WIMBLEDON, England – Two-time champion Venus Williams (search) avenged a family defeat and advanced to the Wimbledon quarterfinals Monday by beating Jill Craybas 6-0, 6-2.
Craybas upset Serena Williams (search) in the third round, then returned less than 48 hours later to the same stage — cozy Court 2, known as the Graveyard of Champions. This time Craybas lost the first six games and the last six.
Defending champion Maria Sharapova (search) never faced a break point and beat No. 16 Nathalie Dechy 6-4, 6-2. Sharapova has lost just 17 games in four rounds and has won 21 consecutive grass-court matches.
In men's play, 2002 champion Lleyton Hewitt defeated No. 24-seeded Taylor Dent 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (7), 6-3. Hewitt, seeded third, will next play No. 26 Feliciano Lopez, the first Spaniard to reach the men's quarterfinals since Manuel Orantes in 1972. Lopez beat No. 10 Mario Ancic 6-4, 6-4, 6-2.
The second week of the tournament began with sunny, 75-degree weather and a victory by Mary Pierce, who reached the quarterfinals for the first time in nine years by beating Flavia Pennetta 6-3, 6-1.
Venus Williams had expected to renew her sibling rivalry with two-time champion Serena, but instead she cruised to an easy victory over Craybas. Venus had 28 winners and just 15 errors and won 13 of 14 points at the net.
When she closed the win with her fourth ace, Williams grinned, hopped, twirled and waved to the crowd. Seeded 14th, she's seeking her fifth major title and her first since the 2001 U.S. Open
Despite the defeat, Craybas, 30, enjoyed the best Grand Slam showing of her career. The win over Serena was her first against a top-10 player and advanced her to the fourth round at a major for the first time.
Ranked 85th, Craybas was the first player to knock Serena out of a Grand Slam tournament in the first week since 1999. The last time Serena lost to a player ranked so low was in her second professional match eight years ago, and after the latest loss she tearfully pledged to start practicing more.
The No. 12-seeded Pierce, runner-up to Justine Henin-Hardenne at the French Open, lost only 10 points on serve and never faced a break point. Pennetta, playing in the fourth round at a major event for the first time, had just 11 winners and 33 unforced errors.
No. 3 Amelie Mauresmo, a two-time semifinalist, defeated No. 13 Elena Likhovtseva for the fifth time in a row, 6-4, 6-0.
No. 18 David Nalbandian, the runner-up in 2002, eliminated No. 27 Richard Gasquet 6-4, 7-6 (3), 6-0. Gasquet, 19, was the last teenager in the men's draw.
Nalbandian will next play 2002 Australian Open champion Thomas Johansson, seeded 12th, who reached the quarterfinals for the first time by beating Max Mirnyi 6-4, 7-5, 6-4.
Lopez reached the final eight at a major event for the first time thanks to his dominating left-handed serve. He lost just 15 points on serve and was broken only once, while Ancic served poorly missed with 55 percent of his first serves.
Ancic's frustration peaked in the second set when he threw a plastic bottle at his chair, then sent his racket bounding across the lawn while changing ends. After a ball boy retrieved the racket, Ancic threw it again, breaking it, and received a code violation from the chair umpire.
A semifinalist last year, Ancic was the last player to beat two-time defending champion Roger Federer on grass. He hit 16 aces but totaled just 10 winners and had 38 unforced errors.
Pierce, 30, continued her career comeback from injuries to her shoulder, back, ankle and abdomen that sent her tumbling from the top 10 and out of the top 200. The two-time Grand Slam champion reached the final eight at just one major in 2001-04 but has now done it for the 13th time.
Pierce's best showing in nine previous appearances at Wimbledon came in 1996, when she lost in the quarterfinals.