Venus Williams powers into Wimbledon semifinals

Five-time champion Venus Williams overpowered Agnieszka Radwanska 6-1, 6-2 on Tuesday to reach the Wimbledon semifinals.

updated: June 30, 2009 16:09 IST
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Five-time champion Venus Williams overpowered Agnieszka Radwanska 6-1, 6-2 on Tuesday to reach the Wimbledon semifinals and move a step closer to another possible championship showdown with sister Serena.

Williams, seeking her third straight Wimbledon title, outhit the 14th-ranked Pole from all parts of the court and proved again that she is the dominant female player on grass.

Williams had her left leg taped up again but showed no weakness at all as she ripped 29 winners - compared to six for Radwanska - in a match that lasted just 68 minutes on a sunbaked Court 1.

"I can't complain," Williams said. "I'm in the semifinals of Wimbledon, right where I want to be. I just need to take another step forward."

Williams raced to a 5-0 lead against Radwanska, and finished off the first set with back-to-back aces. Williams dropped only two of 18 points on serve in the set.

Radwanska managed to win the first two games of the second set, but Williams regained command and ran off six straight to finish the match, ending with a clean forehand winner.

"She was serving and hitting the ball so strong," Radwanska said. "Her tennis is so powerful. Today she was playing so good, it was very hard to do anything. If she will play like this, she will (win) one more time this tournament."

Serena Williams, a two-time Wimbledon champion herself, was due up later on Centre Court against 19-year-old Victoria Azarenka of Belarus. The sisters have met in three Wimbledon finals, including last year, and are on course for a fourth title meeting.

"That would be fantastic," Venus said. "That's what Serena and I are hoping for."

Venus Williams is trying to become the first woman since Steffi Graf in 1991-93 to win three Wimbledon titles in a row.

Only once in the last nine years has there been a Wimbledon women's final that didn't feature at least one of the Williams sisters. The sisters were the only two Grand Slam winners left in the women's field - Serena has 10 major titles and Venus seven.

In other quarterfinals on Tuesday, top-ranked Dinara Safina was playing 19-year-old German Sabine Lisicki and No. 4 Elena Dementieva faced Francesca Schiavone.

The men's quarterfinals are set for Wednesday with five-time champion Roger Federer against 6-foot-10 (2.08-meter) Croat Ivo Karlovic; No. 3 Andy Murray vs. Spanish wild card Juan Carlos Ferrero; 2002 champion Lleyton Hewitt vs. two-time finalist Andy Roddick; and No. 3 Novak Djokovic vs. Tommy Haas.

Temperatures topped 30 degrees (90 f) on Tuesday, with no need to close the roof on Centre Court.

On Monday, the retractable roof was closed for the first time and Murray beat Stanislas Warwrinka in a five-setter that finished at 10:39 p.m. - later than any match in Centre Court history. Previously, no Centre Court match had lasted later than 9:35 p.m.