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Venus, Kirilenko in title clash

Top seed Venus Williams cruises past Flavia Pennetta 6-2, 6-2, to set a date with Maria Kirilenko in the WTA Korea Open final at Seoul.

sports Updated: Sep 29, 2007 22:52 IST

Top seed Venus Williams reached the final of the WTA Korea Open in Seoul on Saturday, cruising past Flavia Pennetta 6-2, 6-2.

Williams, the world's ninth-ranked player, will face Maria Kirilenko in Sunday's final. The Russian dispatched Eleni Daniilidou of Greece 7-5, 6-0 in the day's other semifinal. Williams took the first set in 36 minutes, but her Italian opponent, the only unseeded player in the semis, put some early pressure on the top seed.

Pennetta broke the American's serve at the start of the match and had a chance to go up 2-0 up, leading 40-15 in the second game. But Williams, the reigning Wimbledon champion, came back with four straight points to break the Italian's serve.

Williams conceded the opening game of the second set, but promptly broke Pennetta's serve and did not look back. Venus, serving as fast as 201 kilometres (125 miles) per hour, went on to take six of the last seven games to secure her berth in the final.

In the day's second semifinal, Kirilenko had a see-saw first set against defending champion Daniilidou, winning the first three games and then losing the next three before prevailing 7-5. The Russian made quick work of the Greek in the second set, winning it 6-0.

First Published: Sep 29, 2007 22:41 IST