Marion Bartoli upset fourth-seed Jelena Jankovic and qualified for the semi-final at Stanford, where she is to play Samantha Stosur, who shocked top-seed Serena Williams.
AFP - Australian Samantha Stosur shocked top seed Serena Williams while second seed Venus Williams overpowered Maria Sharapova in WTA Bank of the West Classic quarter-final matches Friday.
Stosur snapped Serena's nine-match win streak with a 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 victory to book a Saturday semi-final berth against French eighth seed Marion Bartoli, who upset Serbian fourth seed Jelena Jankovic 3-6, 7-6 (7/3), 6-3.
"It's one of the biggest, if not the biggest win of my career," Stosur said. "I would like to take it one more step. I would love to make it to another final."
Venus Williams advanced after her sister faltered, defeating Russian star Sharapova 6-2, 6-2 to book a semi-final date with Russian third seed Elena Dementieva, who ousted Slovakia's Daniela Hantuchova 6-2, 6-4.
"Maria is one of my favorite opponents. She's always a challenge," Venus Williams said. "I was better in the important points which is what I wanted."
Serena Williams, the 11-time Grand Slam champion who won Wimbledon and the Australian Open this year, took both prior meetings against Stosur but was forced to save four match points in a three-set win in January at Sydney.
"She played well and didn't do anything bad," Williams said. "She went for broke and struck all her balls as hard as she could. She never lets you get into a rhythm.
"She had a lot of lucky shots. She's a good framer. But it's obviously all talent. She has mastered that."
Stosur denied Williams on 9-of-10 break-point chances and denied the 34-time WTA champion's comeback bid at the 700,000-dollar hardcourt tournament.
"We don't always play our best tennis every single day," Stosur said. "Maybe she didn't play her best and I played very well."
Sharapova, on the mend from right shoulder surgery, and Venus Williams exchanged early breaks but the American broke back for a 3-1 edge and again in the final game of the opening set.
Seven-time Grand Slam winner Venus broke three-time Slam winner Sharapova in the second game of the second set and denied the Russian on a break-point chance in the fifth game.
Venus finished with a break on her second match-point chance when Sharapova sent a backhand long, sending the former world number one into a semi-final against Dementieva.
"I'm going to try and do more of what I did tonight," Venus Williams said.
Venus improved to 3-3 lifetime against Sharapova, her only prior victories having come at Wimbledon in 2005 and 2007.
Date created : 2009-08-01