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Venus Into Japan Open Semis!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Reigning Wimbledon champion Venus Williams struggled in the first set on Thursday against Australia's Alicia Molik but eventually prevailed to move into the semi-finals at the Japan Open.

The American top seed, heavily favoured to win here, lost her serve twice in the first set, each time on a double fault, but the six-time Grand Slam winner's experience helped her to a 7-6 (7/4), 6-3 quarter-final win.

"I had some problems with my errors, which was frustrating," said the world number eight Williams, who hit six double faults.

"But she also is a really good competitor -- she brings a lot of balls back and serves well -- so I was definitely up against a competitive opponent who obviously has skills to win the match."

Molik, ranked 74th, came back from 1-3 and then 2-4 down to level the score each time before forcing a tie-breaker in the opening set.

But the Australian hit her forehand wide twice on her serve to quickly fall behind 0-3 in the tie-breaker. Williams hit an easy forehand winner at the net on her first set point.

The two women stayed on serve in the second set until Molik hit a double fault to go down 3-4, sending Williams on the path to victory.

Posted by Shelia

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