Serena Williams closing in on first Cincinnati title

Fri Aug 15, 2014 2:27am IST

REUTERS - World number one Serena Williams continued her march towards a first Western and Southern Open title, easing into the quarter-finals of the Cincinnati tournament with a 6-2 6-2 demolition of 13th seeded Italian Flavia Pennetta on Thursday.

The 17-time grand slam winner was joined in the last eight by second seeded Romanian Simona Halep, who defeated Czech Lucie Safarova 6-4 7-5.

While Williams' brilliant resume includes 61 titles the Cincinnati hard court event is not on that long list and the 32-year-old American has set her sights on a adding it to her collection.

In five previous visits Williams has only reached the semifinals twice with her best result coming last year when she let the title slip through her fingers losing in a third set tiebreak to Victoria Azarenka.

"I love coming here, it's fun," said Williams, who is a perfect 12-0 on American hard courts this season. "I like it because it's in America, as well, and it's so good to play some tournaments in the United States.

"Being an American, it just feels like you're at home. Even though it's not your home state it's your home country, so it's a great feeling."

Williams looked completely at home on Thursday and in control right from the start as she raced to a 3-0 lead in the opening set then cruised through the second after charging in front 5-0.

"I got an early break on and I just didn't let go," said Williams, who will defend her U.S. Open crown later this month. "That's what I wanted to do, because she can try to come back. Even in the end she tried to make a comeback.

"But I knew I needed to kind of stay focused."

In other action fast rising Ukrainian teenager Elina Svitolina followed up her second round stunner over Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova with another upset, advancing with 4-6 6-4 6-4 win over 15th seed Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain.

(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto. Editing by Gene Cherry)

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

FORMULA ONE

REUTERS SHOWCASE

India vs Australia

India vs Australia

Clarke in first test team, but must prove fitness.  Full Article 

Premier League

Premier League

Liverpool misery goes on but Spurs bounce back to win.  Full Article 

Davis Cup Title

Davis Cup Title

Vintage Federer seals first Davis Cup for Switzerland.  Full Article 

Soccer Roundup

Soccer Roundup

Messi breaks scoring record, Chelsea surge on.  Full Article 

Ligue 1

Ligue 1

Marseille return to the top with 3-1 victory.  Full Article 

2016 Olympics

2016 Olympics

Rio 2016 mascots inspired by animals and plants of Brazil.  Full Article 

Money List

Money List

McIlroy eyes green jacket after stellar 2014.  Full Article 

Injury Woes

Injury Woes

Iniesta out of Barca's Champions League game at APOEL.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage