Error-prone Serena subdues Kirilenko

ROME - World No 1 Serena Williams had few problems in dismissing Russia's Maria Kirilenko 6-16-4 yesterday to reach the semifinals of the Rome Open.

ROME - World No 1 Serena Williams had few problems in dismissing Russia's Maria Kirilenko 6-16-4 yesterday to reach the semifinals of the Rome Open.

Williams looked set for a particularly short afternoon as she took 10 of the first 11 games against her 37th-ranked opponent.

But Kirilenko rallied to win three games in a row as Williams's forehand went to pot.

She steadied herself to hold at 4-3 and then served out the match despite her unforced error count creeping up at the end.

But having smashed down eight aces and 19 outright winners, her 18 unforced errors did not stop her advancing.

Playing in her first tournament since winning the Australian Open in January, Williams admitted her clay form has surprised her.

"I can't believe I'm still in the competition," she said. - Sapa-AFP

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