PARIS // Venus Williams lost in the third round of the French Open for the third consecutive year, falling to Agnes Szavay of Hungary 6-0, 6-4 today. The third-seeded Williams was playing for the third day in a row at Roland Garros. She completed a three-set match on Thursday that had been suspended by darkness the night before. Williams has won seven Grand Slam titles in her career, but she lost to little sister Serena the only time she reached the final at Roland Garros in 2002. Szavay is seeded 29th.
Meanwhile the Russian world No 1 Dinara Safina used her devastating forehand to hammer teenage compatriot Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-2, 6-0 to reach the fourth round. Safina, who has dropped just four games at these championships, broke in the fourth and eighth games to secure the first set when the world No 27 sent a forehand wide. With a series of unreachable forehands, the 2008 runner-up rushed through the second, claiming victory when the 17-year-old Pavlyuchenkova netted a backhand service return in a 67-minute match. Safina, seeking her maiden grand slam title, will take on France's Aravane Rezai in the next round.
Defending champion Ana Ivanovic also had few troubles in booking her place in the next round, beating Iveta Benesova of the Czech Republic 6-0, 6-2. *Reuters