Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Canadians advance

Headed to 2nd round, as is Serena

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TORONTO -- While Stephanie Dubois had to battle for every point through most of her first-round Rogers Cup victory, her fellow Canadian Aleksandra Wozniak made it look easy.

Both Quebecers-born players advanced Tuesday at the women's tennis tournament, with Dubois fighting to a 7-6 (4), 6-1 win over German qualifier Kathrin Woerle and Wozniak sailing past Israel's Shahar Peer 6-1, 6-0.

Dubois, a wild-card entry from Laval, Que., covered every inch of the court under a burning late-afternoon sun, as she fought hard through the first set before taking control in the second.

"It was a tough first set, she was not giving me a lot of rhythm," said Dubois. "It was tough but I fought well. I got the momentum in the second set and served much better in the second, which made a difference."

Dubois used a vicious backhand slice to break Woerle for a 3-0 lead in the second. Woerle put up resistance when down 4-0, fighting back to deuce several times and causing Dubois to smash her racket against the court surface in frustration before losing the game.

However, Dubois regained her composure to close out the match and book a meeting with fourth-seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus.

Wozniak, also a wild-card entry at the tournament, never gave the No. 23-ranked Peer any room in their first meeting since 2007 at the Fed Cup.

"I just didn't let her find her rhythm and her game because I was always trying to dictate from the very first ball," said Wozniak. "And each point she couldn't find her rhythm so I tried to stay on her and have it under control."

She will likely face a stiffer test in her second round match against No. 10-seed Samantha Stosur of Australia.

Serena Williams, meanwhile, barely broke a sweat in her first-round 6-0, 6-3 victory against Ukraine's Alona Bondarenko.

The winner of 13 Grand Slam tournaments blasted through the first set in a blinding 16 minutes using her speed and power, as a bewildered Bondarenko scattered across the court helplessly.

"I would hate to be Grand Slam ready right now, seeing as how the U.S. Open is not right now, so I'll try to peak at the right time," said Williams. "I want to get better on a few things. I definitely want to try and continue to do more and play harder."

Kim Clijsters' status for the U.S. Open is now in question after pulling out during a match Tuesday night with a stomach muscle problem.

The No. 2-ranked 28-year-old from Belgium withdrew in the second set while leading 6-3, 1-2 against Chinese qualifer Jie Zheng.

 

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 10, 2011 C7

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