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Venus v Tanasugarn as it happened

Women's singles quarter-final result:

V WILLIAMS (US) 7 v T Tanas'rn (Tha)

6-4 6-3

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By Ben Dirs at Wimbledon

SECOND SET

Venus 6-3 Tanasugarn
Tanasugarn serving to save the match. Williams takes the first point, the Thai attempting the lob and Venus putting away a comfortable backhand smash-volley. A rare foot fault makes it 0-30 before the Thai goes to the well and pulls out her quickest serve so far - 102mph and Venus is unable to return, but she bulldozes her way to two match points, whipping home a forehand winner. And that's the match, Venus turning the screw and Tanasugarn eventually buckling, hooking a forehand well wide. Not a great display from Venus, but the result was never really in doubt, despite a spirited showing from her Thai opponent. Only one semi-final this year from Venus - in Bangalore, which is to tennis what Peckham is to crown green bowls - but you'd fancy her chances to win this event.

Venus 5-3 Tanasugarn
Williams goes long with a forehand but makes it 15-15 with a fizzing serve down the middle. Tanasugarn sends a forehand return long but that's some sweet hitting from the Thai and Williams loses the point by sending a backhand long. That will have taken the wind out of her though, Williams thumping home another ace and winning the game with a arcing serve into the Thai's body.

Venus 4-3 Tanasugarn
Williams slams a couple of returns long before making it 30-40 with a forehand winner from the middle of the court. Great scrambling from Tanasugarn and she holds after Venus sends a forehand way long. The Thai still in this and the crowd appreciating her efforts.

Venus 4-2 Tanasugarn
Tanasugarn flays a forehand long but Williams replies with her third double-fault. Williams drags a forehand wide to make it 15-30 before Tanasugarn puts up the lob and Venus is unable to control the backhand smash, which flies metres wide. Better from Williams, whipping home a forehand winner, and she saves her second break point with some heavy hitting from the baseline. Venus sends a 125mph ace straight down the middle before sealing the game with a booming smash at the net. Touch of emotion from Williams, a little fist pump, and that's some of the best tennis she's played all match.

Venus 3-2 Tanasugarn
Too much depth on the Williams groundstrokes and Tanasugarn dollies into the net to make it 30-30. But the Thai is refusing to throw the towel in and Williams swings a wild backhand long. Williams outlasts her opponent in a lengthy rally to make it deuce and that's a bit woolly from the Thai, opening up her body and thrashing a forehand well long. Williams then fluffs a golden opportunity to break, steaming in from the baseline and hitting a forehand into the middle of the net. Tanasugarn pulls out a plum to grab the advantage before the Thai really shows her mettle to outlast Venus and hold her serve.

Venus 3-1 Tanasugarn
Williams gives Tanasugarn the runaround to move into a 30-0 lead before dredging up a searching serve and finishing the game off with an ace. Tanasugarn clinging onto a runaway train at the moment, surely just a matter of time before she loses her grip.

Venus 2-1 Tanasugarn
Williams thumps a backhand winner past the stationary Tanasugarn, but the Thai makes it 30-30 as Venus sends a backhand long. Bad miss from Venus, she really should have been all over that second serve, and Tanasugarn holds after Williams swings a forehand long. We've had a few texts in asking if Method Man is really in the Royal Box. Sorry, I made that up. June Whitfield is though.

Venus 2-0 Tanasugarn
Easy hold for Williams, sealed with a screaming ace that leaves the Thai rooted to the grass like a horny old oak tree.

Venus 1-0 Tanasugarn
Tanasugarn swings a forehand wide and follows up with a double-fault to make it 15-30. Two break points for Venus after Tanasugarn finds the net with a backhand and Williams pounces on a rather weedy second serve to break. Don't turn over to Loose Women, even for a moment - this second set might not last too long...

FIRST SET

Venus 6-4 Tanasugarn
Tanasugarn swats a forehand return long but makes amends with an angled forehand that Williams is unable to hunt down. Hefty serve from Williams makes it 30-15 but that's fabulous play from Tanasugarn, whipping a running forehand past Williams, with the aid of a net cord. And that's break point, the Thai's eighth... but she's unable to convert once again and Williams pulls out a big serve to set up another set point. Williams finds the net with a forehand to give Tanasugarn a life, but another marathon rally ends with the Thai losing her feet and finding the net. But that's the first set for Venus, manouevring her opponent at the back of the court before sweeping forward and thumping home a backhand winner. There's Wu-Tang's Method Man in the Royal Box, sandwiched between Richard Stilgoe and the Duchess of Gloucester. Method looks like he's got the right hump, I think Stilgoe's nicked one of his Orios.

Venus 5-4 Tanasugarn
Tanasugarn loses a lengthy rally, pulling a forehand just wide, and that's 0-30, the Thai unable to wrap her racquet round a high-bouncing shot from Williams at the rear of the court. But Tanasugarn is really punching above her weight out there on Court One as she brings it back to 30-30 with a forehand winner that clips the baseline. The Venus yelp turned up all the way to 11 on that rally, but she loses it, eventually putting a backhand into the net... but that's a fourth double from the Thai to make it deuce. Williams swings hard and sends a forehand long, but Tanasugarn is unable to close the game, punching a backhand wide. Williams attacks the net and sets up an advantage with a top-spin forehand, but that's a save from the Thai, Venus ballooning a forehand well long. Venus finds the net with a backhand return before sending a wild backhand long - this Thai is ballsier than a McDonald's ball pit.

Venus 5-3 Tanasugarn
A net cord pops up and gives Tanasugarn too much thinking time and she thwacks her backhand long. Williams consistently hitting the lines with her serve now though and that's a straightforward hold to love.

Venus 4-3 Tanasugarn
Tanasugarn takes a 30-0 lead, but Williams is all over the Thai's second serve like a Cecil Gee suit, thumping a forehand return straight down the line. Tanasugarn contrives to miss a realtively easy-looking forehand from the back of the court, but Williams blows a break point, hooking a forehand on the run wide. Tanasugarn gets a serve to get big on Williams and Venus is only able to bunt it long, and Tanasugarn wins the game at the net, punching a forehand volley home. Very encouraging scrapping from the 5' 5" Thai, she's really giving this a go.

Venus 4-2 Tanasugarn
Tanasugarn twirls the wrist and sends a forehand fizzing past Williams at the net. Double fault from Williams makes it 15-30, but Venus pulls out a hefty second serve and punches home the winner. But that's a rasping forehand winner from Tanasugarn to set up break point, but she is unable to do anything with Venus's next serve and it goes to deuce. Williams serves up her second double fault to give Tanasugarn another break point, but the Thai is only able to dolly her return into the net. Williams sends a big first serve down the middle to save again, but Tanasugarn is really hanging in there, moving Williams around the back of the court before delivering the coup de grace, a double-fisted backhand down the line. But that's another break point blown, Tanasugarn putting her forehand return into the net. Williams gives her opponent another chance though, before dredging up a plum of a first serve that rises and evades Tanasugarn's fend. But that's superb scrapping from Tanasugarn which ends with a fruity backhand winner that leaves Williams nailed to the floor. But Williams saves again courtesy of a beefy serve and then claims the advantage with a 120mph serve. And that's the save, Williams crashing down another 120mph+ serve to seal things. Big body blow that for the Thai, she should have broken back there.

Venus 3-2 Tanasugarn
Stand and deliver from Venus, square-cutting a backhand down the line to open up a 0-30 lead. Too heavy from Williams and Tanasugarn flops a backhand into the bottom of the net, and that's three break points. Tanasugarn hustles well from the back of the court to stay alive, but Venus's groundstrokes are just too deep and the Thai finally hooks a forehand wide to hand Venus another break. Williams starting to fire in that game, really finding some length with her groundstrokes.

Venus 2-2 Tanasugarn
Two searching serves from Williams before she pulls a forehand wide for 30-15. Nice play from Tanasugarn, moving Williams around at the back of the court before shortening the angle to win the point. Thumping backhand from the Thai gives her break-back point and Williams shows the strain, scooping a forehand long. Tremendous scrapping from Tanasugarn.

Venus 2-1 Tanasugarn
Williams races into a 0-30 lead but Tanasugarn sends home a forehand winner to give her a fillip. But that's unerring accuracy from Venus, spotting the Thai at the net and threading a forehand winner down the line to set up two break points. Tanasugarn pulls out a solid serve to save one but plops a forehand into the net on the next point to hand the game to Williams. This is looking ominous for the Thai, who is getting outmuscled at the moment...

Venus 1-1 Tanasugarn
Tanasugarn putting plenty of length on her groundstrokes, but she puts a forehand long. Williams pounces on a mishit, rolling her wrists and pumping a forehand down the line. Tanasugarn balloons another forehand long before Williams drives home a forehand volley to win the game.

"This has the makings of a game that might not be competitive..."
John McEnroe on BBC One

Venus 0-1 Tanasugarn
The Thai (that's going to get me out of a lot of bother during this match...) wins the first point, fizzing a cross-court backhand across her opponent at the net. Venus finds the net with a weak forehand from the baseline before Tanasugarn makes it 40-15 with her first double-fault and follows up with another... signs of tightness from the 31-year-old. But that's good scrapping from Tamarine, outlasting Williams from the rear of the court and Venus finally yanking a forehand wide.

1309: Lindsay Davenport, now there's another lady who'll have cast an eye over the quarter-final line-up and had a little weep. The American was forced to pull out of the tournament ahead of her second round match, but you would have thought she would had a fighting chance against anyone left in the draw.

"I don't think Tanasugarn has got the weapons to trouble Venus over a three-set match."
Lindsay Davenport, 1999 Ladies Singles champion

1302: Players are on court and are knocking up. Tanasugarn is the first Thai woman ever to reach a Grand Slam quarter-final, having previously fallen in the fourth round at Wimbledon on six occasions. In stark contrast, this is Venus's ninth Wimbledon quarter-final. I'll leave you to digest that little stat-attack...

1300: This year is the first time in the Open Era that none of the top four women's seeds have reached the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam, so it's all set up for an all-Williams final. And I bet a certain Justine Henin will be watching this from her gaff in Monte Carlo thinking "why the ruddy hell did I retire last month, I could have smashed the absolute granny out of this lot and won my first Wimbledon".

1255: Afternoon ladies and gents and kids and stuff and welcome to ladies quarter-finals day, or Williams Day, as it is likely to be rechristened after today. First up on Court One is defending champion and sixth seed Venus, who is up against Thailand's Tamarine Tanasugarn, the world number 60 and an opponent she has beaten on six previous occasions without dropping a set. Never met on grass though...



see also
Wimbledon photos
01 Jul 08 |  Tennis
Live - Wimbledon day eight
01 Jul 08 |  Tennis
Women's singles latest
23 May 08 |  Tennis


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