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Venus Williams Cruises Into Stuttgart Semifinals

By Ken Miller, Lawn Tennis Correspondent, Posted: Friday, October 3, 2008 6:09pm PST USA
Venus Williams Cruises Into Stuttgart Semifinals, Lawn Tennis Magazine STUTTGART--( Wimbledon champion Venus Williams of the USA stormed into the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix semifinals Friday, defeating Dinara Safina of Russia 6-4, 6-2.

Williams had never played Safina before.

Both players traded aggressive groundstrokes and powerful serves to hold every service game played to start the quarterfinal match

Venus Williams of the USA | Photo by Jim Mcisaac/AFP/Getty Images
Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, Stuttgart, Germany, Lawn Tennis Magazine
From down 3-4 in set one, Williams had won seven games in a row.

until 4 all in set one where Williams broke Safina's serve at love. A Williams overhead winner and three errors from Safina sent Williams ahead 5-4.

Two unreturnable serves set up set point for Williams where another forceful serve would result in a Safina forehand return netted on setpoint.

In set two, a Williams forehand down the line return winner sealed an early break of serve as Williams went ahead 6-4, 1-0. Williams continued to hit her forehand in the match with power and consistency to race to a 4-0 second set lead.

From down 3-4 in set one, Williams had won seven games in a row before Safina held serve to reach 4-1. However after more forehand winners and aggressive serving, Williams closed the match out with a final forceful serve out wide on matchpoint.

Too many errors from Safina hurt her cause today as Williams' game was in top form. Safina however can take consolation in the facts that this year she's raised her WTA Tour ranking from 15th to 3rd and that she's already qualified for the WTA Tour's year end championships.

In Saturday's semifinals, Williams takes on world number two Jelena Jankovic of Serbia. Head to head Jankovic leads Williams 4-3 and won their only meeting this year on the clay in the quarterfinals at Rome 5-7, 6-2, 6-3. The two players have never met before indoors.

Williams is to meet Jankovic in semifinal number two while 19 year old Victoria Azarenka of Belarus meets Nadia Petrova of Russia in the first semifinal. Both matches are scheduled to be broadcast live Saturday morning beginning at 8:00am EST on the Tennis Channel in the USA.

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