Unexpectedly, it was Venus Williams who continued to progress at the Western & Southern Open, while Serena Williams fell in the quarterfinals, ending her 19-match winning streak with only her fourth defeat of the season.
Serena came to Cincinnati having won 36 of her last 37 matches, but her quarterfinal opponent, Angelique Kerber, was too solid, winning both of her two break point opportunities, while Serena's conversion remained 0%. Serena was 21% better than Kerber on first serve points won, but only 48% of her first serves went in, while she hit just four aces. Kerber, who has played at least the quarterfinals in 12 of 17 tournaments this year, will face Petra Kvitova in the semis. Kvitova is also on a winning streak, 8-0, having won Montreal and now three matches in Cincinnati, her last one a 6-3 7-6(4) victory over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
Venus beat Samantha Stosur 6-2 6-7(2) 6-4 for her first semifinal of the year. Venus cruised through the first set, then didn't lose hope after losing the 61-minute second set and wasting the opportunity to serve it out at 5-2 in the third, completing the match while serving at 5-4 in the deciding set. Next for Venus is Li Na, who took out top seed Agnieszka Radwanska 6-1 6-1.
Additional info: Excited about their triumphs at Wimbledon and the Olympic Games, the Williams sisters will team up for women's doubles at the US Open.
Fashion info: Stosur was wearing a custom Asics tennis dress. A dress of the similar cut will be available in 2013, while the orange and gray print will not be available for worldwide customers. (photo: © Neal Trousdale)