've had a lot of good matches in the past," Williams said. "One of the best matches of her career was against Serena - that I watched. I know she has the talent to do something big. She already has in her career. I've always had the upper hand, so hopefully that'll give me a little bit of an advantage in the next match."
Also setting up a fourth rounder were No.6 seed Francesca Schiavone and No.20 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Schiavone rallied from 1-4 in the second set to beat No.29 seed Alona Bondarenko, 61 75; Pavlyuchenkova made her first Grand Slam second week with a 61 62 win over Gisela Dulko.
Schiavone lit up the Grandstand with a winning between-the-legs shot, chasing down a lob, hitting the tweener then charging into the court and ripping a passing shot. "When you calculate it's a good time to do it, you do it," the Italian French Open champion said. "It's just instinct. It comes from inside."
No.2 seed Kim Clijsters, No.5 seed Samantha Stosur, No.12 seed Elena Dementieva and Ana Ivanovic also scored third round wins earlier in the day. Read more about Clijsters and Ivanovic's upcoming clash here; read more about Stosur and Dementieva's upcoming clash here.