Serena stays as seeds sink

LANCE HORNBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:45 AM ET

As tennis rivalries go, Williams-Bondarenko doesn't exactly rank with Evert-Navratilova.

The two sets of sisters usually meet in doubles play, but after little-known Kateryna Bondarenko's upset of Venus Williams in Rogers Cup singles play on Tuesday, younger sister Serena can restore family honour by beating Alona, the elder of the Ukrainian siblings, in this afternoon's round of 16.

"They are great players and I look forward to it," Serena Williams said.

SEVEN OF TOP 11 OUT

She already made tourney organizers happy last night by avoiding the fate of seven of the top 11 seeds in the Rogers Cup, getting by gutsy Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan 6-3, 6-2. It was capped by Czech qualifier Lucie Safarova, ranked No. 46 in the world, dumping tournament 11th seed Ana Ivanovic 3-6, 7-5, 6-3.

Williams' powerful serve and deadly forehand eventually wore out her foe. She won the fifth game of the second set with a shot down the line in the difficult splits position and added a fist pump to the delight of photographers.

"I'm really flexible and love doing the splits off the court, but never expect to do it on court," she said.

Chances of an all-Williams final this Sunday are ruined, but with the Bondarenkos on opposite sides of the draw (Kateryna plays today against 14th seed Agnieszka Radwanska, one half of yet another WTA sister act), they have a remote chance of meeting Sunday. The Bondarenkos have faced off seven times in various levels of pro tennis singles, with Kateryna holding a 4-3 edge.

In addition to defending Rogers Cup champion and world No. 1 Dinara Safina bowing out yesterday, last year's finalist Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia lost to Alisa Kleybanova of Russia. As for the seeds, Safina, Venus Williams (3), Svetlana Kuznetsov (6), Caroline Wozniacki (8), Victoria Azarenka (9) and Nadia Petrova (10) are out.


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