Routine round for top women

Venus Williams, left, and Serena Williams won their doubles and singles matches Monday.

Published: Tuesday, July 1, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, June 30, 2003 at 11:46 p.m.
WIMBLEDON, England - Even by Grand Slam standards, the parade of top female players Monday at Wimbledon was remarkable.
No vantage point at the All England Club proved fully sufficient, with Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Jennifer Capriati, Lindsay Davenport and Kim Clijsters taking the courts only minutes apart.
Unfortunately they weren't playing each other, and so the result was a succession of fourth-round routs.
The five winners won every set and lost a total of just 23 games, fodder for the argument that women's tennis lacks depth.
"The top players are playing well right now," Davenport said.
She won in 47 minutes, Clijsters in 49, Williams in 50.
"Everyone did it quick," Clijsters said. French Open champion Justine Henin-Hardenne also won easily, but 16-year-old Russian Maria Sharapova was eliminated.
The women might muster more drama today, when the schedule includes two all-American quarterfinals: No. 8-seeded Capriati vs. No. 1 Serena Williams and No. 5 Davenport vs. No. 4 Venus Williams. No. 3 Henin-Hardenne plays No. 33 Svetlana Kuznetsova and No. 2 Clijsters faces No. 27 Silvia Farina Elia.
Capriati will try to break her streak of nine consecutive losses to the Williams sisters, including seven in a row against Serena.
"The last few times I haven't been able to pull it out," Capriati said. "But I'm going to concentrate on playing the ball and my own game, and not see Serena across the net."
Davenport has lost five times in a row to Venus Williams, who is 24-1 at Wimbledon the past four years. That includes titles in 2000 and 2001, with the only loss to her younger sister in the 2002 final.
"Venus has had an extraordinary record here the last three years or so," Davenport said. "She does a lot of things very, very well. On grass it's very hard to combat that sometimes."
Williams avenged her defeat four weeks ago at the French Open and advanced to the Wimbledon quarterfinals for the sixth consecutive year by beating No. 16-seeded Vera Zvonareva 6-1, 6-3. Williams was upset by Zvonareva in the fourth round at Paris, her earliest exit at a Grand Slam event in two years.
But that was on clay, with Williams slowed by an abdominal strain. On her favorite surface - Wimbledon's grass - the two-time champion was a much more confident, aggressive opponent.
"The circumstances were different," Williams said. "Last time she was the better player. This time it was nice I was able to win."

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