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tennisIlove09
May 29th, 2003, 09:27 PM
Venus struggles into round three
Thu May 29, 1:35 PM ET Add U.S. National - AFP to My Yahoo!



PARIS (AFP) - Venus Williams (news - web sites) of the United States moved into the third round of the French Open (news - web sites) women's singles but was less than convincing in a hard-fought 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 win over Evie Dominikovic of Australia.


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The third seed will next face either Silvia Farina Elia of Italy or Zuzana Ondraskova of the Czech Republic for a place in the last 16.


It was far from vintage Venus, however, as she blew hot and cold against an opponent ranked a lowly 110 in the world.


Williams looked well on top in the first set on the Philippe Chatrier centre-court, but started to falter in the second as the Sydneysider, celebrating her 23rd birthday, grew in confidence.


Breaking the Williams serve to lead 5-3, Dominikovic failed to serve out for the second set, but in the next game she stunned Williams with her aggressive play and levelled the match when the American netted an easy forehand.


She had Williams worried at the start of the third, but gradually the Australian wilted and Williams was able to wrap up the match breaking her opponent's serve in the third and seventh games.


Williams said that while happy to go through she would have to play much better if she hoped to turn the tables on her sister Serena to whom she has lost the last four Grand Slam finals.


"I just wasn't feeling as good as in the first match I played," she said.


"My serve was better but my groundstrokes were bad. In the first match it was the other way around. Now I just have to do them both well in the same match."