Serena into French quarters, Keys out

Champion Serena Williams swatted aside Elina Svitolina 6-1 6-1 on Wednesday to reach the last eight of the French Open, while Kiki Bertens made her first grand slam quarter-final with a straight-sets defeat of 15th seed Madison Keys.

World No.1 Williams rarely sparkled on a damp, dank centre court at Roland Garros, but always wielded enough firepower to see off the Ukrainian 18th seed in a match that was delayed by two days due to the fickle Parisian weather.

The American will play 12th seed Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain or Yulia Putintzeva for a spot in the semis.

Dutchwoman Bertens outpaced American Keys 7-6 (7-4) 6-3.

World No.58 Bertens often had the extra shot against Keys, setting up a meeting with Swiss eighth seed Timea Bacsinszky for a place in the last four.

Bacsinszky accounted for No.9 seed Venus Williams 6-2 6-4.

In a match that should have started on Monday but was delayed following two days of rain at Roland Garros, Bertens broke to lead 3-2 in the opening set.

Keys broke back to force a tiebreaker, which Bertens, who won the Nuremberg claycourt tournament last month, claimed after finding stunning angles.

She broke her opponent’s serve again in the fourth game of the second set and held throughout, ending the contest on the first match point with a backhand passing shot.

Bertens said although she felt a little sore because of the heavy balls, she adapted well to the heavy conditions on another gloomy day.

“It’s really different. I think I feel it already a little bit in my shoulder. The balls are much heavier than the other days,” she told reporters.

“Also my shots were not like they would have been if the sun was out but I think still I did a pretty good job today.”

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