Serena marches on as Bertens and Putintseva break new ground


Serena Williams breezed into the French Open quarter-finals on Wednesday with an effortless display against 18th seed Elina Svitolina.

The world number one's fourth-round encounter had been delayed for two days because of the rain, but when she got on court the defending champion raced past Svitolina 6-1 6-1.

She will meet Yulia Putintseva in the last eight after the Kazakh's memorable tournament continued with a straight-sets win over 12th seed Carla Suarez Navarro.

Kiki Bertens and Timea Bacsinszky (8) will contest the remaining quarter-final after fourth-round wins of their own, while two players are already into the last four.

Fourth seed Garbine Muguruza was first through after she overcame a stuttering start to beat Shelby Rogers 7-5 6-3 to earn a first French Open semi-final.

Next up is former finalist Sam Stosur (21), the 2010 runner-up having battled past Tsvetana Pironkova.



As well as reaching her maiden semi-final at Roland Garros, Muguruza also racked up a 20th win of the 2016 season.

It has taken the world number four time to find her best form this year, but she has only dropped one set in Paris and appears to have turned the corner.


Bertens has been in fine form on clay this season and her straight-sets win over Madison Keys - a player many tipped to go far this year - extended her unbeaten run on the red surface to 11 matches.

The world number 58 claimed her second career title in Nuremburg last month having gone through the qualifiers, and now she finds herself in a maiden grand slam quarter-final.

Putintseva is also breaking new ground having never previously been past round three at a major tournament, that coming earlier this year in Australia.

Her record in Paris showed just two appearances and both ended in second round exits, however she edged two tight sets against Suarez Navarro to reach the last eight.


Having reached the semis 12 months ago there was pressure on Bacsinszky to repeat the feat this year, and she has thrived on it.

The 26-year-old had never beaten Venus Williams (9) before Wednesday's fourth-round match, but she showed no signs of nerves as she swept aside the seven-time grand slam winner 6-2 6-4.

"She [Venus] is definitely an inspiration, because if you see how long she is lasting as a tennis player it's something unbelievable," she said.

"Even if she's struggling with health issues she's there, she's super nice with everyone, she's kind, and she's a great tennis player for so many years.

"So that's why to be able to win this match, my first win over Venus is -- well, it's just amazing."