• Family Circle Cup

Serena canters into Charleston quarters

ESPN staff
April 5, 2012
Serena Williams impressed during her routine victory © PA Photos

Fifth seed Serena Williams sauntered into the last eight of the Family Circle Cup with a classy 6-2 6-2 destruction of Marina Erakovic.

The world No. 10's serve was in good working order throughout the contest - she saved the only break point against her - allowing her to pour her energy into pressurising her opponent with her return game.

Struggling to contain Williams' power, Erakovic was regularly in trouble and two breaks handed the American the opening set with the minimum of fuss.

Seventeenth seed Erakovic raised her level in the second, although the outcome told a different story. Although her first-serve percentage was down from the first set, Williams held firm and she was rewarded for her aggressive returning as two further breaks sealed a dominant victory.

There was a shock as third seed Marion Bartoli was sent packing by No. 14 seed Polona Hercog. Things were looking ominous for Bartoli after a gruelling opening set went the way of Hercog, but Bartoli showed her renowned fighting spirit to come storming back to take the second.

The decider was another prolonged affair, with neither player giving an inch. Both were broken, but it was Hercog who made the decisive breakthrough, completing a 6-4 1-6 6-4 success in nearly two-and-a-half hours.

Ninth seed Lucie Safarova was taken all the way too before booking her place in the quarter-finals courtesy of a 6-2 6-7(4) 6-1 triumph against Aleksandra Wozniak.

Williams' sister Venus, playing on a wild card invitation, dispatched Anastasia Rodionova 7-5 6-2, while Nadia Petrova saw off Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in straight sets.

Next up for Venus could be 2011 US Open champion Sam Stosur, whose match with Galina Voskoboeva was suspended due to rain with the Australian leading 4-2, 15-0 in the first set.

Fourth seed Vera Zvonareva defeated qualifier Stefanie Voegele, the Russian needing three sets before completing a 5-7 6-3 6-4 victory, and sixth seed Sabine Lisicki ousted Yaroslava Shvedova 7-5 6-4.

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