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Venus Williams Powers Into Auckland Semifinals
By Thurston Soros, Lawn Tennis Analyst, Posted: Thursday, January 8, 2015 9:35pm PST USA
Venus Williams Powers Into Auckland Semifinals AUCKLAND--Although her opponent the unseeded Elena Vesnina of Russia staged a spirited mid-match challenge in the quarterfinals on Thursday (Wednesday night USA), the third seeded Venus Williams of the USA could not be stopped as she unleashed her trademark power game to cruise into tonight’s ASB Classic semifinals (Friday Auckland time).

And with a win in tonight’s semifinal number two at New Zealand versus the unseeded Lauren Davis of the USA (estimated start time 10:00pm PST USA), Williams could meet

Venus Williams of the USA
Lawn Tennis
After all of her mid-set fight, the Czech fizzled as Williams quickly broke serve then held serve at love to level the set at 4 games all.

the top seeded and 2014 US Open finalist Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark in a dream championship final.

Wozniacki takes on the fourth seeded Barbora Zahlavova Strycova of the Czech Republic in tonight first semifinal (not before 5:00pm Auckland time or 8:00pm PST).

Williams, a 2014 Auckland finalist, held serve to start yesterday’s quarterfinal after powering a backhand down the line inside out for a winner on the first point of the match. Vesnina then held serve as well to level the opening set at one all.

Serving at gamepoint, Williams struck a swinging crosscourt forehand volley winner to hold serve and pull ahead 2-1.

The American then broke serve after two consecutive Vesnina doublefaults before again holding serve to reach 4-1.

The Czech held serve to reach 4-2 before Williams went ahead 40-0 on her serve.

A 111 miles per hour Williams ace, her first of the day, struck out wide put the American up 5-2.

With Vesnina serving down 0-15, Williams powered an inside out down the line forehand for a winner to lead 30-0.

Vesnina struck a crosscourt backhand wide to face triple set point.

Williams broke serve at love after striking an inside out crosscourt forehand return winner to finish the set after only 30 minutes of play.

But Vesnina, who had won only 16 points in set one, had other ideas for set two.

After the first four games went on serve, Williams served at 2 games all.

At deuce, Vesnina stepped up the pace and angles on her groundstrokes, which sent the American on the run in several of the following points.

A Williams backhand followed by a backhand volley both hit wide resulted in the only break of serve of the day for Vesnina as she led 3-2.

Then with both players hitting from the baseline toe to toe, Vesnina broke through a 12 deuce game to reach gamepoint after Williams, on the run, sent a forehand down the line wide.

In the following point, with Williams again on the run, Vesnina struck a forehand crosscourt then another down the line for a surprise winner to hold serve and lead 4-2.

But after all of her mid-set fight, the Czech fizzled as Williams quickly broke serve then held serve at love to level the set at 4 games all.

Williams sent a powerful ace down the tee before holding serve to regain the lead 5-4.

Serving to stay in the match, Vesnina sent a crosscourt forehand long followed by a crosscourt backhand wide to trail 0-30.

A netted crosscourt backhand from the Czech saw her face triple matchpoint.

Williams netted a crosscourt backhand return as Vesnina reached 15-40.

The American then broke serve to close out the match 6-2, 6-4 after winning her fourth game in a row following a Vesnina crosscourt forehand hit long.

Then with a ballerina twirl, a smile and a wave to the Auckland crowd, Williams had powered into the Auckland semifinals with an impressive win over a difficult opponent.

However; unfortunately for Williams, ranked 19th by the WTA Tour, she will most likely be seeded 17th or 18th at the upcoming Australian Open (begins January 19th at Melbourne) which means she could meet a top seed such as her top ranked sister Serena Williams early in week one in round three.

But having lost in round one at Melbourne last year, Williams will be only defending 10 rankings points.

The Melbourne winner will be awarded 2,000 rankings points and three million dollars.

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