Rediff.com  » Sports » Venus 'does not want to stop' after rolling into semis

Venus 'does not want to stop' after rolling into semis

January 24, 2017 11:15 IST

Venus Williams cannot hide her joy after downing Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova to move into the Australian Open semis on Tuesday

IMAGE: Venus Williams cannot hide her joy after downing Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova to move into the Australian Open semis on Tuesday. Photograph: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Venus Williams continued her astonishing late-career revival by felling Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-4, 7-6(3) on Tuesday to reach her first Australian Open semi-final in 14 years.

The quarter-final will hardly be remembered as a classic, with both Williams and the 24th-ranked Russian surrendering serve with alarming regularity despite perfect conditions for tennis at Rod Laver Arena.

In the end it was 36-year-old Williams's experience that proved decisive when the pressure rose, and Pavlyuchenkova crumbled with a double-fault on match point to boost the American's hopes of a maiden title at MelbournePark.

"Oh my gosh I'm so excited," said Williams after closing out the one hour and 48-minute match.

"I want to go further. I'm not happy just with this.

"I'm just so excited that I have another opportunity to play again."

Venus Williams of the US hits a return during her Australian Open quarter-final match against Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

IMAGE: Venus Williams of the US hits a return during her Australian Open quarter-final match against Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Photograph: Issei Kato/Reuters

A semi-finalist at Wimbledon last year, Williams last reached the last four in Melbourne in 2003 when she made a run to the final and was beaten by younger sister Serena in three sets.

The 13th seed will next play Coco Vandeweghe for a place in the final, with the mouthwatering prospect of battling Serena for the title if the world number two can get there as well.

In brilliant midday sunshine, it was an uninspiring start for both Venus and Pavlyuchenkova, with each dropping serve twice.

Pavlyuchenkova buckled when serving at 5-4 to stay in the set, double-faulting and then butchering a forehand to offer three set points.

Williams needed only one, hammering a backhand return down the line and giving a yelp in triumph.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova plays a forehand in her quarter-final against Venus Williams

IMAGE: Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova plays a forehand in her quarter-final against Venus Williams. Photograph: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Pavlyuchenkova was soon under siege again, and she needed to save three more break points in a marathon 22-point game to draw level.

Any hopes of further resilience on serve were quickly dashed as both players traded breaks to move to 4-4.

Pavlyuchenkova double-faulted to fall back to 0-30 at 6-5, two points from elimination, but bravely pulled her serve out off the fire to go into a tiebreak.

The Russian moved to a 3-1 lead but double-faulted to allow Williams to level and the American spanked a huge return down the line to edge ahead.

Williams hammered a forehand winner to bring up three match points and Pavlyuchenkova surrendered the match meekly with her ninth double-fault.

Source: source
© Copyright 2019 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.
SHARE THIS STORYCOMMENT