Serena stifles contest to reach Roland Garros quarters

Wed Jun 1, 2016 11:03am EDT
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By Ossian Shine

PARIS (Reuters) - It would be unfair to blame Elina Svitolina, for so few have what it takes to bring the best out of Serena Williams.

Never mind that this was a grand slam fourth round match, or that Svitolina was the 18th seed. Once again, the champion swept past an opponent while barely breaking sweat.

The American's 6-1 6-1 scoreline to reach the French Open quarter-finals on Wednesday tells its own story; and it was a tale deserving a better stage than a sparsely populated Roland Garros center court.

A certain type of genius had been on show. Not the sort of shot-playing, mesmerizing genius conjured when two superstars of the sport lock horns; but genius nonetheless. The type that allows a player to out-think, out-manoeuvre and out-gun their opponent -- all with the minimum of fuss.

Year, after year, after year.

Not for nothing is Williams ranked number one in the world. While few had expected Svitolina to see off Williams, many might have expected a better fight, if only by virtue of her top-20 ranking.

Svitolina soon learned, though, the more you throw at Williams, the more you get back. That is how she has amassed 21 grand slam singles crowns, and four Olympic golds.

Each time Svitolina thumped a ball harder, Williams slid into place and clattered it with timing and a power her opponent could only dream of.   Continued...

Tennis - French Open - Roland Garros - Serena Williams of the U.S. v Elina Svitolina of Ukraine - Paris, France - 1/06/16. Williams (L) shakes hands with Svitolina.  REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes