June 4, 2009 in Sports

Williams sent packing at French Open; Federer advances

Associated Press

PARIS – One shot by Serena Williams sent Svetlana Kuznetsova to the court in a messy spill that left her covered with clay.

The Russian was down but not out. Showing newfound resilience, she squandered a big lead in the second set Wednesday but ended Williams’ 18-match Grand Slam winning streak in the French Open quarterfinals, 7-6 (3), 5-7, 7-5.

Williams was on the verge of reaching the women’s semis after staging a comeback and taking a 3-1 lead in the final set. She blamed nerves for her loss.

“In the third set I had an opportunity and I got really tight, and I pretty much gave it to her,” Williams said. “It was like, ‘Here, do you want to go to the semis? Because I don’t.’ She was like, ‘OK.’ ”

Williams, seeded second, was seeking her third successive major title and the 11th of her career.

Roger Federer moved one step closer to the only Grand Slam title he has yet to win, beating Frenchman Gael Monfils 7-6 (6), 6-2, 6-4. It’s the 20th straight time he has reached the semis in a major tournament.

“I felt some pressure before this match,” Federer said. “I was very nervous, because I thought it would be very difficult.”

Federer owns 13 Grand Slam singles titles. He lost to Rafael Nadal in the past three finals at Roland Garros, as well as in the 2005 semifinals.

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