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Williams wins, Petrova flops [ 2007-5-4 ]AFP
WARSAW, May 3: Venus Williams earned a comfortable 6-4, 6-3 victory over young Dutchwoman Michaella Krajicek, but fifth seeded Russian Nadia Petrova was upset 6-3, 6-3 by Mara Santangelo of Italy at the Warsaw Open on Wednesday.

Williams is enjoying a welcome run after injury led to her playing just two matches between last year's Wimbledon and the end of the 2006 season. Although she missed the Australian Open, since making her return to the tour at Memphis in late February - a tournament she won - the American has now won 17 matches this season.

She was never troubled by Krajicek, who refused to be intimidated by her illustrious opponent but could not find a way to counter Williams's power and sheer will-power.

Williams broke to lead 2-0 and, although Krajicek immediately levelled, a futher break in the 10th game gave the unseeded American the opening set.

Krajicek continued to compete strongly in the second set and stepped into the ball well, but she was forced into a backhand error and dropped her serve at 3-2. That was enough for Williams to secure victory.

Williams was relieved that the icy weather of the previous few days had given way to warm sushine.
Nadal stuns Federer: In Palma De Mallorca, Spain, Spanish champion Rafael Nadal won his "battle of the surfaces" one-off exhibition clash on world number one Roger Federer here on Wednesday, the claycourt king edging the grass giant 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (12/10) on a dual surface court.

The pair brought a 6,800-capacity crowd to the "Palma Arena" for the one-off best of three sets match between the world's top two players, though the occasion was marrd by some of the blustery conditions sweeping across Spain during much of the afternoon.

Organisers had laid down 1,500 kilos of traditional Spanish red clay on one side of the court and 400 square metres of grass across the net for the unique encounter, groundsman Andreu Puigserver charged with creating a surface part-designed for serve and volley and part for baseline grind.

Shoe changes at changes of ends were de rigueur for the 1.2 million euro exhibition match designed to promote tourism on the island.

But beforehand, the panels of the grass section also had to be replaced after a pre-match tryout revealed the original surface was not fit for matchplay.

Nadal, who hails from Mallorca, is the undisputed king of clay having won his 72nd straight match on the dirt on Sunday in Barcelona. He also defeated Federer in the Monte Carlo Masters final a week earlier as well as in the French Open final last year.

Davydenko out: In Estoril, Portugal, Former champion Nikolay Davydenko was bundled out 7-5, 6-1 by French qualifier Olivier Patience on a day interrupted for four hours by rain at the Estoril Open on Wednesday.

The top-seeded Russian, who won the 2003 title and lost the final a year ago to David Nalbandian, admitted that he was off the boil on the damp surface, made more slippery during the long weather interruption despite being covered.

The world number four had begun the match a day earlier against number 123 Patience, who also won their only other encounter at the Australian Open in 2004.

Davydenko said that the wrist which he injured last week in Barcelona, which forced him to withdraw from that event, was not a major factor. "I got here Saturday but only trained once," he admitted.
"I didn't have problems hitting my shots, but it was not really 100 per cent."

The Russian said that his lack of preparation left him no chance against an on-form opponent.

Patience overcame nerves at the start for the upset: "I was tight at the start, it was my first match against a top five player.

"There were a lot of mistakes from both of us. But I began playing well in the second set.
"I tried to play an offensive game."

Second seed Tommy Robredo and number three Novak Djokovic came up winners and moved into the role as possible title favourites.

Spain's Roberdo hit the practise court for extra work after securing a win over compatriot Albert Montanes 6-4, 6-3 in a first-round match.
http://www.gorkhapatra.org.np/content.php?nid=18078
 

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Article published May 5, 2007
Kuznetsova downs Williams to reach J&S Cup semifinals



By PAUL NEWBERRY
The Associated Press

May 5, 2007

WARSAW, Poland - Svetlana Kuznetsova rallied to beat Venus Williams, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, yesterday and reach a semifinal matchup against Alona Bondarenko at the clay court J&S Cup.
Bondarenko advanced when Julia Vakulenko withdrew with a sprained right wrist while trailing, 6-2, 3-1.
Top-ranked Justine Henin and fourth-seeded Jelena Jankovic will play in the other semifinal. Henin beat Mara Santangelo, 6-2, 6-1, and Jankovic advanced Anna Chakvetadze retired with a right shoulder strain while trailing, 7-6 (1), 3-1.
Williams, looking to avenge a quarterfinal loss to Kuznetsova here last year, took two quick breaks to capture the first set.
Berdych, Youzhny reach semifinals at BMW Open
MUNICH, Germany - Second-seeded Tomas Berdych reached the semifinals of the BMW Open by beating Nicolas Devilder of France, 6-4, 6-0, yesterday for his 200th career win. No. 4 Marcos Baghdatis and No. 3 Mikhail Youzhny, also advanced, as did unseeded Philipp Kohlschreiber, who beat Sebastien Grosjean, 6-4, 7-6 (5), and is trying to become the first German to win the clay court event since Michael Stich in 1994.
Kohlschreiber will face Baghdatis, who ousted Alexander Waske, 2-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4. Berdych will play Youzhny, who beat eighth-seeded Juergen Melzer
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