Venus stuns Muguruza to advance at WTA Finals

first_imgBy John O’BrienSINGAPORE (Reuters) – Venus Williams gained revenge for her Wimbledon final defeat by Garbine Muguruza when the American advanced to the last four of the WTA Finals with a gutsy 7-5 6-4 victory over the Spanish world number two on Thursday.Both players knew a win would secure a passage to the semi-finals as they held identical 1-1 records in White Group play at the season-ending event but the 37-year-old was stronger on the key points and moved brilliantly around the court to progress.Muguruza had brushed aside Williams to claim her second grand slam title in July but any hopes she had of repeating the feat were snuffed out by a resolute opponent, who simply refused to buckle in the tense Singapore Indoor Stadium encounter.“I played an amazing opponent who has had an amazing year so I was so happy to win the last point,” Williams said in a courtside interview.The victory enabled Williams, who won this event in 2008, to advance along with pool winner Karolina Pliskova, who won her first two matches but ended round-robin play with a 6-3 6-1 defeat by Jelena Ostapenko earlier on Thursday.The winner-takes-all showdown started with Williams looking to dictate terms, pushing Muguruza around the court and attacking her second serve as the Spaniard countered by pushing the American back with her deep groundstrokes.The 37-year-old continued to pick away at the Muguruza serve but an ace and a string of big forehand winners helped stave off the early threat as both combatants took the fight to each other in a high-class encounter.The pair traded service breaks before Muguruza failed to hold on and send the opener into a tiebreak when Williams converted her third set point after the back-peddling Spaniard dumped a forehand into the net.last_img

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