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Venus knocked out of French Open

Last updated on: May 29, 2009 19:34 IST

Third seed Venus Williams was eliminated in the third round of the French Open, beaten 6-0, 6-4 by Hungary's Agnes Szavay on Friday.

The American did not recover from a miserable start as Szavay, seeded 29th, advanced to meet Slovakia's Dominika Cibulkova after 81 minutes.

Venus needed three sets to overcome her first two opponents at Roland Garros and on Friday it seemed as if she had forgotten to turn up on Suzanne Lenglen Court when she lost the first set without even winning a game.

The five-times Wimbledon champion notably missed an easy volley in the fourth game as Szavay was content with hitting the ball into the court.

The 2002 runner-up fought back in the second set by breaking in the seventh game but her opponent hit straight back and ended Venus's Paris run on her first match point when the American netted a backhand.

Holder Ana Ivanovic though underlined her credentials for a second French Open title with a 6-0, 6-2 demolition of Czech Iveta Benesova in another third round match.

The Serbian eighth seed needed just over an hour to set up a meeting with either ninth seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus or Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro, seeded 22nd.

Ivanovic saw off two break points in the opening game before bulldozing through the first set in 23 minutes.

Benesova, seeded 32nd, then picked up her game but Ivanovic was simply too good, wrapping up victory on her first match point with a forehand winner.

Russian world number one Dinara Safina also had it easy. She used her devastating forehand to hammer teenage compatriot Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-2, 6-0 and 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 number 27 sent a forehand wide.

With a series of unreachable forehands, the 2008 runner-up rushed through the second, claiming victory when 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.

Meanwhile, fans scrambled for their earplugs at Roland Garros when the decibel level went up several notches before Aravane Rezai finally silenced Michelle Larcher de Brito to reach the fourth round.

The fact that France's Rezai won through 7-6, 6-2 was just a footnote in a match where 16-year-old Grand Slam debutante Larcher de Brito made a very noisy landing on the big stage.

Standing at just 1.65 metres, Larcher de Brito is petite for a tennis player but she more than makes up for it with a cacophony of ear-splitting shrieks that follows her every groundstroke.

So loud is her sonic boom, it lasts long after she has made contact with the ball and fans could have been forgiven for thinking Concorde was once again airborne and making an emergency landing on Philippe Chatrier Court.

Rezai certainly thought so as she complained to the umpire several times during the match and even insisted he should consult the Grand Slam supervisor on the issue. 

"Please there is a limit, enough," an angry Rezai shouted.

Larcher de Brito fired back: "There are no rules, so there is nothing I can do about it."

In case anyone wondered about Larcher de Brito's pedigree, she is latest luminary to emerge from the Nick Bollettieri academy in Florida where other grunting graduates include Monica Seles and Maria Sharapova.

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