Mixed fortunes for sisters
Venus battles past US Open champion in three-set thriller
Last Updated: August 18, 2012 8:48am
Venus Williams: Battled into semi-finals in Cincinnati
Venus Williams saw off defending US Open champion Samatha Stosur to reach the semi-finals of the WTA Western & Southern Open, but sister Serena crashed out in the quarter-finals.
Williams, 32, has shown a welcome return to form in Cincinnati and showed real desire to overcome Stosur in a gruelling contest that lasted two-and-a-half hours.
Having taken the opening set the American was pegged back as Stosur claimed a one-sided tie-break, but Williams showed commendable character to edge the decider and complete a 6-2 6-7 (7/2) 6-4 triumph.
The loss means Stosur is still without a tournament win since her victory at Flushing Meadows last year, but the Australian insists she is not overly-concerned with her form.
"It's always disappointing to lose when you play a good match like that and you think you've done enough almost to win," she said afterwards.
"Still, I had three really good matches here and can get confidence and gain a bit of momentum going into New York.
"I'm looking forward to going back there (Flushing Meadows). It's a good feeling to be going into the tournament now I think with a little bit more confidence, which is good. It's something to look forward to.
"For sure you want to win as many matches as you can, you never want to lose. I would have liked to have won some more matches, but I can still start building that confidence."
But while Venus was left to celebrate a place in the final four, sister Serena bowed out as she was beaten in straight sets by Germany's Angelique Kerber.
After a strenuous recent run that included winning gold at the Olympics, Serena had admitted she was feeling the effects during her win over Urszula Radwanska in the last round.
Fatigue finally appeared to get the better of her on Friday as Kerber recorded a 6-4 6-4 triumph to book her spot in the semis.
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova bowed out after being forced to play two matches in a day.
After wrapping up a 6-4 6-4 victory in her third round contest against Caroline Wozniacki - a match held over because of poor weather on Thursday - she lost 6-3 7-6 (7/4) to fourth-seeded Petra Kvitova, who now meets Kerber for a place in the final.
There was no such issues for Li Na, however, as she firstly saw off Swedish qualifier Johanna Larsson 6-2 6-2 and then thrashed top seed Agnieszka Radwanska 6-1 6-1. Her reward is a semi-final against Venus Williams.