May 19, 2017 / 6:03 PM / 2 months ago

Muguruza beats Venus to reach Italian Open semis

2 Min Read

Tennis - ATP - Rome Open - Garbine Muguruza of Spain v Venus Williams of the United States - Rome, Italy - 19/5/17 - Muguruza of Spain returns the ball.Stefano Rellandini

(Reuters) - Garbine Muguruza flashed some impressive form ahead of her French Open title defence with a 6-2 3-6 6-2 win over Venus Williams on Friday to reach the semi-finals of the Italian Open in Rome.

The Spanish third seed, who reached the Rome semi-finals last year before going on to win her sole career grand slam, will next face eighth seeded Ukrainian Elina Svitolina, who earlier upset Czech second seed Karolina Pliskova 6-2 7-6(9).

Muguruza used a solid forehand to power through the first set during which she hit just eight unforced errors but gave up 20 in the second as Williams forced a decider.

The Spaniard fell behind in the third set before responding immediately with a break. She clinched the match when seven-times grand slam champion Williams sent a forehand wide.

Tennis - ATP - Rome Open - Garbine Muguruza of Spain v Venus Williams of the United States - Rome, Italy - 19/5/17 - Williams of the United States serves the ball.Stefano Rellandini

With the win, world number seven Muguruza will return to the top five in the rankings and be guaranteed a top-four seeding at Roland Garros for the year's second grand slam.

In other action, Romanian sixth seed Simona Halep swept into the semi-finals of the Italian Open in Rome by beating Estonian qualifier Anett Kontaveit 6-2 6-4 on Friday.

Slideshow (9 Images)

She will now play Dutch 15th seed Kiki Bertens, who saw off Australian qualifier Daria Gavrilova 6-3 6-3, in Saturday's semi-final on the red Foro Italico clay.

"Today was a good match, but I can say that I could finish earlier in the second set," said Halep, who raced to a 3-0 lead in the first set and broke Kontaveit in the opening game of the second before winning.

"But she turned it a little bit around ... she came back for a few games, and she played really, really well."

Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London; Additional reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Pritha Sarkar

0 : 0
  • narrow-browser-and-phone
  • medium-browser-and-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser
  • wide-browser-and-larger
  • medium-browser-and-landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser-and-larger
  • above-phone
  • portrait-tablet-and-above
  • above-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet-and-above
  • landscape-tablet-and-medium-wide-browser
  • portrait-tablet-and-below
  • landscape-tablet-and-below