Serena endures a dizzy spell before beating bug

World No 1 rebounds from locker-room infection to edge past feisty Russian

A virus has been going round the locker rooms here at the French Open, leaving players tired and sick. Serena Williams was the latest victim, but if the bug thought it was going to bring her down the American had other ideas. Williams sent for the doctor after losing five games in a row against Anastasia Pavlyu- chenkova but recovered to win their third-round match 6-1 1-6 6-2.

Williams felt unwell as early as the second game. "I got really fatigued," she said. "I felt really dizzy out there. I was just trying to stay in there."

The 12-time Grand Slam champion had raced through the first set, but Pavlyuchenkova, an 18-year-old Russian of great promise, went 5-0 up in the second. Williams, clearly in distress, took a medical time-out and had her pulse and temperature checked. She lost the set and still looked uncomfortable at the start of the decider, in which she had to save two break points at 1-1.

However, the tide turned when Williams broke serve in the fourth game. "Towards the end of the third I started feeling better and moving better, and then I was able to play some longer points, so that's a good sign," the American said.

Williams, who is now guaranteed to stay at the top of the world rankings, saw the doctor again after the match. "He just told me to rest and I just ate a lot," she said. "He said there's a bug going round and how players start feeling tired and the next day they get sick. I've been loading up on vitamins. I should be OK."

Shahar Peer will be Williams's next opponent after the fast-improving Israeli ended home interest in the women's singles with a 7-6 6-2 victory over Marion Bartoli. Aravane Rezai had already gone out, losing 6-7 6-4 10-8 to Nadia Petrova, the match having been held over from the previous night with the score at 7-7 in the final set.

After the bright sunshine of the previous day and the soaring temperatures earlier in the week, grey clouds hung over Roland Garros. By early evening, on an increasingly chilly day, rain was falling again.

Justine Henin and Maria Shara-pova began their eagerly awaited third-round contest at 7.45pm and left 84 minutes later with the score one set all. Henin won the first 6-2 and Sharapova the second 6-3, at the end of which it was too dark to continue.

Henin, who ended her 20-month retirement in January, has not lost here since 2004. However, the four-time champion has not always looked at her best over the past week and Sharapova ended the Belgian's run of 40 successive winning sets here, which equalled the record set by Helen Wills Moody in 1932.

Having regularly toyed with Sharapova in the first set by driving the Russian to the back of the court and then hitting killer drop-shots, Henin was being outplayed by the end of the second. Sharapova, finding her range on her groundstrokes and attacking the net, broke at 5-3 and served out to love. Battle will resume today.

Rafael Nadal had no such problems against Lleyton Hewitt, though the Australian kept him on court for nearly two-and-a-half hours. Nadal, who used to have trouble beating the former world No 1, won 6-3 6-4 6-3.

On any other surface, Andy Roddick's 6-4 6-4 6-2 loss to Teimuraz Gabashvili, a Russian ranked No 114, would have been a surprise, but the American has never gone beyond the fourth round here and arrived with no clay-court matches under his belt. Gabashvili will play Jurgen Melzer, a surprise winner over David Ferrer.

Roddick might have known his number would be up when he saw he was playing on Court Suzanne Lenglen, where he lost in the first or second round every year between 2002 and 2007. The world No 8 was unhappy with the stringing of his rackets and the damp tarpaulins at the back of the court, which made the balls wet. After inspecting three balls as he prepared to serve in the first set, he said: "No dry balls. So unprofessional."

The world No 8 asked Carlos Bernardes, the umpire: "Is there any conversation that takes place once we leave Roland Garros before I come back? All I can do is hold you accountable. Who do you talk to? Who's the supervisor? I want a name."

Novak Djokovic survived a second-set wobble before beating Victor Hanescu 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-2. He now faces Robby Ginepri, the last American in the men's singles. The world No 98 beat Juan Carlos Ferrero, the champion here in 2003, 7-5 6-3 3-6 2-6 6-4.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness