Photo: Eisele/Giubilo/ZimmerSerena Williams (USA)
LONDON, GREAT BRITAIN: The Williams sisters were in fine form at the Olympic Tennis Event on Monday as they both recorded routine singles wins. Serena knocked out Urszula Radwanska 62 63 on No. 1 Court, while Venus hammered Sara Errani 63 61 on No. 2 Court.
Serena, who won her fifth Wimbledon title a few weeks ago, backed up her impressive first round victory over former world No. 1 Jelena Jankovic with another impressive display against Radwanska, winning 62 63 in 1 hour 14 minutes.
The feature of Serena’s resurgence on the grass courts this summer has been her dominant serve, and that continued today. The world No. 4 notched eight aces to take her total for the tournament to 16.
The reward for Serena is a third round clash with No. 13 seed Vera Zvonareva. The Russian, who won the singles bronze medal in Beijing, claimed a big scalp in the second round on Monday when she downed last year’s Roland Garros champion Francesca Schiavone 63 63.
“It was tough conditions, a little windy. I'm glad I was able to pull through,” said Serena, who went on to admit she can’t help getting emotionally involved with the other Olympic sports. “When I'm not playing I have the TV on watching the swimming, gymnastics... it's so intense and I love every moment.
“I think all of the US swimmers are really cool, everyone loves them. I think the US gymnastics team yesterday for qualifications did a great job with a super high score and I thought they were fabulous. I was really excited.”
Serena was fully expected to come through her match against Radwanska, but Venus’s rain-delayed first round victory over Errani was somewhat of a surprise – if not the final result, at least the 63 61 score line with which it was achieved.
Errani has been in the best form of her career in 2012. She reached her highest ever ranking of No. 9 after finishing runner-up at Roland Garros, where she also went on to win the doubles title with Roberta Vinci.
The Italian, however, was no match for Venus, who seems to save her best tennis for the Olympics. The three-time gold medallist won the singles and doubles in Sydney 12 years ago, and the doubles in Beijing four years ago, both times with Serena.
"Another gold medal would be amazing,” said Venus. “I can't even imagine the feeling, I think my head would be too big and no one would even like me anymore. I've got to get there first, I have two chances and I'll go for it.”
Next up for Venus is a second round meeting with Aleksandra Wozniak. The Canadian dropped just three games as she opened her account by defeating Marina Erakovic 62 61. Venus beat Wozniak in their only previous match-up earlier this year in Miami.
The prolific American sisters also got their doubles gold medal defence off to a winning start on Monday when they overcame Romanian duo Sorana Cirstea and Simona Halep 63 62 in the first round on No. 2 Court.
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