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A tale of two sisters in Stanford

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 11:39

Venus Williams crushed Russia’s Maria Sharapova 6-2 6-2 in the quarter-finals of the Bank of the West Classic, but Serena Williams crashed out to Sam Stosur in three sets.

Seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus had only ever beaten Sharapova at Wimbledon and had lost their three previous encounters on hard courts.

But a more aggressive performance against the former world No.1 was twinned with better accuracy in the high-octane rallies, while dismantling the Russian’s second serve.

Sharapova was limited to just 11 winners, while giving up 30 forced errors in her fifth tournament since returning from shoulder surgery.

“She’s a tremendous athlete and was probably 10 steps faster to the ball than I was,” said Sharapova. “I should have taken the opportunities I had. That’s something that comes along with playing and right now, it’s not on autopilot for me.”

Venus will now face third seed Elena Dementieva who posted a 6-2 6-4 victory over Daniela Hantuchova.

But while Venus’ win rubbed the wrong way against the form book, Sam Stosur tore it up with a 6-2 3-6 6-2 victory over top seed Serena.

The Aussie’s huge serve, hard forehand and deft slice helped the French Open semi-finalist avenge her defeat to the Wimbledon champion in Sydney earlier this season.

Stosur had held four match points against the world No.2 back in January, but was unable to convert them in a three set defeat.

“I knew I had my chances in Sydney and I wanted to get in the same position, and this time I got over the line,” Stosur said after a supremely consistent performance.

After battling to one set all and fighting off two break points at 2-2 in the third set, Stosur broke Williams to love.

The Australian then won the next three games in comprehensive fashion, sealing the match when Williams double faulted.

“I didn’t want a repeat of Sydney so once I got the lead I knew I had to step up and take the pressure to her, which is may be one of the reasons why she double faulted,” Stosur said. She now faces Marion Bartoli, who came out on top of the mini-grudge match against Jelena Jankovic 3-6 7-6(3) 6-3.

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