Serena marches into quarter-finals

World number one pulls through in straight sets while Sharapova, Halep and Wozniacki also advance in Cincinnati.

    Serena has never won the Cincinnati Open [AP]
    Serena has never won the Cincinnati Open [AP]

    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.

    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.

    Williams served eight aces and broke the Italian five times in their hour-long match.

    "I have a lot more confidence," Williams said. "I feel more relaxed. Overall feel a lot better. I'm playing a lot better."

    Earlier, French Open champion Maria Sharapova also advanced with a victory against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-4, 7-6.

    Sharapova's win sets up a match against Halep.

    Caroline Wozniacki and Jelena Jankovic also advanced with straight set victories. The Dane saw off sixth-seed Angelique Kerber 7-5, 6-2 while Jankovic beat American Sloane Stephens 7-6, 6-4.

    Other results:

    Agnieszka Radwanska (Poland) beat Sabine Lisicki (Germany) 6-1, 6-1
    Ana Ivanovic (Serbia) beat Svetlana Kuznetsova (Russia) 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 

    SOURCE: Reuters


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