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August 3, 2009

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Venus to meet Bartoli in Stanford final

VENUS Williams was at the top of her game as she thrashed Elena Dementieva 6-0, 6-1 on Saturday in the semifinals of the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford, California.

The second seed needed just over an hour to rout the third-seeded Russian.

"Things are going well for me but I seem to want more," Williams said. "I just like winning. I don't care where it is, indoors or outdoors."

Williams' opponent in the final will be eighth-seeded Marion Bartoli. The Frenchwoman beat Australian Samantha Stosur 6-3, 1-6, 6-1.

After winning her singles, Williams joined her sister, Serena, who lost to Stosur in the quarterfinals, less than an hour later in the doubles semifinals, where they won 6-2, 6-2 against Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Nadia Petrova.

"I felt like everything went well for me," Williams said. "I was able to raise my level at the important parts. My plan is to try and keep this level for the rest of the tournament. I felt like I played my best in the last two games when I was able to get into a better rhythm."

Williams, who lost the Wimbledon final to Serena last month, will be seeking her third title at Stanford in her first appearance since 2005.

Williams beat Dementieva for the sixth straight time and improved to 9-2 against her.

Bartoli also reached the finals at Stanford last year before losing to Canadian Aleksandra Wozniak.

In Los Angeles, Sam Querrey upset top seed Tommy Haas 6-3, 7-5 on Saturday to reach the final of the Los Angeles Open.

Querrey, seeded sixth, will be a favorite to win the title against Australian Carsten Ball, who beat Argentine Leonardo Mayer 7-5, 7-6 (3).

Querrey saved three break points in the final game while serving for the match and held off Haas at 0-40.

"I just slowed down and took it one point at a time and really played five good points in a row," Querrey said.

By beating German Haas, the 2004 and 2006 champion, Querrey became the first American to reach three straight tour finals since Andy Roddick in 2004.

It will be the first professional meeting between Querrey and Ball, who reached his first ATP final. The two have faced each other numerous times as junior players growing up in Southern California. Their last meeting was at the Easter Bowl final in 2005 that Querrey won 6-3, 6-3.

Ball, a dual Australia-US citizen whose father Syd was an Australian Open doubles finalist, achieved a career-high ranking of No. 146 by reaching the final.


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