World No.1 Serena Williams reached the French Open semifinals for the first time since 2003 with a challenging victory over Svetlana Kuznetsova, thus avenging the 2009 loss to the Russian at the same stage of the same tournament. Awaiting Williams in the semifinals is last year’s runner-up Sara Errani, who was victorious against Agnieszka Radwanska.
For the 207th time in her career Williams was triumphant after winning the first set at a Grand Slam (she has only five such losses), although it was not as easy as her previous matches at this year’s Roland Garros in which she dropped a total of 10 games. After cruising through the first set against the 2009 champion Kuznetsova, Williams lost the second set, converting only two of the ten break points she earned, while Kuznetsova made use of all the three she had, and started the deciding set by going 2-0 up. However, Serena won five straight games and prevented the surprise from happening by winning 6-1 3-6 6-3.
In the other quarterfinal, Errani celebrated on the second match point in the second-set tiebreak 6-4 7-6(6), after Radwanska shortly before saved the first match point in the longest rally. Radwanska is the only Top 10 player who has been past the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam only once. Errani recorded her first Top 5 win.
The other set of quarterfinals, Jelena Jankovic vs. Maria Sharapova and Maria Kirilenko vs. Victoria Azarenka, is scheduled for Wednesday. (photos: sr_cranks)