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Serena Williams extends winning streak to 22

Published May 17, 2013 9:07 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Rome • Serena Williams is on the longest winning streak of her career. And she feels better than ever at age 31.

The top-ranked American rolled past Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro 6-2, 6-0 Friday to reach the Italian Open semifinals 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.

Martina Navratilova established the longest women's win streak in the Open Era at 74 matches in 1984.

"I've been pretty consistent, and pretty healthy — knock on wood," Williams said. "I feel great — never felt better."

In the other half of the draw, two-time defending champion Maria Sharapova withdrew before her quarterfinal match against seventh-seeded Sara Errani due to illness.

In men's play, 36th-ranked Benoit Paire of France cruised past Marcel Granollers of Spain 6-1, 6-0 to reach his first Masters series semifinal. His next opponent will be either 17-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer or rising Polish player Jerzy Janowicz, who were playing in a night match.