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HindustanTimes Tue,23 Sep 2014

Tennis

Age, illness doesn't wither Venus' class
Agencies
Tokyo, September 26, 2013
First Published: 00:57 IST(26/9/2013)
Last Updated: 01:00 IST(26/9/2013)

Venus Williams snatched victory from the jaws of defeat Wednesday to beat fast-rising Romanian Simona Halep 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 and reach the quarter-finals of the Pan Pacific Open.

The 33-year-old American, who dominated women's tennis a little over a decade ago but was diagnosed with the autoimmune disorder Sjogren's Syndrome in 2011, warned after her match in Tokyo that she had no thoughts of retiring.

In any case, sister Serena would not let her, Venus said. "I don't know how I was able to win that match. She played unbelievable. I've never seen her hit the ball that hard.

"It came down to who was more determined, who would fight harder and believe more. I'm glad that person was me," added Venus, who knocked out ailing top seed Victoria Azarenka in the previous round.

Second seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland overpowered Slovakia's Dominika Cibulkova 6-3, 6-4 and next faces German Angelique Kerber after the fifth seed flattened Serbia's Ana Ivanovic 6-4, 6-2.

Paes, Somdev advance, Divij-Raja bow out

New Delhi: Leander Paes and Somdev Devvarman progressed to the doubles quarterfinals in their respective ATP tournaments but Divij Sharan and Purav Raja went down fighting on Wednesday.

The second-seeded Indo-Italian combo of Paes and Daniele Bracciali overcame the fighting American-Canadian pair of James Cerretani and Adil Shamasdin 7-5, 7-6 (4) in the first round of the Thailand Open in Bangkok.

Paes and Bracciali will now fight it out with Cabal and Farah for a place in the semifinals.

Later in the day, Divij Sharan and Purav Raja lost 5-7 5-7 to higher-ranked Colombian pairing of Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah in their first round of the ATP 250 hard court tournament.

At the Malaysian Open,  Somdev Devvarman and his South African partner Rik De Voest registered an easy 6-3 6-2 win over Spaniard Pablo Andujar and Victor Hanescu of Romania.

They now face second seeded French-Serbian team of Julien Benneteau and Nenad Zimonjic.

India lose 0-3 to Russia in junior Davis Cup

San Luis Potosi (Mexico): Garvit Batra andSumit Nagal lost their singles as India suffered a 0-3 thrashing at the hands of top seeded Russia in their opening tie of the junior Davis Cup finals, here on Wednesday.

Batra, who has combined ranking of 196, began the Indian campaign and lost the opening singles 3-6, 3-6 to Andrey Rublev, who has ranking of 33.

The onus to bring Indian back in the Group A tie was on Nagal but he lost tamely 3-6 1-6 to Roman Safiullin. Having lost the tie, India could not even record a consolation win as the pair of Nagal and Sahil Deshmukh lost 3-6 3-6 to Rublev and Evgeny Tyurnev.

India next play Argentina. The top two teams in each group will qualify for the quarter-finals.


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