PARIS (AP) — Venus and Serena Williams may have pulled out of the French Open doubles but Serena is keeping the Williams name alive. The younger Williams sister came from behind in the third set Tuesday and advanced to the French Open semifinals for the first time since 2003 when she defeated Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-1, 3-6, 6-3.
Williams had been beaten the last four times she reached the Roland Garros quarterfinals, most recently in 2010. The 15-time Grand Slam champion, who is ranked No. 1, won her only French Open title in 2002.
Against Kuznetsova, Williams overcame an inconsistent serve, erratic groundstrokes and a 2-love deficit in the final set, winning five consecutive games and then closing the victory with a forehand winner and a scream.
”Yes!” she hollered.
It was the first real test of the tournament for Williams, who lost 10 games after losing a total of 10 games in her four earlier matches. She extended her career-best winning streak to 29 consecutive matches.
In a post-match on-court interview, Williams seemed spent.
”I’m very happy to have won this quarterfinal because the whole night I was afraid of my quarterfinal match,” she told the crowd in French. ”It was a very tough match today, but it’s good for me because, I don’t know, but it’s very good. I am exhausted.”
Williams is the first American woman to reach the French Open semifinals since Jennifer Capriati in 2004. Her opponent Thursday will be 2012 runner-up Sara Errani, who advanced by beating No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska 6-4, 7-6 (6).