US OPEN 2005: Venus eclipses Serena to enter quarters

New York, September 5:

Wimbledon champion Venus Williams beat her little sister Serena 7-6, 6-2 to reach the quarter-finals of the US Open here on Sunday, but the sister-act was hardly a show-stopper.

Venus next meets fourth-seeded Belgian Kim Clijsters, the hottest player on the WTA Tour. She crushed Venezuelan Maria Vento-Kabchi 6-1, 6-0.

Australian Lleyton Hewitt’s five sets win over US Taylor Dent had plenty of drama. Hewitt beat Dent 6-3, 3-6, 6-7, 6-2, 7-5.

After breaking Dent to lead 4-3 in the fifth, Hewitt dropped his own serve with a game in which he failed to put a first serve in and double-faulted twice. He broke Dent again to lead 6-5, but needed four match points — and had to save a break point — to finish it off.

Italian Davide Sanguinetti needed 4hr 24min to beat Thai Paradorn Srichaphan 6-3, 4-6, 6-7, 7-6, 7-6. Also joining them in the last 16 was Fernando Verdasco of Spain, who outlasted 18-yr-old Serb Novak Djokovic, 6-1, 4-6, 6-7, 6-4, 6-4.

World No 1 Roger Federer made it through the first week without dropping a set, but he did have to rally to see off Belgian Olivier Rochus 6-3, 7-6, 6-2. Federer, who earned his third straight Wimbledon title in July and has surrendered just three matches all year, next faces German Nicolas Kiefer, a 6-4, 6-7, 6-4, 6-1 winner over French qualifier Arnaud Clement.

A second women’s quarter-final match-up was decided as top seeded Russian Maria Sharapova beat rising Indian star Sania Mirza 6-2, 6-1 to set up a clash with ninth-seeded Nadia Petrova, after the Russian defeated Nicole Vaidisova of the Czech Republic 7-6, 7-5. In an entertaining clash of two 18-year-olds, Sharapova proved too strong for Mirza, winning in 59 minutes.