Tennis: Serena sets up Kuznetsova rematch at French Open

PARIS (AFP) - Serena Williams bludgeoned her way to another lopsided win at the French Open on Sunday as she continued her quest for a second French Open title, 11 years after her first.

The top seeded American needed just 70 minutes to dispose of the world's top doubles player, Roberta Vinci of Italy, 6-1, 6-3 and in four matches at Roland Garros this year, she has dropped just 10 games.

The win puts her into a quarter-final matchup against unseeded Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia who won the title in Paris in 2009 after defeating Williams in a quarter-final thriller.

Kuznetsova, who outlasted eighth seed Angelique Kerber of Germany 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, said she would relish going up again against Williams, even given her current form.

"I mean, she's the best in the world so far. She's been playing unbelievable tennis," she said.

"But I believe that I have the game and my good days, as well. Let's cross fingers I will have a good day on that one. She's just a fighter. She's unbelievable, you know." Williams said that she expected a tough match every time she comes up against Kuznetsova.

"I mean, the last time we played here she won, so that will probably get her pumped up and she's on a comeback," she added.

"She has nothing to lose but everything to gai. She also wants to do well, and she's won this tournament before.

"I have had some pretty tough matches this claycourt season, and I think for sure that will be another one." Also through to the last eight was last year's runner-up Sara Errani who overcame stomach pain at the end of the first set to defeat Carla Suarez-Navarro of Spain 5-7, 6-4, 6-3.

The Italian will take on fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland who defeated the 2008 champion Ana Ivanovic of Serbia 6-2, 6-4 in the last match of the day.

The victory for Williams takes her career-best winning streak to 28, the third longest since 2000 behind sister Venus (35) and Justine Henin (32).

As in the previous three rounds Williams asserted her authority from the start, jumping out into a 4-0 lead. The only trouble she occasionally had came from the windy conditions that disrupted her service action.

Vinci got on the scoreboard when Williams hit long with a forehand in the fifth game but two games later, the set was done and dusted for the American in just 29 minutes.

The Italian had only her textbook slice as a weapon to keep powerhouse Williams at bay and that was never going to be enough.

She did hang on till 3-3, with Williams getting increasingly frustrated with the gusting wind, but there it ended as the American turned on the power once more to speed away.

A second French Open triumph on June 8 would give Williams 16 Grand Slam titles, two short of fellow Americans Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert who are tied for fourth place on the all-time list on 18.

The 27-year-old Kuznetsova won the second of her two Grand Slam titles in Paris in 2009, but since then she has struggled with injuries and loss of form, slipping to 85th in the world rankings at the start of the year.

But a run into the Australian Open quarter-finals boosted her confidence and she once again, as an unseeded player, drew inspiration from the claycourts at Roland Garros to defeat Kerber for her best win of the year.

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