x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Venus orbits out of Paris as Federer sets up a rematch of last year's final

The American is sent packing in the fourth round by Russia's Nadia Petrova, who spoiled the American's chances of yet another final showdown with her sister.

PARIS // Venus Williams was sent packing in the fourth round of the French Open by Russia's Nadia Petrova, who spoiled the American's chances of yet another final showdown with her sister. Williams came into the tournament seeded second, behind her sister, Serena, but Petrova pulled off a major shock with a 6-4, 6-3 victory yesterday. "I'm obviously disappointed," Williams said. "I feel like I had a day where I wanted to hit the ball cross-court and it went down the line. It just wasn't a good day."

Meanwhile, Justine Henin extended her winning streak at Roland Garros to 24 matches with a three-set win over Maria Sharapova in their third-round match. It was the first meeting between the two rivals since Henin spent 20 months in retirement before mounting a career comeback earlier this year. "I kept my chances to win this tournament," said the four-time champion, who will meet Sam Stosur in the next round. "I will give my best and enjoy it. It was a really good test."

In the men's draw, Roger Federer continued his bid for a second successive title by beating Stanislas Wawrinka, his Olympic doubles partner, 6-4, 7-6 (5), 6-2. Next up for the world No 1 is Robin Soderling in a rematch of last year's final. Soderling advanced by beating Marin Cilic 6-4, 6-4, 6-2. "I'm happy with the way things are going," Federer said. "I'm serving well, I'm moving well. Everything is fine."

Mikhail Youzhny, the 11th seed, earned his first berth in a Roland Garros quarter-final when Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the eighth seed, retired with a leg injury trailing 6-2. Youzhny will play either Andy Murray or Tomas Berdych. The Briton trailed the Czech after losing the first set 4-6, before the umpire called time for persistent rain with Murray 4-3 up in the second. * Agencies