Serena Reaches QFs & Ties Venus
Published May 15, 2014 12:15
ROME, Italy - Serena Williams cruised past fellow American Varvara Lepchenko to not only round out the quarterfinal line-up at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia, but to tie Venus Williams for most career match wins among active players - the WTA legends are now tied at 652 career match wins apiece.
The No.1-seeded Williams was broken once early in the second set, but that was after she fought off four break points in that game already, and apart from that she cruised to victory, 6-1, 6-2.
Williams was +1 in the winners-to-unforced errors differential - 19 winners, 18 unforced errors.
Zhang, who took out No.5 seed Petra Kvitova earlier in the week, is now through to the first Premier-level quarterfinal of her career. And the only time she has ever played a reigning World No.1, she actually won - and it was quite a historical feat. Read more about Zhang's historic win here.
Williams did beat Zhang in their only previous meeting - Williams was No.11 at the time though.
The big news of the day came earlier in the day on Centrale, as No.11 seed Ana Ivanovic stunned No.8 seed Maria Sharapova, 6-1, 6-4, ending Sharapova's perfect run on clay. Ivanovic also ended a seven-match losing streak against the Russian, her last win against her coming all the way back in 2007.
"Anytime you lose you talk of revenge, but I really tried to learn from the match in Stuttgart a few weeks ago," Ivanovic said. "I was dominating the first part of the match. I made good tactics with my coach: I took time away from her and stepped forward when I needed to. And I am really pleased with this."
"I don't use Madrid as an excuse. I had a great two weeks and came here to play a tournament," Sharapova said. "My energy level maybe wasn't at its highest, but Ana played a really great match, coming up with a lot of winners from all over the court, and just really being the better player."
Awaiting Ivanovic in the quarterfinals is No.13 seed Carla Suárez Navarro, who didn't have to play her match as she got a walkover from No.4 seed Simona Halep the day before due to an abdominal injury.
The other four matches all went to form - well, technically: No.2 seed Li Na cruised past Sam Stosur, 6-3, 6-1, which was actually her first win in the pair's seven career meetings; No.3 seed Agnieszka Radwanska outdid Francesca Schiavone, 6-4, 6-1; No.6 seed Jelena Jankovic beat No.12 seed Flavia Pennetta, 6-2, 6-3; and No.10 seed Sara Errani beat Czech qualifier Petra Cetkovska, 6-4. 7-6(3).