Serena Williams, the second seed at the Western and Southern Open being played in the steamy heat of Cincinnati this week, had another lucky escape in her third round match against Ursula Radwanska, winning in straight sets 6-4 6-3. As was the case in her second round match yesterday against Eleni Daniilidou of Greece who is ranked 121, Serena was expected to romp through her match today against Radwanska, who is listed at 46 on the WTA rankings. Truth be told, neither match was simple, even though she won in straight sets in both. It is indeed strange to see Serena spray balls wide and hit them into the bottom of the net; and not to hear her shrieks and see her fist pumps. Radwanska broke to lead 4-3 in the first set before Williams won a few critical points to get a break back and keeping her composure, she closed it out 6-4. Radwanska came out fighting in the second set, racing to a 3-0 lead, before Williams changed gear once more to level the score and, after an hour on court, she became her animated self, hitting some amazing winners to take the next three games and the match.
The Aussie Sam Stosur, who loves the American hard courts and seems to play her best tennis in the United States, had an easy 6-1 6-3 win over the Russian leftie, Ekaterina Makarova, in an hour and ten minutes on court. Stosur made the most of her service games and break point chances to move into the quarters, where she will meet Venus Williams.