Venus Williams beats Vinci, plays Petkovic in Luxembourg semis

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Top seed in this tournament Roberta Vinci of Italy faced off against Venus Williams in the quarter-final match in the top half of the draw at the Luxembourg WTA tournament. Vinci battled for three sets to take out Olga Govortsova in the first round and had a straight sets win over Anne Keothavong in the second round. Williams, who has been off the tour since the US Open because of illness, defeated a qualifier in the first round and the 9th seed Mona Barthel in round two – both in straight sets. The first set in this match was a closely fought contest, going to a tie breaker, which Williams won 7-2. The second set was equally tight and one break of Vinci’s serve was all Williams needed to book her place in the semi finals, taking it with a 6-4 scoreline and closing out the match in an hour and a quarter. She will take on Petkovic in the semis.

Andrea Petkovic is back to her winning ways. Off the WTA tour from September 2011 and for almost the entire 2012 season with first a lower back problem and then an ankle injury, the German number 8, now ranked at 182 (down from a career high of 9 exactly a year ago), she started playing again three weeks ago and this week has made it to the semi finals in Luxembourg by taking out Ksenia Pervak of Kazakhstan, ranked at 106 (with a career high of 37 in September 2011). Petkovic beat a qualifier in the first round and then third seeded Jelena Jankovic int he second round, while her quarter final opponent followed a similar route, beating a qualifier in the first round and the number 6 seed Sorana Cirstea in the second – and all these four matches were won in straight sets. In Friday afternoon’s quarter final match, Petkovic got the better of Pervak, again in straight sets 6-3 6-2 in an hour and twenty minutes on court.

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