Originally created 10/24/98

Williams, Seles advance in quick matches



MOSCOW -- Top-seeded Venus Williams and No. 2 Monica Seles scored overwhelming victories in the quarterfinals of the $1 million Kremlin Cup Friday, taking less than two hours between them to advance.

Williams defeated Katarina Studenikova 6-1, 6-0, and Seles beat Sylvia Farina 6-0, 6-1.

"In the past I had problems focusing, but now that's not so bad," Williams said.

Williams, who lost to Studenikova on a hot day two years ago, said she had prepared hard for the rematch and expected a tougher fight.

"I thought I would have to hit more balls today," Williams said. "I was ready."

She wasn't the only one. Seles didn't even allow Farina a point in the first three games. She hit sharp groundstrokes down the line that Farina could only gape at.

"I came out playing so well today," Seles said. "It was one of those days when everything you touch goes in and it was hard for her (Farina) to find her rhythm."

Seles will face seventh-seed Sandrine Testud in the semifinals Saturday. Testud upset thirdseeded Conchita Martinez 7-6 (7-4), 7-5.

Martinez, bothered by an injured ankle in the second set, missed several chances to beat Testud. She dropped the final game after going up 40-0.

No. 5 seed Mary Pierce overcame a 5-2 deficit in the first set and beat Spain's Magui Serna 7-5, 6-3 in the other quarterfinal.

Pierce will face Williams, who beat her last week in the quarterfinals of the European Championships, with a record-breaking 127 mph serve to end the match.