Saturday, August 2, 2014

Serena reaches semis at Stanford, but Venus falls

Serena Williams, shown earlier in the week, defeated Ana Ivan-
ovic 2-6, 6-3, 7-5 in the quarterfinals of the Bank of the West
Classic. Photo by Paul Bauman
   There will be no all-Williams semifinal in the Bank of the West Classic.
   At least top-ranked Serena Williams advanced to the semis. Even that looked shaky for a while, to the dismay of tournament organizers who faced the prospect of the weekend's attendance and television ratings going down the drain.
   Williams pulled out a 2-6, 6-3, 7-5 victory over fifth-seeded Ana Ivanovic of Serbia on Friday at Stanford to reach today's 2 p.m. semifinal (ESPN2) against eighth-seeded Andrea Petkovic of Germany. Petkovic, a French Open semifinalist in June, edged wild card Venus Williams 6-1, 3-6, 7-5.
   In the other semifinal tonight at 7 (Tennis Channel), third-seeded Angelique Kerber of Germany will face unseeded Varvara Lepchenko, a U.S. citizen originally from Uzbekistan, in a battle of left-handers. Both advanced easily on Friday.
   Kerber, a two-time Grand Slam semifinalist, outclassed rising star Garbine Muguruza of Spain 6-2, 6-1. Lepchenko trounced Sachia Vickery, a 19-year-old qualifier from Hollywood, Fla., 6-1, 6-0.
   Williams has a 3-0 career record against Petkovic, including two victories this year. 
   The 59th-ranked Lepchenko is 4-2 against Kerber, ranked eighth. But Kerber has won the last two matches, both in the French Open on clay. In their last meeting, Kerber won 6-2, 7-5 in the second round at Roland Garros in May.
   Petkovic, ranked 18th, is playing in the Bank of the West Classic for the first time this year. In Kerber's only previous appearance, she lost in the second round of qualifying in 2007.
BANK OF THE WEST CLASSIC
At Stanford's Taube Family Tennis Center
Singles quarterfinals
   Angelique Kerber (3), Germany, def. Garbine Muguruza, Spain, 6-2, 6-1.
   Varvara Lepchenko, United States, def. Sachia Vickery, United States, 6-1, 6-0.
   Andrea Petkovic (8), Germany, def. Venus Williams, United States, 6-1, 3-6, 7-5.
   Serena Williams (1), United States, def. Ana Ivanovic (5), Serbia, 2-6, 6-3, 7-5.
Doubles quarterfinals
   Paula Kania, Poland, and Katerina Siniakova, Czech Republic, def. Daniela Hantuchova, Slovakia, and Arantxa Parra Santonja, Spain, 7-6 (3), 6-4.
Today's schedule
Stadium
(Starting at 2 p.m.)
   Serena Williams (1), United States, vs. Andrea Petkovic (8), Germany.
   Alla Kudryavtseva, Russia, and Anastasia Rodionova (2), Australia, vs. Garbine Muguruza and Carla Suarez Navarro (3), Spain.
(Starting at 7 p.m.)
   Angelique Kerber (3), Germany, vs. Varvara Lepchenko, United States.
   Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears (1), United States, vs. Paula Kania, Poland, and Katerina Siniakova, Czech Republic.

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