Australian Open record as Venus Williams beats Pavlyuchenkova to enter semis
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Australian Open record as Venus Williams beats Pavlyuchenkova to enter semis

Venus Williams beat 24th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova to record her 50th career win at the Australian Open and advance to the semifinals. She will play CoCo Vandeweghe next.

tennis Updated: Jan 24, 2017 10:29 IST
Australian Open,Venus Williams,Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
Venus Williams returns to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova during their women's singles quarterfinal match at the the Australian Open tennis tournament on Tuesday.(AFP)

Age appears to be no barrier for Venus Williams. The 36-year-old Williams beat No. 24-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-4, 7-6 (3) on Tuesday, becoming the oldest player to reach the Australian Open women’s semifinals in the Open era.

Her 50th career win at Melbourne Park earned her a spot in the last four for the first time in 14 years.

“It’s wonderful to start the year out with this appearance,” said Williams, who hadn’t reached the semifinals here since 2003, the year she lost the finalto her sister, Serena.“I want to go further. I’m not happy just with this. But I’m so happy to be in the position to like go further.”

She will next play CoCo Vandeweghe, who beat French Open champion Garbine Muguruza 6-4, 6-0.

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“Whoever wins, I’m just so excited that I have an opportunity to play again,” Williams said. “That’s all I’m focused on.”

Williams dropped four service games against Pavlyuchenkova, but she responded each time by breaking back. In the tiebreaker, she trailed 3-1 before winning the last six points — clinching the match on Pavlyuchenkova’s double-fault.

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The seven-time major winner has advanced through the tournament without dropping a set, recovering from a right elbow injury that forced her to withdraw from a warmup tournament in New Zealand.

Now she is into semifinals for the second time in three majors — after a six-year absence from the last four — and for the 21st time overall.

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With her run to the Wimbledon semifinals last year, Williams became the oldest woman since Martina Navratilova in 1994 to advance so far at a major. Navratilova was 37, years 258 days at the end of Wimbledon that year.

The record belongs to Billie Jean King, who was 39 years, 223 days when she reached the Wimbledon semifinals in 1983.

First Published: Jan 24, 2017 08:41 IST