Serena Williams Impresses in Florida, Molik Out
Wed Apr 6, 2005 09:59 PM ET
AMELIA ISLAND, Florida (Reuters) - Serena Williams made an impressive start to the clay-court season Wednesday, easing past Dally Randriantefy of Madagscar 6-3, 6-1 to reach the third round of the Amelia Island Championship.
French Open champion Anastasia Myskina recovered after a self-confessed bout of boredom to beat Israeli teen-ager Shahar Peer 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.
But Australian Alicia Molik, the fourth seed, was less fortunate as she went down 6-4, 6-4 to Virginie Razzano of France.
Williams, who won her seventh grand slam title at the Australian Open in January, took time to find her feet on the clay.
Randriantefy matched the second seed in the early stages before the American broke for 4-2 in the opening set. After that, Williams was always in control.
In round three, she'll meet former champion Mary Pierce of France, who crushed Greece's Eleni Daniilidou 6-0, 6-2.
"I'll definitely have to play better in my next match," Williams said.
"I played (Mary) here last year and she gave me a tough time and then went on to have a great season, and a good Olympics. I know Mary's no pushover and she always plays well against the big players."
Third seed Myskina was her own worst enemy as she allowed the 17-year-old Peer, who received a wildcard into the event, back into their match.
Peer, who gave Serena Williams a tougher-than-expected test in the third round at Miami last week, looked like she would be blown away as Myskina cruised through the first set.
But as the Russian's concentration wavered, the mistakes flowed and Peer took the second set 6-3. "I played really well in the first set," said Myskina, who won her first grand slam title at Roland Garros last year.
Then I got a little bored because everything was going so well, and I was thinking 'When is this match going to finish?' Then I was 4-0 down in five minutes and it was hard to come back."
She added: "But in the third set I started playing a little bit smarter."
Myskina next plays 15th seed Shinobu Asagoe of Japan.
Molik, who reached her first grand slam quarter-final at the Australian Open in January, made too many unforced errors in her match with Razzano, who had won just two matches in 2005 before arriving at Amelia Island.
The 21-year-old, ranked number 54, took full advantage to seal her second victory over a top-10 player.
"I think it's one of those matches where, if I'd executed my shots, the match would have been mine," Molik said.
"Virginie played really well but I had some chances and just didn't make the shots at critical times."
Sixth seed Vera Zvonareva of Russia scraped past Peng Shuai of China 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 on her fourth match point. Another Russian, ninth seed Elena Likhovtseva, edged out Argentine Gisela Dulko in three sets. Eighth seed Patty Schnyder from Switzerland, Serbian Jelena Jankovic, the 11th seed, and number 12 Silvia Farina Elia of Italy were among the other players to advance.