Former world No. 1 Serena Williams took an easy victory in 47 minutes over Russian Nadia Petrova to go through to the semi-finals of the US$585,000 inaugural China Open WTA Tour in Beijing on Friday.
Serena seemed not used to Petrova's big-serving at the first few games, but the top seed gradually found her way and began to make fantastic returns of service, which always scored directly.
The American also fired several aces and caught direct service points to dismay her rival, breaking at both the third and the fifth games. Senera grabbed the first set 6-2 in merely 26 minutes.
The in-form Serena controlled the second set, fully taking advantage of her sharp cross-court drives and neat baseline backhand skills, breaking Petrova's service games twice.
The anxious Russian was obviously dwarfed by her rival's world-class performance. She withdrew in the 47th minute due to a recurring leg injury.
I served pretty well. I played a bit better than her. Petrova's leg injury may have affected her performance. Anyway the match was of high quality, and I'm satisfied," said Serena.
I'm really excited. I played much better than the first match. I do hope I can reach the final."
In other quarter-finals, Russian sensation Maria Sharapova beat Jelena Jankovic 5-2 midway when the latter dropped the match due to her injured ankle. Newly US Open winner Svetlana Kuznhetsova cruised through 6-4, 6-2 to eliminate sixth seed Dulko to qualify for the semi-finals, at which she would expect a big clash with her compatriot Sharapova.
Serena would meet fourth seeded Vero Zvonareva from Russia, who upset Spain's Anabel Garrigues 6-2, 6-3 in the last quarter-final this evening.
(Xinhua News Agency September 25, 2004)