Sat, Jul 24, 2004 - Page 19 News List

Serena reaches quarterfinals of Chase

PROFESSIONAL TENNIS Top-seeded Serena Williams rolled through the first set before struggling for the first three games in the second, only to regroup and rally


Serena Williams eyes the ball during the third round of the JPMorgan Chase Open in Carson, California, Thursday. Williams defeated Arantxa Parra Santonja of Spain 6-0, 6-3. Detroit Pistons forward Tayshaun Prince came to watch Serna play.


Serena Williams defeated Aranxta Parra Santonja 6-0, 6-3 in 53 minutes Thursday to lead a parade of seeded players into the JPMorgan Chase Open quarterfinals.

The top-seeded Williams rolled through the first set and was up 3-0 in the second when the Spaniard won three straight games. Williams regrouped and reeled off the final three games in front of a sparse crowd in the 8,000-seat Home Depot Center stadium.

"She changed up her game and I had to adjust," said Williams, who played in a lime green dress with wide pleats and gold chandelier earrings. "At first, she was making a lot of errors, then she was hitting lobs. I got used to that pretty quick."

Among those watching Williams was Detroit Pistons forward Tayshaun Prince, who is from nearby Dominguez Hills. They met two weeks ago at the ESPY Awards in Los Angeles.

Third-seeded Lindsay Davenport needed one hour to beat 15th-seeded Amy Frazier 6-2, 6-4.

No. 2 seed Venus Williams defeated Elena Likhovtseva 6-1, 6-1 in 48 minutes and advanced to the quarterfinals for the first time in four Chase Open appearances. She improved to 9-0 in her career against the Russian, who hasn't taken a set off Williams.

"That's probably in her mind," Williams said.

Venus didn't face a break point on her serve until the fourth game of the second set, which went to deuce six times before she netted a forehand. But she broke Likhovtseva in the next game for a 4-1 lead. Venus served out the match with a love-game that ended on Likhovtseva's netted forehand volley.

RCA tournament

Defending champion Andy Roddick overcame blisters on his right hand, a pair of tough challenges and his second rain delay in as many nights, then moved into the quarterfinals.

First, the world's second-ranked player got past Swiss qualifier Michel Kratochvil in a rain-suspended match that began Wednesday. He then waited out a three-hour rain delay before defeating 15th-seeded Robby Ginepri, 7-6 (5), 6-4, in a night match.

In other third-round matches, No. 4 Paradorn Schrichaphan of Thailand continued his bid to reach the title match for the second straight year by defeating America's Alex Bogomolov Jr. 6-3, 6-0; No.10 Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia eliminated Jan Hernych of the Czech Republic 6-3, 6-4, and German No. 12 Nicolas Kiefer ousted South African qualifier Rik DeVoest 6-1, 6-4.

Roddick's victory gave top-seed a 46-9 mark in match competition this year as he seeks his fifth championship of 2004.

"I knew what I had to do today," said Roddick, who ended his first match at 3:23pm local time and began playing Ginepri at 9:50pm.

Throughout the day he had to get treatment for a blister at the base of the index finger on his right hand.

Roddick, playing in his first tournament since losing to Roger Federer of Switzerland in the championship match at Wimbledon, won the opening set 6-4 with Kratochvil and was trailing 2-5 when a heavy downpour halted play Wednesday night. Kratochvil quickly won the second set 6-2 Thursday, and Roddick's big serve produced a 6-4 victory in the third.

Palermo International

Top-seeded Klara Koukalova of the Czech Republic breezed past Henrieta Nagyova of Slovakia 6-3, 6-0 Thursday, advancing to the quarterfinals.

Koukalova, coming off a second-round loss at Wimbledon, had little trouble with Nagyova, the winner of the tournament in 2000.

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