PARIS — Serena Williams
looked ill, and not only because she had lost five games in a row at the
Battling a cold, Williams
received a visit during a changeover from a trainer, who checked her
temperature and gave her pills. Then came a third-set surge, and
Williams beat 18-year-old Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova on Saturday,
6-1, 1-6, 6-2.
There was no prescription to help
Andy Roddick, who lost to Russian qualifier Teimuraz Gabashvili 6-4,
6-4, 6-2. Roddick threw rackets and argued with the umpire, but the fits
of temper failed to produce a turnaround against an opponent ranked
Four-time champion Rafael Nadal
won in straight sets but still needed nearly 2 1/2 hours to eliminate
feisty No. 28 Lleyton Hewitt, 6-3, 6-4, 6-3.
Unseeded Robby Ginepri, the only
remaining American in the men's draw, also reached the fourth round by
beating 2003 champion Juan Carlos Ferrero, 7-5, 6-3, 3-6, 2-6, 6-4.
The top-ranked Williams appeared
in danger when she fell behind 5-love in the second set and summoned the
"I felt really dizzy out there,"
she said. "Just ran out of a little energy out there, just fighting a
cold and fighting sickness."
Soon Williams' court movement
improved, her strokes steadied and she advanced to the fourth round.
"Doesn't matter the score,
especially against her," Pavlyuchenkova said. "She's a good fighter.
She's really confident and she is Serena."
The seesaw victory assured
Williams of retaining the No. 1 ranking after the tournament.
No. 18-seeded Shahar Peer won
and plays Williams next. Other winners included Yaroslava Shvedova of
Kazakhstan and wild card Jarmila Groth of Australia, who both advanced
to the fourth round at a major tournament for the first time.
The third-round showdown between
four-time champion Justine Henin and Maria Sharapova was suspended
because of darkness at one set apiece. Henin led 6-2, but her streak of
40 consecutive sets won at Roland Garros ended when Sharapova took the
second set, 6-3.
No. 3 Novak Djokovic, a two-time
semifinalist, beat Victor Hanescu 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2. Djokovic will
play Ginepri, who came into the tournament with a 1-7 record this year.
Top-seeded American twins Bob
and Mike Bryan were upset in the second round of doubles by unseeded
Brazilians Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares, 6-3, 7-6 (6).
On a cloudy, windy, chilly day,
the center-court stadium was slow to fill for Williams' match, the first
on the schedule. Her aggressive returns had Pavlyuchenkova's serve
under constant pressure early, but the talented young Russian — a
three-time Grand Slam champion in juniors — suddenly reversed the
momentum in the second set.
Williams began to look sluggish
during points, took her time between them and occasionally grimaced,
while Pavlyuchenkova's booming groundstrokes kept finding the corners.
The pills the trainer gave
Williams provided a remedy.
"I don't what they were, to be
honest," she said. "I just took them. He said they can help me feel
In the third set, Williams
erased three break points to take the lead for good at 2-1. She again
became forceful with her returns, and whacked the last one at
Pavlyuchenkova's feet for the win.
"Definitely a weird match,"
Williams said. "I played all right. I definitely wasn't at my best. I
just was happy to win, especially against a player that's on the up and
Pavlyuchenkova, seeded 29th,
fell to 8-1 this year in three-set matches. Williams is 100-44 in
"After she beat me she has to
win the tournament," Pavlyuchenkova said. "I really hope so."
Three sets were all the No.
6-seeded Roddick could manage. Playing on his worst surface, he was
always on the defensive against Gabashvili, who even had the more
dominating serve, with a 9-4 edge in aces. Roddick never broke and lost
serve four times.
The weather and clay on Court
Suzanne Lenglen — which Roddick considers particularly slow — robbed his
shots of some zip.
"I got outplayed from the first
ball," he said. "It was a tough matchup for me in these conditions. He
has pretty big swings and gets good length on the ball. I'm a little
shorter and wasn't able to penetrate the court quite as well. He was
getting in control of the rallies most of the day."
Roddick's mood was sour almost
from the start. During a first-set changeover, he threw two wrapped
rackets because he was angry about way they had been strung.
During another changeover three
games from the end, he engaged in a long, heated discussion with the
umpire about the tarps behind the baseline. They were wet from rain, and
balls rolling into them became heavy.
"It's something that I've been
pretty adamant about complaining about behind closed doors for a long
time," Roddick said. "I don't think that's something that needs to
happen all the time."
The 25-year-old Gabashvili, who
was playing in the third round of a major event for the first time,
agreed the slow conditions hindered Roddick.
"I was trying to control game
always, all the match, you know, to take points in my hand and move
him," Gabashvili said. "I think he was feeling very uncomfortable."
Nadal won the majority of the
many grinding baseline rallies against Hewitt, a two-time Grand Slam
champion. It's the fourth time in the past five years the Australian has
lost to Nadal at Roland Garros.
"Today it was a good test
against Lleyton," Nadal said. "When I was younger, I watched him on TV.
He was one of my idols."