Rome: Serena Williams is on the longest winning streak of her career. The top-ranked American beat Carla Suarez Navarro 6-2, 6-0 Friday to reach the Italian Open semi-finals and extend her victory run to 22 matches. Williams had twice won 21 in a row before, although both of those streaks came a decade ago, in 2002 and 2003.
In the other half of the draw, two-time defending champion Maria Sharapova withdrew before her quarter-final match against seventh-seeded Sara Errani due to illness. Showing off near-perfect form less than 10 days before the French Open begins on May 26, Williams has dropped only three games in her last two matches. Against the 22nd-ranked Suarez, the American hit winners seemingly at will.
The 15-time Grand Slam champion has also won her previous three tournaments. Williams will next face either two-time Rome winner Jelena Jankovic or Romanian qualifier Simona Halep.
Williams' only title at the Italian Open came in 2002, when she beat Justine Henin in the final. That was also the year she won her only French Open title....more
06:43 PM, May 17, 2013