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Tennis | US Open

Serena through, Venus knocked out

Two-time women's champion Venus Williams was knocked out in the second round of the US Open on Thursday, losing 6-2, 5-7, 7-5 to German sixth seed, and 2011 semifinalist, Angelique Kerber, who also knocked the American out of the Olympics.

Kerber has now won a tour-leading 55 matches in 2012.

"It was unbelievable, it was such a tough match and very close. Venus is such a great player and has won so many Grand Slam titles," said Kerber, who benefitted from Williams committing 60 unforced errors.

Defeat for seven-time Grand Slam title winner Williams meant 2012 was the first year in her career that she failed to get beyond the second round of any of the four majors.

Sister Serena, the three-time champion, won her 60th match at the US Open, advancing to the third round with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Spain's Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez.

Serena, the Wimbledon and Olympic champion, will next face Russia's Ekaterina Makarova, who beat her at the Australian Open this year.


Former world No 1 Ana Ivanovic overcame her lack of hardcourt preparation and cruised into the third round with a 6-2 6-2 victory over Swede Sofia Arvidsson.

But the 12th-seeded Serb, who has never got beyond the fourth round in New York, admitted she needs to take painkillers every morning to see her through the season's last Grand Slam tournament.

The 2008 French Open champion is still bothered by a right foot injury which forced her out of the Cincinnati tournament on the eve of the US Open.

"I still have to take a handful of pills every morning," said the 24-year-old.

"It was a little bit unfortunate but it's part of the sport. We play so much and changing surfaces and continents. My foot has been healing and at the moment I am feeling healthy."

Ivanovic goes on to face either America's Sloane Stephens or German qualifier Tatjana Malek for a place in the last 16.

Fellow Serb Jelena Jankovic, seeded 30th and the 2008 runner-up, also made the third round with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Spain's Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino.

She next meets second seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland, who won 10 straight games as she recovered to beat Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain 4-6 6-3 6-0.

The Wimbledon runner-up looked in trouble when world number 39 Navarro was serving at 3-2 in the second set but Radwanska hit back to claim victory after one hour, 57 minutes.

In a gruelling match containing a series of long rallies, Suarez Navarro took the attack to Radwanska and the Pole in trouble for a set and a half.

But when she broke back for 3-3, everything changed and she reeled off the next nine games to set up a meeting with former world No 1 Jelena Jankovic of Serbia.

Russian 14th seed Maria Kirilenko, watched by ice hockey superstar boy friend Alex Ovechkin, saw off Hungarian 33-year-old Greta Arn 6-3, 6-2.

Slovakian 13th seed Dominika Cibulkova, a quarterfinalist in 2010, edged Serbia's Bojana Jovanovski 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (7/3).


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