Venus advances to semis at Pan Pacific Open
TOKYO (AP) — Venus Williams beat Canadian teen Eugenie Bouchard 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-3 to advance to the Pan Pacific Open semifinals for the first time on Thursday.
Williams, whose previous best in Tokyo was the quarterfinals in 2004, broke Bouchard with a forehand down the line to go up 5-2 in the third set and held on to win the match that lasted three hours at Ariake Colosseum.
“She played so well,” Williams said. “She’s going to be a great player — she’s already a great player — and it was just a fight to the end.”
Williams will face Petra Kvitova in the semis. The seventh-seeded Czech beat Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-4, 6-1.
Also, fourth-seeded Caroline Wozniacki beat Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 to set up a semifinal with fifth-seeded Angelique Kerber of Germany, who ousted second-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland 6-4, 6-4. Wozniacki and Kerber are 3-3 head to head. Wozniacki won their semifinal at Indian Wells in March.
The 19-year-old Bouchard put Williams on notice when she built a 3-1 lead in the quarterfinal. Williams fought back to break the teenager three times in the first meeting of their careers.
In the second set, Bouchard capitalized on her second set point, winning the tiebreak 7-4.
“I was just fighting until the end,” Williams said. “It was disappointing to lose the second set, but to win the third set is the goal, so I’m happy.”