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October 31, 2009

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Home » Sports » Tennis

Serena eases into Doha semis

WORLD No. 1 Serena Williams marched into the semifinals of the WTA Championships on Thursday with a comfortable win over Elena Dementieva while sister Venus kept her title hopes alive long after midnight.

Serena's 6-2, 6-4 victory completed a 100 percent record for the American in the Maroon Group and confirmed her as the first player through to the last four at the season-ending showpiece.

Venus, who suffered narrow defeats to Dementieva and Serena in her first two matches, beat Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-2, 6-7 (3), 6-4 in a hard-hitting clash and must now sweat on yesterday's results before knowing whether she will be in action at the weekend in Doha.

Feisty teenager Caroline Wozniacki remained undefeated on her debut at the US$4.5 million Championships after beating Russian stand-in Vera Zvonareva in a White Group match that at times resembled a hospital casualty ward.

The 19-year-old Dane eventually won 6-0, 6-7 (3), 6-4 but played the last four points virtually on one leg. She was in tears after suffering agonizing cramps in her heavily-bandaged left thigh and could barely hobble to the net to shake hands.

Zvonareva, a replacement for fellow Russian Dinara Safina who withdrew with a back injury, was also in the wars, needing treatment in the second set as blood oozed from her nose.

The Russian later withdrew with an ankle injury meaning second reserve Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland will get a run out against Victoria Azarenka of Belarus.

"I have absolutely no idea how I pulled it through, but I'm very happy about it," said US Open runner-up Wozniacki, who may still need to beat Serbia's Jelena Jankovic to clinch a semifinal spot.

"I'm gonna do everything I can to get ready for tomorrow," added the world No. 4. "I'm just going to do everything that the physio and the doctors are saying, drinking a lot of fluids, eat good food, stretch, get some massage, take a salt bath, everything."

Wozniacki looked set for a quick victory when she raced through the opening set against Zvonareva.

At 3-2 in the second set, Zvonareva needed a five-minute medical timeout to treat a bleeding nose, and the match looked headed for a quick finish after she lost the next two games at love.

However, Zvonareva won the next three games and saved two match points when serving at 5-6 - the first thanks to a Hawkeye challenge after a line judge ruled her forehand wide.

Wozniacki needed two timeouts to treat her cramping left thigh in the third set and collapsed to the court sobbing and clutching both legs after netting a forehand at 30-15 in the last game.


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