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Tennis: Petkovic downs Venus to reach Stanford semis

Eighth-seeded German Andrea Petkovic held on for a three-set win over Venus Williams on Friday (Aug 1) that scuppered a potential All-Williams Stanford semi-final.

STANFORD: Eighth-seeded German Andrea Petkovic held on for a three-set win over Venus Williams on Friday (Aug 1) that scuppered a potential All-Williams Stanford semi-final.

World number one and top seed Serena Williams was in action later Friday, taking on Serbia's Ana Ivanovic in the quarter-finals of the hardcourt WTA tournament. The winner will face Petkovic, who stormed to a 6-1, 2-0 lead over Venus Williams then survived the American's rally to win 6-2, 3-6, 7-5.

Williams, who had beaten fourth-seeded Victoria Azarenka on Wednesday night, won six of the last seven games of the second set to force a decisive third set against Petkovic.

The German regrouped to gain an early break in the third, only for Williams to break back and level the set at 3-3. Petkovic broke again and served for the match at 5-3 but Williams responded with another break point and then held serve to knot the set at 5-5. Petkovic eventually won the last two games to seal the win after one hour and 49 minutes.

"She played really well, and I wasn't as on today as in previous days," Williams said. "But you're going to have days like that and have to work through them. I came close, but she was just too good. She's been having a great year and she managed to play those last few games just a little bit better."

Earlier Friday, third-seeded German Angelique Kerber steamrolled Spain's Garbine Muguruza 6-2, 6-1 to set up a semi-final clash with fellow left-hander Varvara Lepchenko. Kerber broke Muguruza in all seven of her service games and wrapped up the win in 56 minutes.

Unseeded American Lepchenko, who ousted second-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska in the second round, needed only 51 minutes to dismiss US qualifier Sachia Vickery 6-1, 6-0.

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