U.S. Open: Serena Williams beats wind, Ana Ivanovic
Even when the wind carried her ball toss into another part of the service box or when it blew the visor right off her opponents' head, when the gusts made Serena Williams wish she had Velcro to make her skirt stick to her compression shorts, it didn't matter.
When she needed to, Williams, seeded 28th, stayed true to her game Monday. She served nine aces and moved into the U.S. Open quarterfinals with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over 2008 French Open champion and former No. 1 Ana Ivanovic of Serbia in Arthur Ashe Stadium in a fourth-round U.S. Open match.
Ivanovic, 23, fell behind, 3-0, in eight minutes, but the 6-foot-1 Ivanovic, who was seeded 16th, didn't let the conditions or her own frail serve keep her from being aggressive. Despite serving eight double faults, Ivanovic had more winners than Williams (20-16) and won three games of her own to even the first set. But it was one of those double faults, in the eighth game, that put Williams ahead, 5-3, and Williams served out the first set at love.
Williams also broke Ivanovic in the first game of the second set, an advantage she never lost. Williams, a 13-time major champion and three-time winner here, served a 101-mph ace to end the match and said, "I was just happy to get some balls in the court. It was really windy."
Up next for Williams in the quarterfinals will be 17th-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia who upset seventh-seeded Francesca Schiavone, 5-7, 6-3, 6-4.
Before she knew it would be Williams she would face in the quarters, the 20-year-old Pavlyuchenkova said, "I don't know what to say about her. She's just awesome and a great athlete and she's showing good tennis so far. So I don't know what to say, really.
"I'm just going to go out there and -- I'm going to say that I don't want to go out there and enjoy just being on the center court playing against Serena. I would like to do well, try to fight and with my effort I try to beat here. But of course I respect her a lot as well. She's just great."
-- Diane Pucin
Photo: Serena Williams drives a forehand shot back at Ana Ivanovic during their U.S. Open match on Sunday. Credit: Nick Laham / Getty Images