After having to slog her way out of trouble in tough three setters in both the first and second rounds of the Southern and Western Open being played in Cincinnati this week, Venus Williams booked her place in the quarters with a demonstration of near perfect exhibition class tennis yesterday. Whereas in her two previous matches Venus looked far from her best (at times was grimacing in pain) and was obviously suffering symptoms of her debilitating illness, yesterday she came out on court looking fresh and ready to go; and proceeded to give Sara Errani, this year’s finalist at the French Open number 7 seed in this tournament, a master class in classic tennis, beating her 6-3 6-0 in one minute over the hour. The Italian fought hard and played some fine tennis, but on the day was just not up to her opponent. Venus will take on Sam Stosur in the next round.
Agnieszka Radwanska had another tough day at the office against the young American wildcard, Sloane Stevens, dropping the second set and really having to fight for every point in the third. Experience won out in the end, with Radwanska earning the W with a 6-1 4-6 6-4 final score. She will meet the winner of the match between Na Li and Johanna Larsson which was postponed to Friday because of rain.
Another seeded player who had to dig deep was Angelique Kerber, who battled for almost an hour and a half to overcome a stiff challenge from qualifier Andrea Hlavackova, coming back from 1-4 down in the second set, to finally win 6-4 7-6 (7-5). She will meet Serena in the quarters.
Fourth seeded Petra Kvitova had a much easier time on court, in seeing off Shuai Peng in straight sets, 6-2 6-2. She will next take on the winner of the rain postponed match between Caroline Wozniacki and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, with Pavlyuchenkova leading 6-4.