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Tennis-Schnyder strolls through after Serena retires hurt

ZURICH, Oct 16 (Reuters) Local favourite Patty Schnyder eased into the second round of the Zurich Open today after sixth seed Serena Williams retired injured at 6-0 3-0 down.

The American, who lost Sunday's Kremlin Cup final to Elena Dementieva, looked extremely out of sorts, barely moving as she surrendered her first two service games.

Briefly leaving the court at 3-0 down, Williams returned but showed no sign of improvement, taking just three more points as Schnyder romped the opening set 6-0 in 22 minutes.

The second set began with Williams heading for the wrong side of the court.

The American, who has made late withdrawals from previous editions of the Zurich tournament, was whistled off the court following the umpire's announcement of her retirement ''due to injury'' at 3-0 down in the second set.

''I don't think I've ever played a match like that but I just concentrated on playing my tennis,'' shrugged Schnyder in an on-court interview following Williams's departure.

''I was checking the situation and trying to focus on my own game. I still had to play some good shots and keep it together mentally which is not so easy.'' Amelie Mauresmo, another former world number one, booked her own place in the second round with a scrappy 6-4 4-6 6-3 win over Greek qualifier Eleni Daniilidou.

The Frenchwoman had looked in control during the opening set but then came off the worse in an error-strewn second set.

Apparently struggling with ankle problems for most of Tuesday's match, Daniilidou finally gave way with two consecutive dropped service games midway through the deciding set.

Mauresmo, seeded eighth in Zurich, will now face Ukrainian world number 25 Alona Bondarenko for a place in the quarter-finals.

Schnyder takes on the winner of Wednesday's final opening round match between Russia's Elena Dementieva and Italy's Francesca Schiavone.

Reuters RSA RN2354

Story first published: Wednesday, October 17, 2007, 13:00 [IST]
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