Williams cruises to quarters at Family Circle Cup

Updated: April 12, 2007, 9:42 PM ET
Associated Press

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Venus Williams cruised into the quarterfinals of the Family Circle Cup on Thursday with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Chan Yung-Jan of China.

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The American, unseeded and in her fourth tournament since recovering from a wrist injury earlier in the year, reached 125 mph with her serve and needed just over an hour to win the match on a bright, breezy day on the green clay at Daniel Island.

In Friday's quarterfinals, Williams, ranked No. 29, meets Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain, who eliminated eighth-seeded Li Na of China, 6-4, 7-5.

Venus Williams
AP Photo/Mary Ann ChastainVenus continues to make incremental progress on her journey back to the top.

Williams won in Memphis in her return, advanced to the third round in Miami and made the quarterfinals last week at Amelia Island. She said she feels stronger with each match.

"I've been off so long and I'm eager to play and I'm eager to get my ranking up and I want to play matches," she said. "I'm excited about the snowball effect."

Second-seeded Jelena Jankovic of Serbia, ranked No. 9 and the highest-remaining seed at the $1.3 million Family Circle Cup, had an even easier time than Williams.

She defeated Mara Santangelo of Italy 6-3, 6-0 in 47 minutes, losing only six points in the second set. It's Jankovic's fourth appearance in Charleston, but until this week she never survived the second round. Last year, Jankovic lost to a qualifier.

"I'm now in the top 10 and I'm just a different player," she said. "I really don't have to prove anything to anybody, but all I want is just to enjoy my game, play my game."

Jankovic meets Katrina Srebotnik of Slovenia, who beat Zheng Jie of China 7-5, 7-6 (5) in the quarterfinals.

Fourth-seeded Dinara Safina of Russia also won in straight sets, defeating Lourdes Dominguez Lino of Spain, 6-2, 6-2. She will face Tatiana Golovin of France, a 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 winner over Peng Shaui of China.

Golovin captured the first tour victory of her career last week at Amelia Island and said success builds confidence.

"It's one of the most important things," she said. "A lot of top players sometimes win matches they shouldn't win because they have confidence even if they aren't playing that well. And I think that's what I'm building up to."

Michaella Krajicek of the Netherlands, who earlier this week defeated the tournament's top-seed, Nicole Vaidisova, also advanced with a 6-7 (4), 6-2, 6-1 win over Sybille Bammer of Austria.

She will meet ninth-seeded Vera Zvonareva of Russia, who defeated seventh-seeded Ana Ivanovic of Serbia, 6-3, 6-3 in the Thursday night match.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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