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Venus in semis

Dubai: Former World No. 1 Venus Williams is showing yet again, despite low rankings and repeated health issues, that she is still a force to reckon with.

In the Dubai Open on Thursday, she raced to the semi-finals with a 6-3, 7-5 victory over Flavia Pennetta of Italy. The American had won this title in 2009 and 2010.

Though she is 33 years old, Venus delivered a performance of controlled power not just on Thursday, but also on Wednesday, when she outplayed Ana Ivanovic, the former world No. 1 from Serbia, 6-2, 6-1, as she found her best form in many months.

Venus not only launched powerful drives and occasional drive volleys behind some reassuringly consistent serving, she responded with her best tennis on important points which made the match against Ana look one-sided.

There were 19 clean winners and five aces in a difficult breeze, and a relatively low unforced error count. It was hard to believe she is still ranked outside the world’s top 40.

It followed a similarly punishing performance on Tuesday, when Venus beat Elena Vesnina.        

       (Agencies)