Williams advances to 4th round

Updated: 24 January 2009 09:26 IST

Serena Williams didn't have to deal with any unexpected distractions Saturday, advancing to the fourth round at the Australian Open.

Williams advances to 4th round

Melbourne:

Serena Williams didn't have to deal with any unexpected distractions Saturday, advancing to the fourth round at the Australian Open.

Williams, who won the title here in 2003, 2005 and 2007, started play on Rod Laver Arena on day six with a 6-1, 6-4 win over No. 41-ranked Peng Shuai of China.

The second-seeded Williams won the last six games of the first set without much trouble, but was broken twice early in the second.

She rallied to level at 3-3, then took a tumble when Peng wrong-footed her with a forehand crosscourt winner that set up break point.

The fall seemed to wake up Williams, though, and she shouted "Come on!" after whacking an ace two points later and holding serve.

"It was definitely a lot better than my second round. But I'm still trying to work on some things and hoping they'll come together," she said. "I'm feeling a little rusty, for whatever reason."

The nine-time major winner's victory was routine compared with the previous day at the first major of the season.

A half-naked streaker ran onto the court during Williams' doubles victory with sister Venus.

Williams said she could see the lighter side of the situation, among other things.

"Well, first I saw him jump over and then I noticed he didn't have underwear on. I thought, 'OK, I must be seeing things.'

"He ran out on the court ... he was pretty close to me and V (Venus). I was like, 'I hope he doesn't come, he's too close.

"Then I thought, 'This is crazy. Doesn't really happen too much. Then I just thought, my eyes, my innocent eyes!"

What happened later was no laughing matter.

Then ethnic violence flared after Novak Djokovic of Serbia beat Bosnian-born American Amer Delic, leaving a woman injured, three men charged with riotous behavior, 30 people ejected by police and broken chairs scattered over the lawn area at Melbourne Park.

Police charged two people Friday and a third on Saturday, saying they were reviewing video of the chair-throwing clash to determine if any more charges were warranted.

There was no further trouble Saturday afternoon, on a mild, cloudless day.

Serena Williams next faces No. 13 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, who ousted 2006 Australian Open and Wimbledon champion Amelie Mauresmo 6-4, 6-2.

The 19-year-old Azarenka, won her first career title at Brisbane earlier this month and said she was growing in confidence with her winning streak.

Carla Suarez Navarro, who had an upset win over reigning Wimbledon champion Venus Williams in the second round, beat fellow Spaniard Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez 6-1, 6-4.

The 19-year-old Suarez Navarro, ranked 46th, will next play No. 21 Anabel Medina Garrigues _ who ousted 12th-seeded Flavia Pennetta of Italy 6-4, 6-1 _ in an all-Spanish fourth-round match.

The Bondarenko sisters of Ukraine were ousted within hours of each other, missing out on a fourth-round meeting.

Kateryna lost 6-2, 6-2 to No. 22 Zheng Jie of China and older sister Alona went down 7-6 (7), 6-4 to No. 8 Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia, who won despite making 68 unforced errors.

Kuznetsova, the 2004 U.S. Open champion, was broken when serving for the match and needed two more match points in the next game to seal it.

Three Frenchman advanced Saturday. Among them was fifth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the runner-up here last year, who beat Irsraeli Dudi Sela 6-4, 6-2, 1-6, 6-1. It was his best run at a major since his last trip to Melbourne Park, although he did miss Roland Garros and Wimbledon with injuries.

Gael Monfils, a French Open semifinalist last year, had a 6-4, 6-3, 7-5 win over No. 17 Nicolas Almagro of Spain and will meet No. 6 Gilles Simon in the next round. Simon beat No. 19 Mario Ancic of Croatia, 7-6 (2), 6-4, 6-2.

No. 24 Richard Gasquet was against 2007 runner-up Fernando Gonzalez of Chile later Saturday in one of the three men's night matches. Top-ranked Rafael Nadal and No. 4 Andy Murray were also in action.



Topics : Tennis Andy Roddick Lukas Dlouhy Rohan Bopanna Leander Paes Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi Maria Sharapova
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