Serena Williams edges Cohen-Aloro in second round of Rogers Cup
Julie ScottCanadian Press
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
TORONTO (CP) - Serena Williams was so frustrated with how she was playing Tuesday at the Rogers Cup she wanted to "crack every racket."
The American rallied from a rocky start to defeat Stephanie Cohen-Aloro of France 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 in the second round of the $1.3-million US women's tennis tournament. The fifth-seeded Williams, who hasn't played since Wimbledon due to an injured left ankle, struggled with her mobility on the court, often failing to get to balls well within her reach.
"I was playing so bad and she was playing so good, she was moving very well, actually," said Williams. "I've played her before and she plays well when she's down.
"I was so angry, I just wanted to crack every racket," she said. "But I didn't do it. That's a plus."
She said the ankle feels pretty good but that the injury has caused her knee to weaken. She planned to have her therapist look at it before deciding if she can continue playing in the tournament.
"I didn't feel very good at all," she said. "I wasn't even moving to any balls. I have tomorrow off so maybe that can help but I'll have to see what my therapist says."
With the U.S. Open less than two weeks away, Williams is using the Toronto event as a much-needed tune-up for the final Grand Slam of the season.
When asked if she would be well enough to play in New York, Williams didn't hesitate.
"I'm playing," she said firmly.
Cohen-Aloro, a 22-year-old ranked 92nd in the world who got into the tournament as a lucky loser, broke Williams to open the match but the American broke back then managed hold serve for a 2-1 lead. Cohen-Aloro then broke Williams again to take a 4-3 lead before breaking Williams a third time to take the set.
"It is disappointing to go out there and be like, 'Gosh, a couple months ago I would have got that shot,"' said Williams, a seven-time Grand Slam champion. "That kind of gets a little upsetting. I guess you have to work through it sometimes."
After the first set, the crowd tried to give the star player a boost as shouts of "Go Serena!" echoed throughout the Rexall Centre.
It must have worked.
Williams, 23, seemed to gain some confidence after going up a break in the second set, putting a little more pace on her serve and making less unforced errors.
The American broke Cohen-Aloro to open the third set then broke her again to take a 3-0 lead and put the match out of Cohen-Aloro's reach.
There are no Canadians left in the main draw after Antonella Serra Zanetti of Italy ousted Stephanie Dubois Laval, Que., with a 6-3, 6-2 first-round victory.
Earlier in the day, Amelie Mauresmo, the No. 2 seed and defending champion, defeated Dally Randriantefy of Madagascar 6-2, 6-3 while Svetlana Kuznetsova, the No. 3 seed from Russia, rallied from a horrible start to win 2-6, 7-5, 6-4 over Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain.