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August 2, 2009

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Home » Sports » Tennis

Venus vaults, Serena slumps

AMERICAN Venus Williams crushed Maria Sharapova 6-2, 6-2, while her younger sister Serena was upset by Australia's Samantha Stosur in the quarterfinals of the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford, California, on Friday.

Seven-time grand slam champion Venus had not beaten Sharapova in three previous matches on hardcourts, but on Friday she was the more aggressive and accurate in the hard-hitting rallies while destroying the Russian's second serves.

Sharapova only hit 11 winners and committed 30 forced errors.

"She's a tremendous athlete and was probably 10 steps faster to the ball than I was," said Sharapova, who was playing her fifth tournament since returning from shoulder surgery.

"I should have taken the opportunities I had. That's something that comes along with playing and right now, it's not on autopilot for me."

Venus will now face another Russian, third seed Elena Dementieva, who advanced with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Slovakia's Daniela Hantuchova.

The chance of an all-Williams final, however, had been ended when doubles specialist Stosur employed a huge serve, hard forehand and deft slice to upset Wimbledon champion Serena 6-2, 3-6, 6-2.

Stosur had held four match points against Williams in Sydney earlier this year, but was unable to convert them in a three-set defeat, but on Friday, was the much more consistent player.

"I knew I had my chances in Sydney and I wanted to get in the same position, and this time I got over the line," Stosur said.

After fighting off two break points at 2-2 in the third set, Stosur then broke the second-ranked Williams to love. The Australian then won the next three games in routine fashion and took the contest when Williams double faulted.

Stosur will play Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli, who fought off two match points against fourth seed Jelena Jankovic of Serbia in a 3-6, 7-6 (3), 6-3 victory.

In Los Angeles, top-seeded Tommy Haas advanced to the semifinals of the Los Angeles Open on Friday, and had his path to the title cleared as his main rival pulled out.

The German, who won this event in 2004 and 2006, beat eighth-seeded Marat Safin of Russian 7-6 (3), 6-2 on Friday.

Second-seeded American Mardy Fish forfeited his quarterfinal against Argentina's Leonardo Mayer due to an abdominal strain.

Mayer will be half of an unlikely semifinal against unseeded Australian Carsten Ball, who downed American John Isner 6-4, 6-4. Isner played with a brace on his left ankle, which he twisted in a match on Wednesday.

Haas' semifinal opponent will be American Sam Querrey, who overcame Israel's Dudi Sela 6-3, 7-5.


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