Monday, June 1, 2009
Jankovic upset; Williams advances
PARIS -- Serena Williams says women's tennis is better than men's tennis, for one simple reason.
"I mean, it's way cattier," Williams said, "so it's way more exciting to watch."
Serena Williams extended her Grand Slam winning streak to 18 matches.
The match Williams played Monday at the French Open was hardly filled with intrigue because she was so superior to her opponent. After struggling in two earlier matches that lasted three sets each, the second-seeded Williams reached the quarterfinals with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over No. 24 Aleksandra Wozniak of Canada.
"My most focused match so far," said Williams, who stretched her Grand Slam winning streak to 18 matches.
During her news conference, Williams made the case for which gender makes for the more interesting tennis.
"We're so passionate about whatever we do," she said. "Maybe that makes it way more intense. We have so many great personalities right now on the women's tour."
She mentioned as one example Jelena Jankovic, the woman Williams beat in the 2008 U.S. Open final. The fifth-seeded Jankovic -- always quick with a smile during a match and a quip after one -- was upset by 41st-ranked Sorana Cirstea of Romania 3-6, 6-0, 9-7 later Monday. Jankovic complained about a painful left foot and was visited by a trainer in the second set but hung tough until Cirstea converted her third match point in a 2-hour, 44-minute marathon.
Cirstea now faces No. 30 Samantha Stosur of Australia, a 6-1, 6-2 winner against Virginie Razzano of France in the last women's fourth-round match.
First on court in the morning, Williams needed merely 53 minutes to win. She took a 3-0 lead in six minutes, thanks in part to a 7-0 edge in winners, and finished with 25 winners and only eight unforced errors.
"She played really clean," said Wozniak, who had never before reached the fourth round at a major tournament.
Wozniak acknowledged being affected by nerves when she stepped on the main stadium court at Roland Garros, flooded with memories of watching on TV as Monica Seles played.
Need the scores from any match played in the French Open today? Results
"I was really tight. I was really -- I was like a rock," Wozniak said. "I couldn't let go on my shots and play my game."
It didn't help the 21-year-old Wozniak that she was facing by far the most experienced player left in the women's field. The 27-year-old Williams won the 2002 French Open and is seeking her 11th Grand Slam singles title overall, third in a row.
Next up for Williams is a match against 2004 U.S. Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, who outlasted 12th-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland 6-4, 1-6, 6-1 Monday.
Williams is 5-1 against Kuznetsova, including a victory in the Australian Open quarterfinals in January.
"I really enjoy playing her. It's always fun," Kuznetsova said. "She has great personality. ... We have similar interests. We laugh a lot, you know."