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Serena sails, Maria sinks

Montreal: Serena Williams cruised into the quarter finals of the Rogers Cup with a 7-5, 6-4 win over Lucie Safarova, while sister Venus ousted Angelique Kerber as the Montreal tournament lost more high seeds on Thursday.

Petra Kvitova, ranked No. 2 and playing in her first event since winning her second Wimbledon title, fell 4-6, 6-1, 2-6 to Russia’s Ekaterina Makarova while fourth seed Maria Sharapova was beaten 2-6, 6-4, 2-6 by Carla Suarez Navarro.

German sixth seed Kerber and seventh seed Jelena Jankovic of Serbia were also sent packing, leaving just two of the top eight seeds — Serena Williams and third seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland — in the quarter finals. Playing in Montreal for the first time in 14 years, world No. 1 Serena has looked at ease on the hard courts after winning the tournament in Toronto last year.

While not as ruthless as in her demolition of Sam Stosur in her opening match, the American still delivered on the big points when it mattered against her 15th-seeded Czech opponent.

“I really needed to serve well today because she was just hitting unreturnable serves for me,” said Serena. “We didn’t really have too many long rallies. We both were just hitting lots of service winners or aces. So it was kind of hard to get in a good rhythm.” (Reuters)