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Double defeat for Williams sisters

Jennifer Capriati
Capriati on her way to a second straight win over Serena Williams.
6-Anastasia Myskina (Russia) beat 4-Venus Williams (U.S.) 6-3 6-4; 7-Jennifer Capriati (U.S.) beat 2-Serena Williams (U.S.) 6-3 2-6 6-3; 14-Paola Suarez (Argentina) beat 18-Maria Sharapova (Russia) 6-1 6-3; 9-Elena Dementieva (Russia) beat 3-Amelie Mauresmo (France) 6-4 6-3

PARIS, France -- The Williams sisters crashed out of the French Open quarterfinals within half an hour of each other on a day disrupted by rain delays in Paris.

Second seed Serena, the 2002 champion, was beaten 6-3 2-6 6-3 by 2001 champion Jennifer Capriati. And minutes later fourth-seeded Venus was ousted 6-3 6-4 by Anastasia Myskina.

Elena Dementieva joins fellow Russian Myskina in the semis after beating third-seeded local favorite Amelie Mauresmo 6-4 6-3.

Ninth seed Dementieva will meet Argentina's Paola Suarez in the last four on Thursday while sixth-seeded Myskina faces Capriati in her bid to reach her first career grand slam final.

Seventh seed Capriati ousted U.S. rival Serena in a match that was twice interrupted by heavy showers and often continued in light drizzle.

"I was an amateur today," said Serena who was beaten in the semifinals by Justine Henin-Hardenne last year.

"I think this year I made it really tough on myself by not performing and by making a lot of errors and by just not keeping the ball in play, just basically not doing anything at a professional level."

The younger Williams first showed signs of weakness in the second round when she lost a set to 17-year-old Russian Maria Kirilenko.

But on center court against Capriati, her serve was especially weak getting only 54 percent of her first serves in.

Capriati's win followed her success against Serena in the semifinals of last month's Rome Masters, which broke a run of eight straight defeats against her.

Win was deserved

"I'm so happy and relieved. I just looked up at my parents and said 'finally it's about time one of these went my way'. I earned it and deserved the win," said Capriati.

Capriati triumphed on her second match point after her first was controversially called long, forcing the point to be replayed at 40-30.

Venus was also below par against an opponent whom she had beaten in their previous two meetings, losing her serve four times and committing 42 errors.

"I would have liked better preparation," said Venus who has won two clay court tournaments in Charleston and Warsaw this spring to build up a 19-match winning clay streak in the run-up to Roland Garros.

"I wasn't really in a rhythm today. Normally, I don't think she would beat me because she can't hurt me. Next time I will be ready."

Suarez emerged between the showers to reach her first grand slam semifinal with a 6-1 6-3 win over error-prone Russian 17-year-old Maria Sharapova.

Paola Suarez
Suarez's run to the semifinals is her best-ever grand slam performance.

Sharapova, who had reached the last eight without dropping a set, fell apart against her more experienced opponent, committing 40 unforced errors and losing on her own serve seven times.

The Argentine 14th seed strolled away with the match in 59 minutes after winning the opening five games to improve on quarterfinals appearances in Paris in 2002 and at the U.S. Open last year.

The 22-year-old Dementieva, a U.S. Open semifinalist in 2000, was more consistent than her jittery opponent in a one-sided tie, advancing to the last four after 93 minutes on center court.

"I had absolutely no pressure playing against her. She was the favorite, I had already achieved a great result so far and I had nothing to lose," Dementieva said.

Mauresmo appeared to be a favorite going into her home slam after winning the two biggest clay-court tournaments before Roland Garros -- in Rome and Berlin.

However, she faltered against an opponent she had beaten six times in eight previous matches.

"I still have a lot of work to do to handle my emotions here. It's getting repetitive at Roland Garros," Mauresmo said.

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