Safarova of the Czech Republic 6-7(5-7), 6-2, 7-5 hours
before the second seeded Serena Williams topped Virginia Ruano Pascual of Spain 6-2, 6-0.
After dropping a tiebreaker set yesterday in a match suspended due to darkness, Venus Williams reworked her game to cut her errors and quickly took set two.
However Williams found herself down a matchpoint at 4-5 after some inspired play and aggressive left-handed groundstrokes from Safarova.
Williams fought back to erase the matchpoint with one of her signature shots, a backhand winner down the line before taking the last three games for the victory.
“Yesterday, I think I did too many things wrong. She just was firing for every shot and making them,”
Williams said. “Obviously, with the delay, was a lot of things to think about beforehand, what I could do different, and just tried to be as aggressive as I could.”
“The last two sets, you know, it was close. But these kind of matches are really rewarding, and she was
playing well. But I felt like I deserved it.”
Serena Williams advanced with a much greater ease today, winning twelve of the fourteen games played, in a display substantially cleaner than the American had produced in her previous round of play.
Last year in Paris, both Williams sisters were upset on the same day in the third round in straight sets by opponents ranked outside the top twenty.
In 2002, Serena Williams defeated Venus Williams in the French Open final to take the lone Williams family Paris singles title.
In other news, the unseeded and 80th ranked Jelena Dokic, who once was ranked fourth, looked set to continue her 2009 Cinderella story with a stunning upset of the fourth seeded Elena Dementieva of Russia after leading in their second round encounter 6-2, 2-1.
However after a second set back injury time-out, the Australian would fail to replicate her first set power tennis and retire in tears from the contest while leading 6-2, 3-4.
In January, Dokic reversed her downward spiral by reaching the Australian Open quarterfinals before losing in three sets to the world number one Dinara Safina of Russia.