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Page last updated at 19:05 GMT, Thursday, 28 May 2009 20:05 UK

Venus digs deep to make progress

FRENCH OPEN
Venue: Roland Garros Date: 24 May - 7 June
Coverage: Live on BBC Red Button, live streaming and daily text commentary on BBC Sport website, updates on BBC Radio 5 Live plus second week commentary on BBC 5 Live Sports Extra. TV coverage on Eurosport.


Venus Williams

Highlights - Venus survives scare

Third seed Venus Williams survived an epic battle with world number 46 Lucie Safarova, fighting back from a set down to reach the French Open third round.

The 22-year-old Czech won the first set before play stopped late on Wednesday.

Williams fought back strongly to level when the match resumed but had to save a match-point at 4-5 in the decider on her way to a 6-7 (5-7) 6-2 7-5 victory.

Serena Williams, Jelena Jankovic and Svetlana Kuznetsova all won easily, dropping only seven games between them.

And there was heartbreak for Australia's Jelena Dokic, who looked on course for a major upset when she led fourth seed Elena Dementieva by a set and a break.

The former world number four, currently ranked 80th, suffered a back injury and left the court in floods of tears for treatment at 2-2 in the second set.

It was close but these kind of matches are really rewarding and I think I deserved to win it in the end

Venus Williams

She returned some time later and, incredibly, broke serve immediately, despite hobbling between points and remaining visibly emotional.

But it was the briefest of recoveries and Dokic was forced to retire at 6-2 3-4, Dementieva consoling her opponent as she left the court in tears for the second time in 10 minutes.

"I went for a return and I just went down and couldn't get back up," said Dokic who will undergo a scan in Paris on Friday to judge the exact nature of the problem.

"It's very painful. I hope it's not too serious. It's very disappointing because I felt as if I had the match in my hands."

Twelfth seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland was a late 6-1 6-4 winner over Ukraine's Mariya Koryttseva.

Spanish veteran Virginia Ruano Pascual was blown away by Serena, losing 6-2 6-0, and the second seed will play Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez in round three.

Jelana Jankovic
Jankovic was always in control of her match with Rybarikova

Former world number one Jankovic, seeded fifth, was not always at her best against Slovakia's Magdalena Rybarikova but still managed a convincing 6-1 6-2 win.

Jankovic, a semi-finalist here in 2007 and 2008, feels she is on her way to regaining the form that saw her top the women's rankings at the start of the year.

"I think I'm coming back," said Jankovic, "This is the most important thing for me, especially when you saw me playing a few months ago. It was really disastrous."

Seventh seed Kuznetsova was even more impressive as she crushed Galina Voskoboeva of Kazakhstan 6-0 6-2.

The Russian put on a superb display of attacking tennis to win in 49 minutes.

Serbian star Jankovic will play Jarmila Groth of Australia for a place in the last 16, next up for Kuznetsova is Hungary's Melinda Czink, and Venus will play Agnes Szavay of Hungary.

The American admitted the interruption to her match had helped her and held up Safarova, who was on top when darkness fell on Wednesday.

606: DEBATE

"She was just going for every shot and making them, but the delay gave me time to think about things differently," Venus said.

"It was close but these kind of matches are really rewarding and I think I deserved to win it in the end."

Danish teenager Caroline Wozniacki is also through after beating Jill Craybas 6-1 6-4.

"I was there from the first point," the 10th seed said afterwards.

"I started to attack her and I got the advantage from the beginning. I felt like it was my game."

But 13th seed Marion Bartoli is out after losing her second-round match to Italy's Tathiana Garbin 6-3 7-5.

Bartoli gave several reasons for her defeat, saying: "I was a little tired and a little sick, I had a sore throat and my nose is running.

"It was very cold and the court was heavy. The ball was stuck on the strings and it was very slow."



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see also
French Open day five as it happened
28 May 09 |  Tennis
French Open day five pictures
28 May 09 |  Tennis
Sizzling Sharapova wins thriller
27 May 09 |  Tennis
Order of play
23 May 09 |  Tennis
Women's singles draw
28 Jan 10 |  Tennis
Men's singles draw
26 Aug 11 |  Tennis


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