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http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/news/story?id=2874517

Updated: May 18, 2007, 12:04 PM ET

Schnyder to meet Jankovic in Italian Open semifinals

Associated Press

ROME -- Serena Williams was upset by Patty Schnyder 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (5) Friday in the quarterfinals of the Italian Open, marking only her third loss this season.

Williams began the year by winning the Australian Open for her first Grand Slam title in two years.

"I just didn't make the shots I was supposed to make," Williams said. "I probably made 50 unforced errors, which is pretty good to get to 7-6 in the third."

The 14th-seeded Schnyder, who was runner-up at this French Open warmup two years ago, also beat Williams in their only previous match on clay. Williams won the other six meetings.

Williams said she does not plan to play again before Roland Garros, which begins May 27.

"I think the best thing for me now is practice," said Williams, whose record fell to 18-3.

Last month, Williams retired from a match in Charleston, S.C., with a groin muscle problem and pulled out of a Fed Cup match with inflammation in her right knee.

"I'm getting there," Williams said of her fitness. "Actually, not winning today is going to work well for me. I'm going to get even more fit."

In the semifinals, Schnyder will face third-seeded Jelena Jankovic, who routed Elena Dementieva 6-2, 6-1.

Williams struggled with her consistency in the first set, missing a series of backhands and committing costly double faults. Schnyder, a left-hander with a crafty all-court game, simply kept the ball in play until the American missed.

Schnyder took a 2-0 lead in the second set before Williams reeled off six straight games to force a third set.

Williams saved a break point in the first game of the third set and two more at 2-2 in the third -- the first with a drop-shot winner and the second by stepping into the court to angle a backhand winner.

In the tiebreaker, Schnyder took a 5-2 lead but Williams tied it at 5-5. Williams missed a forehand into the net on the next point and Schnyder hit an approach-shot winner on her first match point.

Both players were bothered at times by the wind, which occasionally whipped up the red clay.

"It was strange conditions. It was really windy. It was a different court than yesterday," said Williams, who beat 11th-seeded Shahar Peer in straight sets on Thursday.

Earlier, Jankovic's powerful groundstrokes proved too much for 10th-seeded Dementieva. Jankovic broke to take a 4-2 lead in the first set and was in control the rest of the way.

"I was feeling my rhythm and I started controlling the points and being very aggressive," Jankovic said.

Jankovic already won a title on clay last month in Charleston, S.C.

"I'm learning how to slide and starting to feel comfortable on clay," said Jankovic, who learned to play on hard courts.

Later, second-seeded Dinara Safina met fellow Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova and No. 9 Daniela Hantuchova faced Anabel Medina Garrigues.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
 

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serena just remenber hobart. you lost and came back to win AO. i am not upset that you lost. at least you got some matches under your belt on clay and now know what you need to work on for the french open. good luck and remain positive.
 

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How many errors did she actually make? Does anyone know the stats?
 

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Typical Serena...:eek:

Blames her game only with no credit to the victor :rolleyes:
Here we go again! Usually, the writers of those articles don't write the whole story. It's mostly a few quotes here and there. You wouldn't know for a fact that Serena didn't say "Patty played well" if the writer chose not put it in the article, do you?

It's really no use. Even when the Williams sisters praise their opponents, haters always find fault with them regardless. Other players are allowed to be self-critical of their plays, but not Venus and Serena.
 

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Serena is a very positive player, what do people want her to say, oh my goodness she kicked my ass today. she was just playing unbelievable tennis, people please, this is a competitive environment - you do not give your opponent anything - you are humble in victory and gracious in defeat but you are surely not going to let people know that sh*t she kicked my ass out there today - do you ever hear any other player coming out and saying that damn that Serena she nearly killed me today - does not happen
 

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I don't think it is Serena.
Again look at Nadal, yes he's amazingly fit but I don't think he would be a major factor at Roland Garros if his schedule wasn't so aggressive on clay.

You have to have match play on clay to be dominant on the surface.
You can't just play two tournaments and think that's enough.

It definately is for preparation of Australian Open or Wimbledon( you can likely get away without playing a warmup for these two) but it's not enough for the French Open.

Serena can be as fit as she wants but fitness is not everything on this surface.
Nalbandian was 20 pounds overweight last year.
It didn't matter because he moves well and played an aggressive schedule.

Kuznetsova was probably 10 pounds overweight last year but it didn't matter.
She moves well enough and played the most aggressive schedule out of any player last year.

Clay rewards match play above any other surface than fitness.
Fitness is not going to help you get use to playing against heavy topspin and the variety of shots that can be used on clay.
Fitness is not going to help you be the most alert for the bad bounces you get on clay, match play does.
Fitness is not going to help you know when is the right time to come to net on a surface where getting passed is the easiest.
Fitness is not going to help you figure out when is the right time and the right way to slide on clay, match play will help that.
I'm sorry but I think Serena is really fooling herself here.
 
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I don't think it is Serena.
Again look at Nadal, yes he's amazingly fit but I don't think he would be a major factor at Roland Garros if his schedule wasn't so aggressive on clay.

You have to have match play on clay to be dominant on the surface.
You can't just play two tournaments and think that's enough.

It definately is for preparation of Australian Open or Wimbledon( you can likely get away without playing a warmup for these two) but it's not enough for the French Open.

Serena can be as fit as she wants but fitness is not everything on this surface.
Nalbandian was 20 pounds overweight last year.
It didn't matter because he moves well and played an aggressive schedule.

Kuznetsova was probably 10 pounds overweight last year but it didn't matter.
She moves well enough and played the most aggressive schedule out of any player last year.

Clay rewards match play above any other surface than fitness.
Fitness is not going to help you get use to playing against heavy topspin and the variety of shots that can be used on clay.
Fitness is not going to help you be the most alert for the bad bounces you get on clay, match play does.
Fitness is not going to help you know when is the right time to come to net on a surface where getting passed is the easiest.
I'm sorry but I think Serena is really fooling herself here.
yeah that' why I wished she had played at least one more tournament. But she injured her groin and she has to watcht out for her body. Look what injuries did to her in 2005-2006. Better to be more caautious. But ohh well. I just hope she goes pretty deep @ the FO and make some noise @ wimbledon (aka win Wimbledon). still as a fan its better she say healthy then she play one more tournament.
 

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i agree on a certain degree. she didn't played enough for RG. i trully hope she'll do something usefull next week to be 100% fit and at the top of her game starting with May 28
 

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yeah that' why I wished she had played at least one more tournament. But she injured her groin and she has to watcht out for her body. Look what injuries did to her in 2005-2006. Better to be more caautious. But ohh well. I just hope she goes pretty deep @ the FO and make some noise @ wimbledon (aka win Wimbledon). still as a fan its better she say healthy then she play one more tournament.
Yes, to be honest it would obviously be better if she could've won the title and got more matches. Playing well to win, is a lot better than not playing well and losing early obviously.

Howver, motivation is the key thing for Serena always has been. If she puts her mind to something, it's difficult to stop her. She has more experience at winning than anyone else on the WTA tour (on the big stage that is). She is a big match player and thrives in Grand Slams. She will do well, regardless of match practice because she steps on the day to win. 3 matches isn't much, but she has a seeding of 8. So there is a chance, just a chance. It will be enough :)
 

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it's a pretty close lost Serena. you are still great :yeah:
 

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She's still going to win the French! ;)
 
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