Sun, Sep 04, 2005 - Page 24 News List

Williams sisters scheduled to face off

ROUND 2 Sibling rivalry of the highest order will take place today after American sisters Venus and Serena Williams both advanced

AP , NEW YORK

American Serena Williams, left, reaches to make a return against Francesca Schiavone of Italy during Round 2 the US Open in Flushing Meadows, New York, Friday.

PHOTO: AP

Eighth-seeded Serena Williams did her part to set up a fourth-round showdown against sister Venus, defeating No. 25 Francesca Schiavone 6-3, 6-4 on a sunny, clear Friday afternoon at the US Open.

Tenth-seeded Venus Williams played No. 20 Daniela Hantuchova at night on center court, with Venus coming out on top, 6-3, 6-3.

The sisters will now battle each other today.

In the men's bracket, Nikolay Davydenko joined the list of eliminated seeds, beaten by Thailand's Paradorn Srichaphan 6-4, 7-5, 6-3.

It took Paradorn a little more than 1 1/2 hours to beat Davydenko, who reached the quarterfinals at the Australian Open and the semis at Roland Garros earlier this year.

No. 31 and former French Open champion Carlos Moya of Spain also was eliminated, as was No. 16 Radek Stepanek and No. 22 Mario Ancic.

Moya was defeated by Italy's Davide Sanguinetti 3-6, 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 while Germany's Nicolas Kiefer beat Stepanek 4-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 and Serbia's Novak Djokovic toppled Ancic 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (4), 6-3.

The eliminations increased the ousted men's seeds to 13, including five of the top 12.

Seeds that advanced included No. 3 Lleyton Hewitt of Australia, who beat Argentina's Jose Acasuso 7-6 (6), 7-6 (3), 6-2, and No. 25 Taylor Dent, the second highest-rated American remaining in the tournament, who took 2 1/2 hours to subdue US Open rookie Nicolas Almagro 6-3, 6-2, 4-6, 7-5. Hewitt and Dent will face each other in the third round.

No. 15 Domink Hrbaty also advanced with a 6-1, 6-1, 6-3 victory over Switzerland's Michael Lammer. Joining him in the third round were 17 David Ferrer, who beat Slovakia's Karol Kucera 6-3, 6-0, 6-2, and No. 27 Olivier Rochus of Belgium, a 6-4, 2-6, 6-1, 6-3 winner over Albert Montanes.

Elshwere on the women's side, top-seeded Maria Sharapova needed took only five minutes to take a 3-0 lead on Julia Schruff, and then finished off the German 6-2, 6-4 in 63 minutes. She advanced to a fourth-round meeting against India's Sania Mirza, who earlier beat Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli 7-6 (4), 6-4.

Other top women's seeds advancing were No. 4 Kim Clijsters, a 6-1, 6-4 winner over No. 30 Ai Sugiyama of Japan, and No. 9 Nadia Petrova of Russia, who beat American Laura Granville 6-2, 7-5.

Serena Williams is regaining her form after being slowed by an ankle injury following the Australian Open, and is seeded eighth. Venus is seeded 10th, having played only eight matches since winning Wimbledon.

"I'm feeling actually the best I've felt in a really long time," Serena Williams said after beating Schiavone. "I wish I could have gotten those drop shots. I just couldn't get them. Next time."

Still, the victory was some sweet revenge. Williams lost to Schiavone in May in a loss she called the worst of her career. Recovering from an ankle injury and playing her first match in a month, Williams looked lethargic and powerless in a 7-6 (2), 6-1 loss to the Italian in a clay-court tournament in Rome. She withdrew from the French Open the following week. She looked much better Friday, playing her best match so far at the Open.

Because of damage inflicted by Hurricane Katrina on the Gulf Coast of the American state of Louisiana, the USTA has canceled the US$50,000 men's Challenger event scheduled in Covington, Louisiana, the week of Sept. 12. A new USTA men's Challenger event will be scheduled for the week of Oct. 24 at a site to be determined.

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