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Hradecka exhausts Serena but loses at Cincinnati

In the beginning it seemed Serena Williams would cruise to a quick victory over world No.49 Lucie Hradecka in the first round of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, as the American stormed through the first set with a 89% of first serve points won.

However, at 5-1 down in the second set, the Czech fired back and frustrated Serena when she leveled at 5-5 by breaking the American's serve twice. The tiebreak was played, but Hradecka had an unglamorous finish when she lost the tiebreak 7-5 with a double fault.

Both players hit 31 winners, but Hradecka committed more unforced errors. Final score: 6-3 7-6(5).

Serena's rankings improved on Monday from No.80 to No.31 following her triumph at the Rogers Cup. Together with her Stanford title, Serena is now on a 12-match winning streak. (photo: © Neal Trousdale)

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