Venus Williams advances to quarterfinals of Australian Open

By The Sports Xchange  |  Jan. 22, 2017 at 1:51 AM
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Venus Williams is making short work of her opponents at the Australian Open.

The 13th-seeded American advanced to the quarterfinals for the ninth time in this tournament with a 6-3, 7-5 victory over German Mona Barthel on Sunday in Melbourne, Australia.

Williams, who has yet to drop a set in the tournament, needed only 96 minutes to dispatch Barthel. She broke her foe's serve in the 11th game of the second set and served out.

Williams, who needed 58 minutes to wipe out Ying-Ying Duan 6-1, 6-0 on Friday, meets Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the next round. The 24th-seeded Russian upended countrywoman Svetlana Kuznetsova, 6-3, 6-3 earlier in the day.

"I was really challenged to play my best tennis and now I advance to the quarterfinals to play an opponent who is really on fire," the 36-year-old Williams said in an on-court interview.

Williams has won three of the five career meetings with Paylyuchenkova, including a 6-1, 3-6, 6-2 triumph in a 2014 first-round match in Montreal.

Kuznetsova needed 3 hours, 36 minutes to upend Jelena Jankovic and advance to Sunday's tilt and was no match for Pavlyuchenkova, losing to her for the second time in as mant weeks.

"I'm kind of shocked, a little! But at the same time I'm so happy," said Pavlyuchenkova, who bounced the eight-seeded Kuznetsova in straight sets last week at the Apia International Sydney.

Kuznetsova dismissed that her previous match rendered her powerless versus her countrywoman, but the two-time Grand Slam champion noted she wasn't at her best.

"I cannot say I was very tired, but I was really tight. I mean, definitely I was not the freshest, but still, I was OK," Kuznetsova said. "I know I still have to improve on a lot of different things in the game to get decent level, and I was a little bit too tight today in my opinion."

Pavlyuchenkova breezed through the first three games and kept Kuznetsova on the defensive with her groundstrokes. The former broke the latter twice in the opening set victory.

Kuznetsova didn't help her cause with 19 unforced errors, paving the way for Pavlyuchenkova to advance her first Australian Open quarterfinal berth.

Top-seeded Angelique Kerber of Germany and American Coco Vandeweghe were slated to square off Sunday night. Seventh-seeded Garbine Muguruza of Spain and Romania's Sorana Cirstea also were on the schedule.

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