Bangalore:Multiple Grand Slam and Sydney Olympic gold medallist Venus Williams produced a memorable performance, wearing down Shuai Peng of China 6-2 6-7 (6) 6-2 to set up a semifinal clash with sister Serena in the WTA Bangalore Open here on Thursday.
It took little time for the champion to assess her rival's strength on a court where all players have been facing problems due to high bounce of the ball.
Venus was able to quickly adjust and had her upper hand with a fifth game break. In the next two games, Venus made silly errors in failing to cross the ball on easy returns. However, she rose her game when mattered and broke Peng for the second time in the set (8th game) for the first set win in about 35 minutes.
Peng bounced back in the second set matching Venus shot for shot and was more consistent in her shot selections, particularly after breaking back Venus in the fifth game.
Peng at times came up with unbelievable returns being able to retrieve the ball and rarely missed to score from rallies with her down the line winners and the set was seen to be heading to tie-break.
Surprisingly, Venus despite trailing 0-2 won four points in a row and then led 6-4 and being just a point away, she double faulted. From here, Peng rose to win the set for a decision in the decider.
In the decider, Venus, who missed some big points at crucial stages in the match, led 2-0 with a second game break but was surprised as Peng was able to return the complement in the next three games and was excellent in her court coverage.
However, Venus led with a break in the sixth game and had two match points. Peng took the game to decider but hit her back hand return long to give the match to Venus.