Venus, Serena prevail at Family Circle Cup



CHARLESTON — Venus Williams kept up with sister Serena by winning a third-round match at the Family Circle Cup, moving one step closer to an all-Williams semifinal.

Venus Williams defeated Anastasia Rodionova 7-5, 6-2 Thursday, continuing her strong comeback from an autoimmune disease that kept her sidelined for more than six months.

Serena Williams also advanced to the quarterfinals, ousting Marina Erakovic 6-2, 6-2.

Venus Williams reached the final eight for the second consecutive tournament. She returned to action at the Sony Ericsson Open last week, winning four times before falling to eventual champion Agnieszka Radwanska.

She will take on second-seeded Samantha Stosur or Galina Voskoboeva today.

Serena Williams isn’t ready to look ahead to the semifinals and what could be the latest showdown with her older sister.

“I hope we both get there,” Serena said. “I mean, I have to win another match.”

Third-seeded Marion Bartoli wasn’t so fortunate. She gave up a 4-2 lead in the third set and lost to No. 14 seed Polona Hercog.


DAVIS CUP: France captain Guy Forget picked injured Gilles Simon to play singles against American John Isner in the Davis Cup quarterfinal.

Although the 13th-ranked Simon is nursing a sore back and had little practice, Forget selected him Thursday ahead of lower-ranked Julien Benneteau and Michael Llodra.

Sixth-ranked Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will open on clay against 19-year-old American Ryan Harrison at the Monte Carlo Country Club today.



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