Jankovic knocks out Venus; Federer wins

Paris, June 1:

Top-ranked Roger Federer beat Potito Starace of Italy 6-2, 6-3, 6-0 on Friday to reach the fourth round at the French Open.

Federer, who has won the past three major championships and is seeking a career Grand Slam, saved all three break points he faced against Starace and compiled a 34-14 edge in winners. The players were tied at 3-3 in the second set before Federer reeled off the final nine games to win in 1 hour, 31 minutes.

Federer moved into the round of 16 at Roland Garros for the third year in a row. He’ll now face 2006 US Open semi-finalist Mikhail Youzhny, who beat 2003 French Open champion Juan Carlos Ferrero on Friday.

Meanwhile, Venus Williams was knocked out, losing to fourth-seeded Jelena Jankovic 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 in the third round.

Williams, who reached the final at Roland Garros in 2002 but missed the last two Grand Slam tournaments because of injuries, also lost to Jankovic in the third round at Wimbledon last year.

The 22-year-old Serb dominated the five-time major champion in the first set, winning 20 of the 24 points played in her service games, including the first 10.

No. 19 Tathiana Garbin of Italy reached the fourth round by beating Stephanie Cohen-Aloro of France 6-3, 6-0.

Igor Andreev of Russia, who upset third-seeded Andy Roddick in the first round, advanced to the third round by beating Nicolas Massu of Chile 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 7-5.

On Thursday, the rain came at just the right time for Amelie Mauresmo. After easily winning the first set in her second-round match against Nathalie Dechy at the French Open, Mauresmo struggled and was forced into a tiebreaker.

But, luckily for the fifth-seeded player, rain delayed play for nearly two hours, allowing the Frenchwoman to regroup and eventually earn a 6-3, 6-7 (3), 6-1 win.

Mauresmo, who won the Australian Open and Wimbledon last year, had an appendectomy in March, and she’s still not feeling 100 per cent.