- French Open, Day Eight
Williams powers into French Open quarter-final
Serena Williams provided an emphatic display to cement her chnaces of earning a second Roland Garros title, dispatching Roberta Vinci 6-1 6-3 in 70 minutes on Court Philippe Chatrier.
The 31-year-old has been in superb form this year, and extended her career-best winning run to 28 games with a fine outing in front of the Paris crowd on Sunday.
Williams began in typically relentless fashion, breaking in the very first game of the match after a string of powerful forehands left Vinci without a sniff of a return.
The break was confirmed when the American comfortably held, and further extended her lead by completing the double-break with a flurry of well placed ground strokes. Vinci finally got off the mark in the fifth game of the first, letting out a cry of relief after holding her serve at the third attempt.
However, Vinci's efforts remained in vain as Williams proved too strong for the world No. 15. The 2002 champion, who crashed out in the first round in 2012, was much quicker across the court and took the first set in only 29 minutes.
Vinci looked for an immediate response, but once again Williams fought back strongly on her serve to open the second set. Williams had a chance to impose another early break and firmly establish control over her opponent, but sent a sliced forehand long of the baseline to even the scores.
There was a hint of a momentum change as Vinci looked to pounce on the Williams error, but the fifteen-time grand slam champion cried in frustration before regaining concentration with a well placed ace and commanding forehand winner.
Some superb net play kept Vinci in it, as Williams earned another break point with a glorious lob that just touched inside the baseline. However, Vinci continued to look strong at the net and saved the game with a deft drop shot to wrong-foot Williams.
Spurred on by confidence, Vinci soon levelled in the second and somehow managed to return a powerful Serena backhand when it landed right under her feet. The 30-year-old worked her way to deuce with another clever drop over the net, but Williams found enough on her serve to inch ahead.
It was enough to rattle the Italian as Williams soon found the breakthrough; a break to love as a multitude of clever strokes from the world No. 1 left Vinci stranded.
And with three match points at her disposal, Williams only needed one as Vinci slammed a forehand into the net, sending her opponent through to a grand slam last eight
Williams will now face Svetlana Kuznetsova in the quarter-final after the world No. 39 overcame eighth seed Angelique Kerber 6-4 4-6 6-3 on Court Philippe Chatrier. The Russian was crowned French Open champion in 2009, but is beginning to show signs of her previous best in an attempt to work her way to a second Paris title.
Elsewhere on Sunday, there were last-16 wins for Agnieszka Radwanska - who demolished Ana Ivanovic 6-2 6-4 - and Sara Errani, who came from behind to oust Carla Suarez-Navarro in three sets.