Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Serena Williams powers into Sydney semi-finals

Serena Williams
Williams is preparing to defend her title at the Australian Open

Serena Williams made swift progress at the Sydney International with a crushing win over Russia's Vera Dushevina in the semi-finals.

The world number one swept to a 6-2 6-2 victory that sets up a clash with Aravane Rezai in the last four.

France's world number 24 defeated Italian Flavia Pennetta 6-3 6-0.

Elena Dementieva saw off world number two Dinara Safina 6-2 6-3 and next faces sixth seed Victoria Azarenka, who beat Slovak Dominika Cibulkova 6-2 7-5.

Asked about her early-season form, Williams said: "I always try to get there usually around the semi-finals and finals of the Grand Slams.

"I'm just doing the best that I can now to get there. Hopefully I have a long way to go, which I think is always good."

In the men's event, home favourite Lleyton Hewitt remains on course for a fifth Sydney title after beating Italian Andreas Seppi 6-0 6-2 to reach the last eight.

"I could see in the early stages that conditions were going to be tough for all players out there today, and it always does get a little bit windy here at Homebush anyway.""It was perfect today, it was just what I needed," said Hewitt.

Fellow Australian Peter Luczak upset second seed Tomas Berdych 1-6 6-4 6-2, and Frenchman Julien Benneteau beat third seed Stanislas Wawrinka 6-3 5-7 7-6 (7-2).

There were straight-sets wins for Richard Gasquet and Marcos Baghdatis over Benjamin Becker and Viktor Troicki respectively.

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