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Williams overcomes big hurdle

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Originally published on: 04/06/13 00:00

Williams, who had dropped just 10 games en route to the quarter-final, came into the contest on a 28-match winning streak and after cruising through the opening set in just 28 minutes, taking it 6-1, the American looked to be heading for another easy victory in Paris.

But Kuznetsova, who has six wins against world No.1s to her name, started to seize the initiative in the second set, jumping into a 4-0 lead. The Russian took an increasingly frustrated Williams out of her comfort zone with a combination of exquisite dropshots and angles and despite a late rally from the world No.1, the 2009 champion levelled the match at one set all.

Williams looked to be in trouble early in the third set when she dropped the opening two games but after fending off three break points to prevent her opponent opening up a 0-3 lead, the 31-year-old reeled off six of the next seven games to take the set 6-3 and with it the match.

Awaiting the 15-time Grand Slam champion in her first Roland Garros semi-final since 2003 will be Sara Errani. The Italian picked up her first win over a top five opponent in 29 attempts when she beat the tricky Agnieszka Radwanska 6-4 7-6(6).

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