World no. 1 Serena Williams eases past Lepchenko to reach last 8 in Rome


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World no. 1 Serena Williams eases past Lepchenko to reach last 8 in Rome

Tennis: World no. 1 Serena Williams eased past her compatriot Varvara Lepchenko in straight sets, winning by 6-1, 6-2 to reach the Quarterfinals of the Italian Open Tennis tournament in Rome.

33-year-old Serena Williams, who had withdrawn from Mutua Madrid Open due to a thigh injury before her Quarterfinal match against Petra Kvitova, and was not sure about playing in Rome until the last moment, showed no signs of any trouble.

The 17-time Grand Slam champion had beaten Lepchenko easily in straight sets in their only previous meeting, which was last year in Brisbane. Serena faced the only break point she faced in the first set and broke her opponent twice to take the first set 6-1.

Although Lepchenko broke Serena once in the second set, but she could not do much as Serena broke her serve three times to take the second set 6-2 and reach the Quarterfinals in 1 hour and 17 minutes. Serena Williams had won the title in Rome 12 years back in 2002 and then won it last year in 2013.

She would be vying to defend her crown and win the title for the third time. Now she will face Shuai Zhang of China for a place in the semi-finals, who defeated another American Christina McHale in three sets.