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LONDON - The Williams sisters are in the Wimbledon semifinals.
Champion Venus Williams ended Thai Tamarine Tanasugarn's dream run at Wimbledon with a 6-4 6-3 win in the quarterfinals yesterday.
The seventh seed, chasing a fifth title at the All England Club, made sure an all-Williams final was still on the cards by reaching the semifinals for the seventh time.
Her sister and sixth seed, Serena, reached the semifinals with a 6-4, 6-0 win over Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska yesterday.
Serena, the 2002 and 2003 champion, will face either Czech 18th seed Nicole Vaidisova or China's Zheng Jie for a place in the final.
Venus moved around court with ease yesterday after sealing victory, she limped off court.
Williams said she had tweaked a left hamstring and added: "I'll be fine, I'm a big girl, I can deal with injuries."
After the downfall of the top four seeds at this year's championships, Venus is favourite to meet sister Serena in Saturday's final.
Although she and Serena still have to negotiate their semifinal opponents, Venus was already looking forward to a final date with her younger sibling.
"I love it here, I've had some great times," said the 28-year-old, who reached the last four without dropping a set.
"It will be amazing if we were both in the final. I've just got to keep it up for one more match."
The American will meet Russian Elena Dementieva, at five the highest seed left in the women's draw and who beat Nadia Petrova on Centre Court 6-1 6-7 6-3.
Tamarine, at 31 the oldest player left among the women, had led a charmed life over the last nine days when she claimed the scalps of 13th seed Vera Zvonareva in the second round and second seed Jelena Jankovic in the last 16.
Her dogged display helped her to become the first Thai woman to reach the last eight of a grand slam - at her 45th attempt.
Yesterday, however, she came unstuck.
Had she managed to covert more than one of the 10 break points she earned, she could have had a chance of snapping her 0-6 losing streak against the six-times grand slam champion.
Instead, she had to dwell on what might have been.
"I was joking myself, I have so many break points in the first set. But Venus doesn't give you any easy chance... so you have to make it. So what can I do? I tried my best," said Tamarine, who has never won a set against Williams.
Williams nosed ahead 3-2 in the first set after three successive breaks of serve.
Playing gritty tennis from the baseline, Tamarine had six chances to break in the sixth game which dragged on for 12 fluctuating minutes on a sweltering Court One.
But each time Tamarine threatened to break, Williams would glare down at her opponent and unleash a thunderbolt delivery.
The American finally chalked up game point with a 201 kph ace and followed it with a 203kph service winner.
After saving a set point at 4-5 down, Tamarine brought the cheering crowd to their feet in the next game.
She whipped a running forehand past a lunging Williams and followed it up with a lob to earn yet another break point.
However, Williams maintained her calm and moments later she sealed the set with a thundering backhand winner. - Reuters