Venus in semis

Associated Press

Istanbul, May 19:

Top-seeded Venus Williams comfortably defeated seventh-seeded Ann Chakvetadze 6-2, 6-1 to advance to the semi-finals of the Istanbul Cup.

Williams was mostly sharp with her serves — some of which reached speeds of up to 170 kilometres an hour — and recorded three aces.

Earlier, third-seeded Anna Smashnova of Israel defeated eighth-seeded Mashona Washington of the US 6-3, 6-1 and moved into the final four.

In other quarters, Nicole Vaidisova, who beat Croatian Ivana Abramovic 6-2, 6-3, will play Anna-Lena Groenefeld, who downed Swiss Emmanuelle Gagliardi 6-3, 6-2; and Shahar Peer, who overcame Akiko Morigami of Japan 3-6, 6-4, 6-2, will face Tszvetana Pironkova, who beat Ukraine’s Yuliana Fedak 3-6, 6-4, 6-4.

Strasbourg Int’l

STRASBOURG: Top-seeded Nathalie Dechy easily advanced but second-seeded Tatiana Golovin was eliminated in a mixed day for French tennis at the Strasbourg International.

Another Frenchwoman, Emilie Loit, was ousted while wild card Stephanie Cohen-Aloro entered to quarter-finals with compatriot Dechy. Dechy comfortably beat Iveta Benesova of the Czech Republic 6-3, 6-2 with three breaks in the second set. But Golovin was ousted by Shuai Peng of China 6-4, 3-6, 7-5.