Top seeds Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova both moved smoothly into the last 16 at the French Open on Saturday. Federer outplayed close friend Mario Ancic of Croatia, winning 6-3, 6-4 6-2 in cool, rainy, evening conditions on the Philippe Chatrier Centre Court. Earlier in the day, Sharapova defeated Italy's Karin Knapp 7-6 (7/4), 6-0.
The queen has abdicated. The throne is bare and the pretenders are circling at the French Open, which began on Sunday, with expectations high for an unusually large number of women players who feel they have been handed the rarest of opportunities. For the first time in almost a decade, winning at Roland Garros will not mean having to beat Justine Henin.
Torrential rain brought chaos to the French Open on Tuesday, with six hours of play lost and title favourites Maria Sharapova and Rafael Nadal amongst the victims of the deluge. Only 13 of the day's planned 72 ties were finished in the three hours of play possible between the downpours, leaving 59 of 128 first-round meetings still to be completed.
Champion Serena Williams made world number one Justine Henin look like a mere novice as she pulled off a stunning 6-2 6-0 victory to reach the semifinals of the Sony Ericsson Open on Tuesday. Williams barely put a foot wrong and reeled off the last nine games to book a last-four date with either her sister Venus or third seed Svetlana Kuznetsova.
World number one Roger Federer, in search of his first title of 2008, took no chances on Sunday as he moved smoothly into the third round of the Indian Wells Masters Series. The top-seeded Swiss, who enjoyed a first-round bye, defeated Spain's Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-3, 6-2 in his first ATP outing since a first-round ouster at Dubai last week.
Wimbledon crowds could learn a lot from the Australian Open. Like the British, the Australians have no players to speak of, so they do the next best thing and adopt a few for the purposes of the fortnight. They fell in love with Martina Hingis. Then it was Kimmy Clijsters, the Belgian obliging by getting engaged to Lleyton Hewitt. Now it's Aussie Ana.
Roger Federer was at his dominant best on Wednesday to book a place in the Australian Open semifinals as Ana Ivanovic brought Venus Williams's tournament to a juddering halt. The Swiss ace kept his cool in two close-fought sets against 12th seeded American James Blake before running away a 7-5, 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 winner.
A rattled Roger Federer was given a major scare in a five-set epic at the Australian Open on Saturday, but he avoided the fate of number-two seed Svetlana Kuznetsova who skidded out of the tournament. Other casualties included women's sixth seed Anna Chakvetadze and men's seventh seed Fernando Gonzalez.
Roger Federer stepped up his unrelenting charge towards a third successive Australian Open title with an emphatic win on Thursday, but Venus Williams had to dig deep to reach the third round. The Fed Express, chasing a 13th Grand Slam title, crushed wily Frenchman Fabrice Santoro, playing in a record 62nd Major tournament, 6-1, 6-2, 6-0.
Roger Federer's sleight of hand proved too bamboozling for court magician Fabrice Santoro as Melbourne Park was treated to a masterclass on Thursday. Svetlana Kuznetsova, Venus Williams, Novak Djokovic, David Ferrer and Lleyton Hewitt also reached the Australian Open third round but none could match the mastery of Swiss top seed Federer.
Crowd trouble and police ejections cast a shadow across Melbourne Park on Tuesday, diverting attention from world-class sport at the Australian Open. A violent incident marred a tennis fiesta in which fans bathed in glorious sunshine and the world's best players showcased their skills.
World number one Justine Henin goes into the Australian Open as the overwhelming favourite after an inspired 2007, but there is no shortage of challengers. Among them is superstar defending champion Serena Williams, who stunned the tennis world by winning the title last year in her comeback event following an injury-plagued 2006.
Maria Sharapova clinched the final place at the season-ending WTA Championships on Sunday. She has qualified every year since winning on her debut in 2004. "This has been a very frustrating year for me physically but I'm a big competitor and am determined to compete at the WTA Championships," Sharapova said.
Svetlana Kuznetsova saved two match points in the second set tiebreaker before beating Francesca Schiavone 4-6 7-6 7-5 in the first reverse singles on Sunday to give Russia their third Fed Cup title in four years. Kuznetsova's victory gave the home team an unassailable 3-0 lead over last year's surprise winners Italy in the final at Moscow's Luzhniki arena.
Svetlana Kuznetsova said she must work on rising to the big occasion following her 6-1 6-3 defeat by world number one Justine Henin in the US Open final on Saturday. "I think the match was much closer than the score, for sure," the 22-year-old Russian, who won the 2004 US Open title, told reporters.