Serena reaches victory milestone
Tokyo, Japan (Sports Network) - World No. 1 Serena Williams recorded the 200th singles win of her professional career on Wednesday by beating Austria's Patricia Wartusch, 6-0, 6-2 in the second round of the Princess Cup tennis event.
It's been an incredible run for Williams since she played her first professional match in October 1995. She got onto the tennis map with a stunning win over then-world No. 7 Mary Pierce and No. 4 Monica Seles in November 1997. Williams, who was ranked 304th and was 16-years-old at the time, became the lowest-ranked woman in history to beat two top 10 players at the same event.
Williams, the reigning French Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open champion, is aiming for her seventh WTA title this year, which would equal the number of events captured by her older sister Venus this season.
There was one other second-round match Wednesday and Russian Elena Likhovtseva upset eighth seed Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, 6-2, 6-7 (1-7), 6-4. Sanchez- Vicario had reached the final here last year before losing to Jelena Dokic.
Sixth seed Tatiana Panova of Russia and seventh seed Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand won their first-round matches on Wednesday. Panova downed Henrieta Nagyova of Slovakia, 6-2, 1-6, 6-4, while Tanasugarn beat Adriana Serra Zanetti of Italy, 6-2, 7-6 (7-3).
In other first-round matches, Australian Nicole Pratt defeated Spaniard Gala Leon Garcia, 6-3, 7-6 (7-4); Russian Lina Krasnoroutskaya ousted Croatian qualifier Silvija Talaja, 6-3, 6-4; Argentine Clarisa Fernandez beat Hungary's Petra Mandula, 7-5, 6-2; and Australian qualifier Alicia Molik breezed past Spain's Cristina Torrens-Valero, 6-4, 6-2. Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova was ahead 5-0 in the first set of her match with Tina Pisnik of Slovenia when her opponent retired due to stomach illness.
Dokic, the second seed, will play her second-round match Thursday against Krasnoroutskaya. It will be the third straight year the two will play each other in the second round of this event. Krasnoroutskaya, playing in just her fourth singles tournament this year after injuring her ankle at the Australian Open, has fallen to her Yugoslavian foe on both previous occasions.
Third seed Kim Clijsters of Belgium will play the 17-year-old Kuznetsova on Thursday. Fourth seed Anna Smashnova of Israel, fresh off last week's title match win over Anna Kournikova in Shanghai, will play American Amy Frazier. Fifth seed Ai Sugiyama of Japan will take on Pratt.
The winner of this $585,000 outdoor-hardcourt event will claim $93,000.
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