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Archive for Wednesday, September 4, 2002

Venus tested at U.S. Open

Williams takes to court for practice after 3-set win over Rubin

September 4, 2002

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— Here's how Venus Williams responded to a rare challenge at the U.S. Open: She dug in, pulled out a three-set victory, then went right out and practiced.

No room for imperfection for the two-time defending champion.

She had all kinds of problems against Chanda Rubin before emerging with a 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 victory Tuesday to reach the quarterfinals for the 18th time in her last 20 Grand Slam tournaments and move closer to another all-Williams final.

"Today just wasn't my best day," said Williams, who lost seven more games in that match than in her previous three combined.

She'll play Monica Seles for a semifinal berth. Seles beat Martina Hingis 6-4, 6-2 to end Hingis' streak of six straight semifinal appearances at the year's final major. Hingis had ankle surgery in May and made it into the field here as a wild-card entry.

Lindsay Davenport moved into the semifinals by eliminating unseeded Elena Bovina 3-6, 6-0, 6-2. Gustavo Kuerten was undone by his 55 unforced errors and lost in the fourth round to No. 24 Sjeng Schalken 6-3, 7-6 (6), 6-7 (5), 7-6 (4). Schalken next plays No. 28 Fernando Gonzalez, who beat Arnaud Clement in straight sets. Either Schalken or Gonzalez will be a Grand Slam semifinalist for the first time.

Serena Williams reached the semifinals by dominating Daniela Hantuchova 6-2, 6-2 at night. Pete Sampras, looking for his first title since July 2000, beat Tommy Haas 7-5, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 7-5.

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