PARIS -- Serena Williams kept alive
American interest at the French Open with a 6-3, 6-4 win
over Dutch teenager Michaella Krajicek in the third round on
Williams, the sole U.S. survivor in either
singles draw after her elder sister Venus lost to fourth-seeded Jelena Jankovic 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 earlier Friday, wore down Krajicek with an array of powerful baseline
Two-time defending champion and top seed Justine Henin
After her victory, Serena Williams was unimpressed with her effort.
"I didn't think I played well at all," she said. "I'm trying not to peak too soon, but at some point I need to
start playing better."
Krajicek, who had said she idolized the American when she
was growing up, appeared to be starstruck early as she quickly fell behind 3-0. She rallied to draw even at 3-3 but then crumbled
under pressure and hit a service return long to bow out after 76
"She's playing great tennis, and she plays well in a crunch,"
Venus Williams said of her sister. "And I think the longer she's in the
tournament, the better she'll play."
Venus Williams, who
missed the last two Grand Slam tournaments because of injuries,
also lost to Jankovic in the third round at Wimbledon last year.
"Am I discouraged? No, not at all. I feel like I'm playing
well, actually," Venus Williams said after making 49 unforced errors, 23
more than Jankovic. "I don't feel like she came out there and
really beat me. I just feel like at times she was a little more
patient than I was."
"I got a little bit tired at the end," Serena Williams said. "It's
tough on clay."
The 22-year-old Serb dominated the five-time major champion in
the first set, winning 20 of the 24 points played in her service
games, including the first 10.
"I never had it in my mind that I was going to lose the
match," said Jankovic, who won a clay-court warmup tournament in
Rome last month.
Williams recovered in the second set, jumping out to 3-0 lead
and holding on by breaking Jankovic in the 10th game to even the
match. But Jankovic, who reached the semifinals at the 2006 U.S.
Open, broke Williams three times in the third set.
Time and again, Jankovic did what it took to extend an exchange
until Venus produced a miscue. Jankovic bore down in the closing
set, winning six of the eight points that lasted at least 10
"Each time you play the Williams sisters, it's really a tough
game," Jankovic said. "And you have to be on the top of your
level if you want to beat them. They are the best athletes in the
"The third set went a little bit faster than what I expected,"
Williams said. "I felt a little bit slow ... I couldn't get my
feet where I wanted them."
Henin, celebrating her 25th birthday, advanced with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Italy's Mara Santangelo.
No. 6 Nicole Vaidisova of the Czech Republic reached the fourth
round by beating 27th-seeded Samantha Stosur of Australia 6-4, 6-4.
Also, No. 20 Sybille Bammer of Austria beat 16th-seeded Li Na of
China 6-4, 6-3, while No. 12 Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia and No.
19 Tathiana Garbin of Italy also advanced.
Garbin reached the fourth round by beating Stephanie Cohen-Aloro
of France 6-3, 6-0, and Hantuchova got to the third round by
defeating Olga Poutchkova of Russia 7-6 (6), 6-3.
Thirteenth-seeded Elena Dementieva of Russia was upset, losing
to No. 18 Marion Bartoli of France 6-2, 6-4. In her 22nd Grand
Slam, Bartoli will be making her first appearance in the fourth
"I'm not really surprised, because I don't have a feeling of
playing above my level," said Bartoli, who will face Jankovic in
the next round. "I don't think I'm over-performing."
Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.