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Williams tested often in straight-sets victory

4/13/2007 - Tennis

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Venus Williams won a match of long
baseline rallies Friday, defeating tenacious Anabel Medina
Garrigues of Spain 6-4, 7-5 to reach the Family Circle Cup
semifinals.

Williams, unseeded and ranked No. 29, had lost only 10 games
combined in her three other matches this week. This time, she lost
nine.

"I guess I didn't expect it to be as tough," Williams said.

Williams, who lost in the quarterfinals at Amelia Island last
week, will face second-seeded Jelena Jankovic of Serbia on
Saturday. Jankovic, ranked No. 9, routed Slovenia's Katrina
Srebotnik, 6-2, 6-0.

Williams was playing Medina Garrigues for the first time. She
fell behind 0-3 in the second set before winning five of the next
six games to climb back and avoid a third set.

"I just felt my feet weren't moving as much and I wasn't as
dedicated to hitting as many balls as I needed to," Williams said.
"I just felt like I'm not losing this set but 'Come on V, get with
it."'

Jankovic beat Williams last year at Wimbledon in their last
meeting.

"She has one of the best serves in the game; she moves well,"
Jankovic said. "When she moves well it's hard to beat her. I just
really want to play my game. I don't want to focus on her. I want
to focus on myself."

The other semifinal will be an all-Russian affair.

Ninth-seeded Vera Zvonareva defeated Michaella Krajicek of the
Netherlands 6-1, 7-5. Zvonareva, ranked No. 20, will face Dinara
Safina. Safina advanced when Tatiana Golovin retired at the end of
the first set because of an ankle injury.

Golovin won her first tour title last week on the clay at Amelia
Island.

"I've played eight matches in nine days and definitely my body
was starting to feel it," she said.

Both Zvonareva and Safina withdrew from their late doubles
matches Friday because of sore wrists.

"I think if I tried to play my doubles, I wouldn't be able to
come back on the court for sure tomorrow," said Zvonareva, who
said she noticed a tingling in her wrist earlier this week.

Safina said she injured her wrist in a match Thursday and, while
it seemed better Friday, didn't want to take a chance on playing
more tennis before her semifinal.

Williams, playing in her fourth tournament after being sidelined
by a wrist injury this year, won the Family Circle in her first
appearance three years ago.