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Friday, Dec 13th

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serena_williams3The second of two women's semi-finals saw the top seed, Serena Williams, in action on centre court. Williams would face last year’s runner up Sara Errani, for a place in Saturday's French Open final. Serena had a 5-0 head to head against Errani but since the Italian is a clay court specialist there was a chance that she could challenge the top seed, who was on a 29 match winning streak.

Unfortunately, that was not the case as the world no.1 turned up on court in truly astonishing from and wasted no time in her 46 minute demolishing of her 5th seeded opponent serving up a bagel and a breadstick to move into her 20th Slam final.

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This year’s French Open has been all about Serena Williams and her career best consecutive match winning streak. She has beaten everyone on the WTA Tour over the few couple of months including the two women most likely to challenge her for this year’s title. Her opponent today though Svetlana Kuzentsova was a bit of an anomaly, being the only unseeded woman in the quarter-finals.

Even so, the 2009 champion challenged the top seed and gave the world no.1 her first real test of the tournament before Williams regained form and momentum to crawl her way back from 0-2 down in the final set to complete a topsy turvy 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 victory.

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World No. 2 Maria Sharapova managed to edge out seventh seed Sara Errani in two tightly contested sets 7-5, 7-5 to move closer to her first title in Miami, after being runner up the last two years in a row. For a place in the final, she faces former World no. 1 Jelena Jankovic. The 22nd seed overcame 15th seed Roberta Vinci in two and half hours 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-3 fighting back from a break down in the deciding set.

Sharapova and Errani squared off in a rematch of their Indian Wells quarterfinal which the 3rd seed won in straight sets. Their two and a half hour grueling encounter saw 10 breaks of serve and 18 double faults. 14 of those came from the Russian’s racquet. Still, she was able to save three set points at 4-5 down in the opening set to rattle off the next three games to go 1-0 up in the match.

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williams_20111418The WTA Championships in Istanbul got a whole lot more exciting on Thursday with Serena Williams continuing her perfect run in the tournament by beating world no.1 Victoria Azarenka. That threw open the door for Chinese superstar Li Na to sneak into the semi-finals, and the former French Open champion kept her hopes alive by picking up a clinical 6-4, 6-3 win over rising German star Angelique Kerber to set up a crucial winner takes all clash with Azarenka on Friday. Meanwhile over in the White Group, Italian Sara Errani won a lopsided three set encounter with super-sub Samantha Stosur, 6-3, 2-6, 6-0.

The Williams - Azarenka match was the contest everyone was looking forward to this week when the Groups were drawn, and as expected, Serena kept her terrific run of form going to extend her mid-season record to an exceptional 46-2. The match failed to reall ignite as a contest with Serena producing a much improved serving display with the exception of a brief blip early in the second set.

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serena_williams3When the top 8 women in the tennis world descend on a single venue for the year end Championships, fans would traditionally expect to see some sparks fly, however, the opening day of the WTA Championships in Istanbul proved to be rather disappointing with all three matches going the way of the higher ranked players, each for the loss of exactly 5 games.

Legendary American powerhouse Serena Williams, a perpetual favourite any time she steps on a tennis court, avenged her only defeat in the last 4 months dismantling promising German Angelique Kerber, 6-4, 6-1. The match started on an even keel, with Kerber holding her own till 3-3 in the opening set before Williams ran away with the contest thereafter, dropping just 2 further games.

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