Sickly Serena survives; qualifier ousts Roddick
PARIS - Serena Williams looked ill, and not only because she had lost five games in a row at the French Open. Battling a cold, Williams received a visit during a changeover from a trainer, who checked her temperature and gave her pills. Then came a third-set surge, and Williams beat 18-year-old Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova on Saturday, 6-1, 1-6, 6-2. There was no prescription to help Andy Roddick, who lost to Russian qualifier Teimuraz Gabashvili 6-4, 6-4, 6-2. Roddick threw rackets and argued with the umpire, but the fits of temper failed to produce a turnaround against an opponent ranked 114th. Four-time champion Rafael Nadal won in straight sets but still needed nearly 21/2 hours to eliminate feisty No. 28 Lleyton Hewitt, 6-3, 6-4, 6-3.Unseeded Robby Ginepri, the only remaining American in the men's draw, also reached the fourth round by beating 2003 champion Juan Carlos Ferrero, 7-5, 6-3, 3-6, 2-6, 6-4. The top-ranked Williams appeared in danger when she fell behind 5-love in the second set and summoned the trainer. "I felt really dizzy out there," she said. "Just ran out of a little energy out there, just fighting a cold and fighting sickness." Soon Williams' court movement improved, her strokes steadied and she advanced to the fourth round. "Doesn't matter the score, especially against her," Pavlyuchenkova said. "She's a good fighter. She's really confident and she is Serena." The seesaw victory assured Williams of retaining the No. 1 ranking after the tournament. No. 18-seeded Shahar Peer won and plays Williams next. Other winners included Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan and wild-card Jarmila Groth of Australia, who both advanced to the fourth round at a major tournament for the first time. The third-round showdown between four-time champion Justine Henin and Maria Sharapova was suspended because of darkness at one set apiece. Henin led 6-2, but her streak of 40 consecutive sets won at Roland Garros ended when Sharapova took the second set, 6-3. No. 3 Novak Djokovic, a two-time semifinalist, beat Victor Hanescu 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2. Djokovic will play Ginepri, who went into the tournament with a 1-7 record this year. Top-seeded American twins Bob and Mike Bryan were upset in the second round of doubles by unseeded Brazilians Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares, 6-3, 7-6 (6). On a cloudy, windy, chilly day, the center-court stadium was slow to fill for Williams' match, the first on the schedule. Her aggressive returns had Pavlyuchenkova's serve under constant pressure early, but the talented young Russian - a three-time Grand Slam champion in juniors - suddenly reversed the momentum in the second set. Williams began to look sluggish during points, took her time between them and occasionally grimaced, while Pavlyuchenkova's booming groundstrokes kept finding the corners. The pills the trainer gave Williams provided a remedy. "I don't what they were, to be honest," she said. "I just took them. He said they can help me feel better."
The Daystarter: Stormy forecast for Tampa Bay; watering restrictions back in place; new DEP head denies political conflict; peering ahead to Super Bowl LV in Tampa