Shock exits for Venus, Capriati

Venus Williams lost to 18-year-old Russian Vera Zvonareva 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 in the fourth round at the French Open on Sunday.

updated: February 25, 2007 09:48 IST
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Venus Williams suffered another Grand Slam defeat on Sunday, but this time it wasn't against her sister. The third-seeded Williams squandered an early lead and lost to 18-year-old Russian Vera Zvonareva 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 in the fourth round at the French Open. Williams had lost to sister Serena in the past four major events, including last year at Roland Garros. When an erratic Williams yanked a backhand wide on match point, Zvonareva took the moment in her stride, walking calmly to the net. She was greeted with a handshake and a smile by Williams. Zvonareva has climbed from 371st in the rankings at the beginning of last year to 21st entering the French Open. It was a tough day for top Americans, with Jennifer Capriati and a hobbling Lindsay Davenport, both losing as well. No. 7 seed Capriati, the 2001 champion, was also upset by a Russian. Nadia Petrova, ranked 76th, won 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, then celebrated by pounding her chest, punching the air and blowing a kiss to the crowd. No. 6-seed Davenport was forced to quit, aggravating a strained toe on her left foot that has bothered her for about a month. She was trailing No. 24 Conchita Martinez 6-4, 2-0. Martinez will next face No. 2 Kim Clijsters, who played 24 minutes before winning a game, then raced past No. 15 Magdalena Maleeva 0-6, 6-2, 6-1. Chanda Rubin reached the quarterfinals at Roland Garros for the third time, beating Petra Mandula 4-6, 6-2, 7-5. The eighth-seeded American next plays No. 4 Justine Henin-Hardenne, who celebrated her 21st birthday by beating No. 19 Patty Schnyder 6-3, 2-6, 6-2. Among the men, Andre Agassi advanced by beating Flavio Saretta 6-2, 6-1, 7-5. No. 4 Carlos Moya, the 1998 champion, beat No. 13 Jiri Novak 7-5, 6-3, 6-2. He'll next face Dutchman Martin Verkerk, who upset No. 11 Rainer Schuettler 6-3, 6-3, 7-5. Verkerk had never won a Grand Slam match coming into the tournament. (AP)