Serena Williams, Ana Ivanovic win to make the third round

AP , PARIS

Fri, May 30, 2008 - Page 24

With the light fading on center court on Wednesday evening and Serena Williams facing the possibility of heading into a third set at the French Open, the eight-time Grand Slam champion started to get a little peeved.

She quickly took care of that problem.

“I didn’t want to go three sets today,” said Williams, who won the last four games to beat Mathilde Johansson of France 6-2, 7-5 in the second round at Roland Garros. “I’m tired of playing so late and in the dark and I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to close it out before then.’”

Joining Williams in the third round was second-seeded Ana Ivanovic, who beat Lucie Safarova 6-1, 6-2.

Williams, the only past women’s champion competing at Roland Garros, has made it to the third round at 33 of the 34 major championships she has entered during her career. The only time she did not was a second-round loss at the 1998 Australian Open in her Grand Slam debut.

Since then, she has won eight major titles and gotten 10 years older. For a while now, she has found herself facing players who want to make a name for themselves by beating her.

“Especially if they’re younger, then they want to win,” Williams said. “Everyone seems to want to beat me.”

Taiwan’s Chan Yung-jan was knocked of the women’s singles after losing to Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria 7-5, 2-6, 0-6.

Nadal improved to 22-0 for his career at Roland Garros by defeating Thomaz Bellucci 7-5, 6-3, 6-1 in a rain-interrupted match.

After rain suspended play on Tuesday with the score at 1-1, Nadal was broken twice in the first set on Wednesday, including while serving for the set at 5-3 before eventually winning.

“In two days I only practiced 20 minutes,” said Nadal, adding the windy conditions were tough. “Difficult to go to the court and have a good rhythm.”

Nadal is trying to become the first man since Bjorn Borg between 1978 and 1981 to win the clay court Grand Slam tournament four years in a row. His next opponent is another qualifier, Nicolas Devilder of France.

Third seed Novak Djokovic moved into the third round by beating Miguel Angel Lopez Jaen of Spain 6-1, 6-1, 6-3.

“It’s always good to have an easy match,” the Australian Open champion said.