Venus Spanks Sprem in Zurich
By Tennis Week
Venus Williams settled the score today. The seventh-seeded Williams crushed Croatia's Karolina Sprem, 6-2, 6-2, to avenge her Wimbledon loss and surge into the second round of the Swisscom Challenge in Zurich today.
The match was a rematch of Sprem's shocking 7-6(5), 7-6(6) second-round upset of Williams at Wimbledon in in a meeting marred by a scoring error committed by chair umpire Ted Watts in the second-set tiebreak.
This time, Williams, who was sporting a new shorter hairstyle and a large glittering ring on her left hand, dressed down Sprem with deep drives from the baseline. She broke Sprem's serve twice in each set to wrap up the win in 54 minutes. Williams will play either Tatiana Golovin or Ana Ivanovic in the second round.
The stunning setback to Sprem at Wimbledon marked Williams' earliest exit from a Grand Slam tournament since she fell from the second round of Wimbledon in 1997. It snapped her streak of four consecutive appearances in the Wimbledon final and marked the first time since Williams' 1999 quarterfinal loss to Steffi Graf that she succumbed to a woman other than sister Serena.
For more results, please visit the Swisscom Challenge web site.
In other results, eighth-seeded Russian Nadia Petrova beat American wild card Lisa Raymond, 6-4, 6-3; ninth-seeded Ai Sugiyama was a 6-2, 6-3 victor over Shinobu Asagoe in an all-Japanese meeting; Daniela Hantuchova defeated Vera Douchevina, 6-1, 6-4; Nathalie Dechy stopped Swiss wild card Timea Bacsinszky, 6-1, 6-4; Alicia Molik overcame Silvia Farina Elia, 6-1, 7-6(5); Paola Suarez edged Jelena Kostanic, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4; and Fabiola Zuluaga handled Mary Pierce, 6-3, 6-2.
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