March 5, 2008

Serena makes winning start in India

Serena Williams got back to winning on Wednesday. The third-seeded American advanced to the quarterfinals of the $600,000 Bangalore Open with a 7-5, 6-0 win over Tzipora Obziler of Israel. One of the top four seeds to receive a first-round bye, this was Williams first match since her puzzling quarterfinal loss to Jelena Jankovic at the Australian Open in January. The 26-year-old had looked dominant in her first four matches at Melbourne, but in the 6-3, 6-4 loss to Jankovic she appeared tired and uninspired.

Owner of 28 career titles, the former No. 1 returned to her dominant form against the 34-year-old Obziler. After the players combined for four straight service breaks to start the match, Williams shook off the rust and was never broken again. The world No. 11 went on to win the final eight games of the match, which lasted 75 minutes. She’ll next face unseeded Russian Anastasia Rodionova, who pulled off one of two upsets Wednesday with a 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 victory over No. 6
Sybille Bammer.

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