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Williams set for semifinal clash

sports Updated: Jan 23, 2010 22:49 IST

Serena and Venus kept on track for an all-Williams semi-final while a pair of in-form Eastern Europeans set up a fourth round showdown at the Australian Open on Saturday.

Serena thrashed Carla Suarez Navarro 6-0, 6-3 and will now face local favourite Samantha Stosur, while Venus outlasted Australian Casey Dellacqua 6-1, 7-6 (7/4).

Fourth seeded Dane Caroline Wozniacki was also impressive as she downed Israel’s Shahar Peer 6-4, 6-0 on the back of a superb serving game.

But judging by the way Serena saw off Suarez Navarro, the defending champion is still the one to beat for the title.

She raced to a 5-0 lead in just 15 minutes and although the Spaniard recovered and fought back, the world number one was always in control.

Stosur, a 6-4, 6-1 winner over Italian Alberta Brianti, will play Serena in a marquee clash on Monday, and the pair have some history.

The showdown is sure to create plenty of interest, with Stosur beating the world number one the last time they met.

Williams then added fuel to the fire by accusing Stosur of being a good “framer”, implying many of her winning shots of being miss hits.

Whether she genuinely forgets or whether she just wants to stay onside with Stosur’s vocal Australian fans, Williams insisted she could not recall saying anything negative about her rival.

“I don’t remember that,” she said when asked about the incident.

“I just remember I hit some great shots and she returned them back for winners.

Stosur will have her work cut out against Williams, although it was far from plain sailing for Serena.

She was made to run all over the court, but showed her superb athleticism as she chased down many of the Spaniard’s best shots and returned them with interest.

Meanwhile, Venus said she had made changes to her game in the off-season, which helped her against Dellacqua.

Whatever the adjustments were, they seemed to work as she won the first set comfortably.

In the end it took the sixth seed one hour, 47 minutes to subdue Dellacqua and book a fourth round meeting with 17th seeded Italian Francesca Schiavone, who upset 10th seed Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2, 6-2 earlier in the day.

Lurking in the shadows are Belarusian seventh seed Victoria Azarenka and ninth seeded Russian Vera Zvonareva, who continued to steamroll their way through the draw.

Azarenka beat Italian Tathiana Garbin 6-0, 6-2 and Zvonareva defeated Argentine Gisela Dulko 6-1, 7-5.