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Page last updated at 16:00 GMT, Saturday, 15 May 2010 17:00 UK

Venus Williams beats Shahar Peer to reach Madrid final

Venus Williams
Venus Williams is bidding for her third title of the year

Fourth seed Venus Williams won the last nine games as she beat unseeded Israeli Shahar Peer 6-3 6-0 to reach Sunday's Madrid Open final.

After the players traded breaks to take the score to 3-3 in the first set, Williams took complete control.

She broke Peer four times in the match and wrapped up victory in 86 minutes.

Williams will meet France's Aravane Rezai in the final after her semi-final oppenent Lucie Safarova retired injured after losing the first set 6-1.

The Czech player lost the opener in 23 minutes but could not continue because of a hamstring injury, giving Rezai a final place in only her second appearance in the tournament.

"I know my game and I know I can go far," said Rezai. "I think I merit my place and if I am here today it's because I work hard like everyone."

Williams will rise to number two in the world rankings on Monday, regardless of what happens in the final.


"I'm happy with my form and I'm going to try to keep that form on Sunday," she said.

"I've played so many different players with so many different styles - some play more clay-court tennis, others just hit the ball really hard, so to come out on top so far is good."

Peer admitted she had been unable to cope with Williams' power game.

"With Venus I always have trouble and she always dominates from the beginning of the match and the beginning of the points," she said.

"I was struggling with my serve and she was just a little bit too powerful for me."

It is the first time Williams has reached the final of the tournament and she will be bidding to win the 44th title of her career and third of the year.

It is also the world number three's fourth final from six events in 2010.

Safarova arrived at her press conference sporting an icepack on the back of her left thigh and explained that she had originally tweaked the hamstring in Rome last week.

"I hope to get better in a couple of days and start to prepare for the French Open and continue playing as well there," she said.

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see also
Federer win sets up Nadal final
15 May 10 |  Tennis
Murray loses in Madrid last eight
15 May 10 |  Tennis
Federer secures semi-final place
14 May 10 |  Tennis
Serena struggles in Madrid loss
12 May 10 |  Tennis
Safina suffers shock Madrid exit
10 May 10 |  Tennis
Nadal & Federer through in Madrid
13 May 10 |  Tennis

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