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Serena storms into Paris Open quarter-finals

February 13, 2009 14:50 IST

World number one Serena Williams raced into the quarter-finals of the Paris Open with a 6-1, 6-2 demolition of Croatian qualifier Karolina Sprem on Thursday.

The American top seed, who won the tournament in 1999 and 2003, will face France's Emilie Loit for a semi-final spot on Friday.

Australian Open champion Williams won all her points on her first serve and ended Sprem's ordeal with a return winner after 58 minutes on her first match point.

"I played better than yesterday but I have to say she did not play that well herself," Williams said in a courtside interview. "I served very well, that went fine."

Earlier, second seed Jelena Jankovic of Serbia alternated brilliant winners with clumsy errors to beat China's Li Na 6-0, 3-6, 6-2.

Former world number one Jankovic, who had been made to work hard to beat Italy's Francesca Schiavone in the previous round, looked to be on her way to an easy victory, opening up a 6-0, 3-1 lead.

She then started making a lot of unforced errors and allowed her opponent back into the match before taking control again in the decisive set.

The world number three saved three break points and wrapped it up on her first match point with a forehand passing shot that Li failed to retrieve.

"Some players, regardless of their ranking, give me more difficulties than others," said Jankovic.

"In the first set, I was dominating but then I lost my first serve percentage before regaining confidence."

Jankovic will next meet local favourite Alize Cornet, the fifth seed, who advanced to the last eight of the indoor event by recovering from a slow start to overcome Slovakia's Daniela Hantuchova 1-6, 6-4, 6-2.

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