Venus breezes past Bardina to advance at Family Circle

Updated: April 11, 2007, 9:39 PM ET
Associated Press

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Venus Williams needed just 49 minutes to reach the third round of the Family Circle Cup, defeating Vasilisa Bardina 6-2, 6-1 Wednesday in a match briefly suspended because of rain.

Williams, ranked No. 29, has been slowed by a wrist injury and is playing in only her fourth tournament this year. Bardina, ranked No. 55, broke serve to open the match, but from then on had problems handling Williams' serve, clocked as high as 120 mph.

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Williams, who won the Family Circle three years ago, next meets Taiwan's Chan Yung-Jan, who advanced Tuesday when Williams' sister, Serena, retired with a pulled groin.

Five top players -- Martina Hingis, Maria Sharapova, Amelie Mauresmo, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Justine Henin -- withdrew before the tournament because of injuries.

"I definitely feel like my game is coming around," Williams said. "I felt like in some of the games I'd make two or three errors and I've really got to cut back on that, but I feel confident."

Williams said it was just bad luck her sister was injured.

"I just want her to get better soon because we play Fed Cup obviously next week, which is an important tie for us," she said.

Jelena Jankovic of Serbia, ranked No. 9 and the highest remaining seed at No. 2, also had an easy day, defeating Anastasia Rodionova of Russia 6-1, 6-1.

Sixth-seeded Patty Schnyder of Switzerland was upset by Shuai Peng of China, 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 in the Wednesday evening match.

Earlier, fourth-seeded Dinara Safina of Russia, ranked No. 13, defeated Eleni Daniilidou of Greece 6-3, 6-4. Fifth-seeded Shahar Peer of Israel lost to Zheng Jie of China 6-2, 6-3. Seventh-seeded Ana Ivanovic of Serbia defeated Gisela Dulko of Argentina 6-0, 6-7 (5), 6-4.

Tatiana Golovin of France, who won her first tour title last week at Amelia Island, Fla., advanced to the third round with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Jill Craybas of the United States. Golovin, ranked No. 19, is seeded 10th.

Other second-round winners included Mara Santangelo of Italy, Lourdes Dominguez Lino of Spain, Vera Zvonareva of Russia and Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain. Sybille Bammer of Austria advanced when Virginie Razzano of France retired with an upset stomach. Bammer was up 6-0, 3-0.

Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain defeated Francesca Schiavone of Italy 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 while Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia defeated Aravane Rezal of France, 7-6 (3), 3-6, 7-5.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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