Serena, Venus Williams, Djokovic, Jankovic advance at Olympics

The Associated Press ~ staff The News
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BEIJING - For Serena Williams, the only misstep at the Olympics Tuesday came after her match. Reaching toward a courtside railing to sign autographs, she slipped and nearly fell into the photographers' pit.
That's the closest she came to being eliminated. Before the stumble, Williams defeated Samantha Stosur of Australia 6-2, 6-0 in 44 minutes.
Sister Venus soon joined Serena in the third round, beating Iveta Benesova of the Czech Republic 6-1, 6-4.
The Williamses are trying to add to the family Olympic medal collection. They won the gold in doubles at Sydney in 2000, and Venus won the singles that year.
"I've never played singles at the Olympics, so this has been really cool for me," Serena said. "Every time I walk out there, it's like I'm playing in my match, but at the same time I have the whole U.S. team on my side. It's good. I really like that feeling."
The sisters are top-seeded in doubles and had a first-round match scheduled Tuesday night. They could meet in the final of singles Saturday.
"That would be fantastic," Venus said. "Obviously it's a long ways away, but the third round makes it closer. I'm really excited for both of us to be playing really well for the U.S."
Top-seeded Americans Mike and Bob Bryan of the United States won their opening match in doubles, defeating Mark Knowles and Devin Mullings of the Bahamas 6-2, 6-1.
Americans Lindsay Davenport and Liezel Huber won their first-round match, beating Klaudia Jans and Alicja Rosolska of Poland 6-2, 6-1. Davenport said a knee injury that forced her to withdraw from singles last week didn't bother her in the match.
"It has slowly been feeling better," she said. "It's hard to train for singles and always dealing with swelling. I've just really been playing careful with it. I really wanted to be here in whatever capacity it was, and it became painfully obvious to me that role was doubles. I was very happy to accept that and move forward."
In women's singles, new No. 1 Jelena Jankovic beat Alona Bondarenko 7-5, 6-1. Jankovic supplanted Ana Ivanovic atop the rankings Monday.
No. 6-seeded Dinara Safina of Russia won her 12th match in a row, beating Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez of Spain 7-6 (3), 6-1.
On the men's side, No. 3 Novak Djokovic beat Rainer Schuettler 6-4, 6-2.
No Canadians remained in either singles or doubles.
With the temperature rising and the sun making its first appearance at the Beijing Games, the stands became a sea of fluttering Chinese fans - the hand-held kind - for Serena Williams' morning match on cozy Court 1.
"It was early," she said. "But with the time difference, I'm still waking up, like, at 5 in the morning. So it's good. I like the early matches."
She was done before noon. From 2-2, Williams won 40 of the final 49 points and 10 consecutive games. She whacked service winners, overpowered Stosur from both wings on the baseline and came forward for an overhead slam that prompted an appreciative "Ooooh" from the crowd.
Williams punctuated her best shots with a fist pump. She made the gesture one last time after ripping a backhand return winner on match point, then shouted "Come on!" as she trotted toward the net and into the round of 16.
Williams lost just five points in the second set, and dropped only six points on her serve in the match.
"My way of improving on it is to keep it up," said Williams, who is seeded fourth. "I played really clean matches in the past, the next one would be kind of streaky. I don't want to do that any more. I just want to keep playing the same consistency."

Organizations: Beijing Games

Geographic location: United States, BEIJING, Czech Republic Sydney Russia

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