Tokyo, Sep 27 (IANS/EFE) American Venus Williams battled past Eugenie Bouchard 6-3, 6-7 (4-7), 6-3 Thursday at the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo to advance to the semifinals of this hard-court event.
Williams needed more than three hours but finally overcame the stiff challenge from the 19-year-old Canadian.
The American heaped constant pressure on Bouchard’s service games, getting four service breaks in the first set and three in the third set.
Bouchard fought off six of the seven break points she faced in the second set en route to evening the match at one set apiece.
Williams had her own serve broken four times, but saved five of six break points in the crucial third set.
The 33-year-old former world No. 1, who has battled injuries and illness in recent years and is currently ranked No. 63, will next take on Czech Petra Kvitova.
Kvitova had to win two matches Thursday due to rain the day before, cruising to a 6-2, 6-2 win over American teenager Madison Keys and then a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova in the quarterfinals.
Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki also booked a spot in the semifinals by rallying to defeat Czech Lucie Safarova 2-6, 6-3, 6-2. She will next square off against Germany’s Angelique Kerber, who upset No. 2 seed Agnieszka Radwanksa of Poland 6-4, 6-4.
The Toray Pan Pacific Open is one of the biggest events on the WTA calendar.