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Venus brought down to earth

sports Updated: Jun 30, 2010 01:26 IST

Five-time champion and second seed Venus Williams was stunned 6-2, 6-3 by Bulgaria's Tsvetana Pironkova in the quarterfinals of Wimbledon on Tuesday.

Williams, whose loss meant she failed to reach the final for the first time since 2006, was outplayed from the outset by the world No. 82 and went down in an hour and 25 minutes on the Centre Court.

In another surprise, 21st-seeded Vera Zvonareva of Russia rallied to beat two-time US Open winner Kim Clijsters 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 to reach her first Wimbledon semifinal. Williams saved two match points serving at 2-5 in the second set but Pironkova made no mistake on her own serve and sealed victory when Williams forehand drifted wide.

Pironkova became the first Bulgarian woman to reach a Grand Slam semifinal.