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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 February, 2005, 20:06 GMT
Serena cruises into third round
Serena Williams
Top seed Serena Williams reached the third round of the Open Gaz de France in Paris after a straight sets win over France's Stephanie Aloro-Cohen.

The Australian Open champion was too good for her rival, winning 6-3 6-2.

Third seed Maria Sharapova withdrew from the tournament earlier on Wednesday through illness.

The Russian arrived in Paris from Tokyo on Monday following her victory in the Pan Pacific Open the day before, and had been due to face Tatiana Golovin.

Fourth seed Nadia Petrova, fifth seed Nathalie Dechy and seventh seed Silvia Farina Elia all made progress.

I think I have anger issues
Serena Williams

Williams, in her first match since winning her second Australian Open title in Melbourne, had seven double faults and smashed a racquet on her way to victory.

"I have a problem, I think I have anger issues," said Williams, who raced into a 3-0 lead in the first set before Cohen-Aloro fought back.

"I also had a 24-hour bug and I'm just trying to get over it.

"I've just switched to a new racquet. The new one breaks easier, even if you bounce it. I've smashed so many racquets but this is the first one here."

Sharapova, who beat world number one Lindsay Davenport in Tokyo, said that she was suffering an upper respiratory illness.

"I fell ill during the trip from Tokyo to Paris," she said.

"My throat hurts, I have breathing problems and I'm not 100% fit. I know lots of fans were expecting me, but I'll see them at the French Open."

Her place in the draw was taken by lucky loser Sandra Mamic of Croatia.


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