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Rediff.com  » Sports » Venus saves match-point to beat Safarova

Venus saves match-point to beat Safarova

May 28, 2009 19:16 IST

Third seed Venus Williams found herself on the brink of defeat before rediscovering her touch to beat Czech Lucie Safarova 6-7, 6-2, 7-5 and reach the third round of the French Open on Thursday.

The American, who saved a match-point in the 10th game of the decider, will next face Hungary's Agnes Szavay, seeded 29th.

The match was interrupted by dusk at the end of the first set on Wednesday and upon resumption, seven-times Grand Slam winner Williams bombarded her opponent with a series of winners to level the contest on Suzanne Lenglen Court.

After saving a match-point with a forehand winner, Venus broke in the 11th game with a service return winner and followed up on serve to wrap up the win on her first opportunity after two hours 30 minutes.

Jankovic fights off a late challenge from Rybarikova

Serbian fifth seed Jelena Jankovic fought off a late challenge from Slovak Magdalena Rybarikova to also reach the third round with a 6-1, 6-2 win.

The former world number one will face either Colombia's Mariana Duque Marino or Australian Jarmila Groth for a place in the fourth round.

The easy-looking scoreline did not reflect Jankovic's problems in a 54-minute second set where she struggled to outpace her 53rd-ranked opponent and had to stave off three break points.

Jankovic, a semi-finalist at Roland Garros last year, benefited from a Rybarikova double fault to wrap up the win in 82 minutes.

Kuznetsova too good for Voskoboeva

Svetlana Kuznetsova showed little mercy in a swift 6-0 6-2 hammering of Kazakhstan's Galina Voskoboeva in the second round of the French Open on Thursday.

The Russian seventh seed took just 19 brutal minutes to snap up the first set against the world number 81, who struggled to get her racket to many of her opponent's shots and even when she did often sent them into the net.

Voskoboeva merely delayed the inevitable by holding serve for the first time in the second game of the next set and even earned herself a break point in the fifth with a scorching forehand return down the line.

She missed her chance when she found herself stranded wrong-footed in the middle of the court. The former U.S. Open champion, who will next face either Austrian Sybille Bammer or Hungary's Melinda Czink, wrapped up the match in 49 minutes.

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