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Vaidisova beats Williams to reach semifinal

The 17 yr-old reached her first Grand Slam semifinal after a 6-7 (5) 6-1 6-3 win at the French Open on Tuesday.

india Updated: Jun 07, 2006 15:22 IST

Venus Williams shanked overheads, dumped volleys into the net and sailed strokes several feet long, 70 unforced errors in all. Not at her best, it didn't help that she was facing a younger version of herself in 17-year-old Nicole Vaidisova.

With power aplenty, precocious talent and a steely resolve, Vaidisova reached her first Grand Slam semifinal by coming back to upset Williams 6-7 (5) 6-1 6-3 at the French Open on Tuesday.

"You can believe I'll watch the film and figure out the things I didn't do right," said Williams, a five-time major champion and former No 1.

"Like I said, she played well. She deserved to win," she added.

Vaidisova knocked off current No 1 Amelie Mauresmo in the previous round, and now will meet 2004 US Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova for a berth in Saturday's final.

Kim Clijsters plays 2003 and 2005 French Open champion Justine Henin-Hardenne in an all-Belgian semifinal, and a win would push Clijsters back to No 1 in the rankings.

Kuznetsova erased a 5-1 deficit in the first set against No 16 Dinara Safina and won 24 of 27 points in the second en route to a 7-6 (5) 6-0 victory.

"It maybe looked," Kuznetsova acknowledged about her slow start, "like I was not awake."

Clijsters beat Martina Hingis 7-6 (5) 6-1, and Henin-Hardenne eliminated Anna-Lena Groenefeld 7-5 6-2.

First Published: Jun 07, 2006 15:22 IST