Venus sets up semi with Kournikova

Lindsay Davenport and Venus Williams, the top two seeded players in the Bank of the West tournament in Stanford, California, were both extended to three sets, but outlasted their opponents on Friday to advance to the semifinals and stay on track for a rematch of the Wimbledon final.

Lindsay Davenport and Venus Williams, the top two seeded players in the Bank of the West tournament in Stanford, California, were both extended to three sets, but outlasted their opponents on Friday to advance to the semifinals and stay on track for a rematch of the Wimbledon final.

The second-seeded Williams outlasted Amy Frazier 6-7 (5), 6-4, 7-6 (5), while the top-seeded Davenport got by eighth-seeded Chanda Rubin 6-3, 3-6, 6-1.

In the semis, Williams will meet ninth-seeded Anna Kournikova, who defeated France's Sandrine Testud 6-3, 6-2.

Fourth-seeded Monica Seles also advanced into the semifinals with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Zimbabwe's Cara Black and will play Davenport.

The 10th-seeded Frazier played aggressively and minimized her mistakes to force Williams to play for more than 2 1/2 hours before the reigning Wimbledon champion slammed home a forehand for the winner in the tiebreaker.

"I did what I could today," Williams said. "At the end, I cleaned up my game a little bit and hit some deep shots. She just kept returning them. She had a good day."

Williams had 18 aces in the match, but also 20 double faults.

"I was a little slow and not taking advantage of early opportunities," said Williams. "I could see her confidence building. It was tough match, very tough."

After winning the first set, Davenport had her serve broken early in the second set and didn't recover.

"Next thing I know it's 3-0," Davenport said. "When I got down a break early, it hurt my chances to win that set."

Davenport ran away with the third set.

Meanwhile, Seles is coming off a title at the A-and-P Classic.

"I played a little more aggressive today," said Seles. "I didn't know what to expect, so I was aggressive from the start."

What Seles didn't expect was a long game from Black during the first set in which there were 15 deuces.

"That was one of the longest games I've ever played," Seles said. "I got a huge break when she missed an overhand because of the sun."

Kournikova overcame a violation for racket abuse after disagreeing with the umpire's out call and slamming her racket down on the net near the post during the first game of the second set. She gained a semifinal berth for the fourth time this year.

"That was the first time ever I broke a racket on purpose," said Kournikova. "I clearly saw the ball out and three overcalls in one game is kind of tough. That upset me."

Williams has beaten Kournikova in their last four meetings, including last year's quarterfinal match at Stanford.

"We've had some interesting matches in the past," Kournikova said. "She's obviously playing well. I have to concentrate on my own game against her and try not to adjust to her game."

Results from the $535,000 Bank of the West Classic Sanex WTA Tour hard-court tournament:

Singles - Quarterfinals

Monica Seles (4), United States, def. Cara Black, Zimbabwe, 6-1, 6-2. Venus Williams (2), United States, def. Amy Frazier, United States, 6-7 (5), 6-4, 7-6 (5). Lindsay Davenport (1), United States, def. Chanda Rubin, United States (8), 6-3, 3-6, 6-1. Anna Kournikova, Russia (9), def. Sandrine Testud, France (5), 6-3, 6-2.

---

Doubles - Quarterfinals

Cara Black, Zimbabwe, and Amy Frazier (4), United States, def. Gabriela Lastra and Keiko Tokuda, United States, 6-3, 6-1.

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