Venus Williams reaches semifinals at Indian Wells

ABS-CBN Sports on Mar 16, 2018 10:46 AM
Venus Williams reaches semifinals at Indian Wells
Venus Williams returns a shot against Carla Suarez Navarro, of Spain, during the quarterfinals at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament, Thursday, March 15, 2018, in Indian Wells, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

By Beth Harris, Associated Press

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) — Venus Williams defeated Carla Suarez Navarro 6-3, 6-2 to reach the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open, where she first broke out as a 16-year-old qualifier in 1997.

Williams has never reached the final of the desert tournament and to do she'll have to get by 20-year-old Russian Daria Kasatkina, who has yet to drop a set in four matches at Indian Wells.

At 37, Williams is the oldest player in the draw. She made the quarterfinals in her tournament debut in 1997 and notched her first win over a top-10 player before losing to eventual champion Lindsay Davenport.

Williams took 71 minutes to put away Suarez Navarro for the fourth straight time on Thursday. Playing in swirling winds, Suarez Navarro committed 29 unforced errors to 17 for Williams.

"I don't care what's happening on court, I just try to execute my game," Williams said.

The Williams-Kasatkina semi is a rematch of their rain-delayed third-round meeting at Wimbledon in 2016. Williams won 10-8 in the third set.

The other women's semi is already set: No. 1 Simona Halep against Japan's Naomi Osaka, another 20-year-old making a huge run through the draw. Osaka's victims have included Maria Sharapova, No. 31 Agnieszka Radwanska and No. 5 Karolina Pliskova.

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