Tuesday, March 30, 2010
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.
“[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 halted 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.
Eighth-seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga needed just 59 minutes to overpower Spanish former World No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-2, 6-2, as he dropped just four points on his first serve en route to the quarter-finals for the second straight year.
The Frenchman, who fell to Novak Djokovic in the last eight of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tennis tournament last year, broke serve five times and surrendered just four points behind his first serve to record his second victory over the 12th-seeded Ferrero.
The 24-year-old Tsonga, who won his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title in Paris two years ago, improved to a 14-5 mark on the season, highlighted by semi-final efforts at the Australian Open (l. to Federer) and the Open 13 (l. to Benneteau) in Marseille.