Friday, September 02, 2005

Venus Sets Up All Sister Showdown

In the first match of the night session Friday night, Venus Williams (10) had too much game for Daniela Hantuchova (20) winning in straight sets 6-3, 6-3 to advance to an all sister showdown against Serena in the Round of 16. She's lost the last five times they met in slams but this time could be different if her recent Wimbledon win and the early rounds here are any indication.

Breaking her opponent right away, Venus seemingly was in control early but let Hantuchova back in the set in the sixth game. When Hantuchova forced an error, the match was level at three. However, in the very next game, the talented 22-year-old from Slovakia donated the break back with some loose groundstrokes. From that point, Venus took the next two games breaking Hantuchova again at 5-3 when she punctuated the set with a forehand winner.

The difference in the match was Venus converted four of five break chances to Hantuchova's one for 10. When she had problems in the competitive 46 minute first set, Venus called on her big serve to get out of trouble. She won 74 percent of points on her first serve.

The second set, Venus held and broke Hantuchova right away with another crisp winner and never was seriously challenged on her serve. For the rest of the match, she lost just seven points on it, cruising to victory.

In other late afternoon action, fourth seed Kim Clijsters had little trouble against Ai Sugiyama (30) prevailing 6-1, 6-4. She'll next face Venezuelan Maria Vento-Kabchi, who defeated Israel's Shahar Peer 7-5, 4-6, 6-3. The winner of that will take on either Serena or Venus in the quarterfinals.

Women's third round action continues on Day Six featuring Justine Henin-Hardenne and Amelie Mauresmo. The night session will showcase American Lindsay Davenport while men's third round action concludes when American Robby Ginepri battles German Tommy Haas (29).


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