May 6, 2008

Serena defeats Schiavone; Advances to 3rd Rnd

Serena has defeated Francesca Schiavone 6-2, 6-3 in the 2nd round of the German Open. Seeking her first title at this Tier I tournament, Williams has won 16 straight matches, including consecutive crowns in Bangalore, Miami and Charleston. (In 2002, Williams produced her best showing at the German Open, losing a 3-set Final to Justine Henin).

Schiavone fought off repeated break chances throughout the second set before her forehand sailed long and allowed Williams to take a 4-2 lead. "I'm healthy. I'm focused. Tennis is my priority," said Williams, ranked No. 6. "Everything is just coming together. Obviously, I would like to keep up the streak. I really want to keep it up on clay. I can slide on clay and be a little bit more lazy -- I like that."

The 20th-ranked Schiavone appeared to be a tough first match for Williams. Schiavone has 12 wins this year against Top 10 players, including No. 1 Justine Henin. She defeated Williams in their only clay match two years ago in Rome. But Williams never had trouble with Schiavone, leading 10-3 in winners during the opening games despite trouble keeping the ball in the court. After settling down, Williams kept the pressure on Schiavone's serve. "This was a good first match, she's a great player to play against," Williams said. "I served well and that keeps me happy."

To view "highlights" of this match click on the video below:

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