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Venus Surges Into Semi-finals

Miami, USA

Venus Williams - Sony Ericsson Open - Miami 2010© Getty ImagesVenus Williams last won the Sony Ericsson Open title in 2001.

Venus Williams continues to tear up the Sony Ericsson Open WTA Tour, eclipsing sixth seed Agnieszka Radwanska 6-3, 6-1 Tuesday to race into the semi-finals of the Sony Ericsson Open. Williams improved to an 18-1 match record on the season, and is closing on her third consecutive title, following earlier victories in Dubai and Acapulco.

In the semi-finals Williams will play 13th seeded Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli.

Despite coming into the Sony Ericsson Open after a month’s layoff, Williams showed that conditioning was not an issue, finding her best form one day after grinding out a tough three-set win over Daniela Hantuchova. In that match she lost eight of the first nine games before fighting back.

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“[Today was] a little more straightforward.  We had some kind of interesting times in the first set where we traded breaks.  Getting through a match like yesterday makes me more confident because it wasn't exactly my best game.
“Today I was kind of eager to clean up my act.  We had some really good rallies and really good points, but I just see me keep coming out on top, so of course I like that.”

Williams, at 29 the oldest remaining player in the draw, will next play the winner of former Wimbledon finalist Marion Bartoli and 12th-seeded Belgian Yanina Wickmayer.

Williams won three Sony Ericsson Open titles (1998, '99 and 2001) in a four-year period as part of a 22-match winning streak that was hlated by sister Serena in 2002.  Williams, who did not play the tournament in 2000, has not been to the final since her 2001 title run.

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Former Wimbledon finalist Bartoli fought off three consecutive set points late in the second set before defeating Yanina Wickmayer 6-4, 7-5 to reach her first semi-final at the Sony Ericsson Open – and her first semi-final of the 2010 season.

The match, which lasted 1 hr. 59 mins, looked set to tick into a third hour before a dramatic reversal of fortune. Bartoli stared down three set points when serving at 4-5 0/40, ultimately winning 12 of 13 points to get to triple match point.  

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