NEW YORK (Reuters) - Former champion Venus Williams ended the run of French Open champion Francesca Schiavone at the U.S. Open when she beat the flamboyant Italian 7-6 6-4 in the quarter-finals on Tuesday.
The 30-year-old American, seeded third and champion at Flushing Meadows in 2000 and 2001, had a little too much power for the seventh seed, battling through in one hour 54 minutes to reach the last four for the eighth time.
Both players struggled in the gusty winds that swirled around Flushing Meadows, but Williams said she felt she had deserved her victory.
“I feel like when the stakes were higher I was able to raise my game,” Williams said. “She did, too, she played some great points. She’s just so feisty that you have to kind of keep her at bay. I was glad I was able to do that.”
Schiavone, who became the first Italian woman to win a grand-slam singles title when she won the French Open in June, recovered from 4-2 down to force a tiebreak in the first set.
Both players struggled for consistency in the wind but Schiavone came from 4-0 down in the tiebreak to make it 4-4 before Williams closed it out 7-5.
The American, wearing a sparkling pink dress, then stormed to a 4-1 lead in the second set but the resilient Schiavone managed to break back and get on serve again at 4-3.
The Italian enjoyed plenty of success by feeding short slices to Williams, who made 33 unforced errors.
Williams broke again to lead 5-3 but once more, the Italian broke back, only for Williams to break yet again to clinch her eighth victory in their eight meetings.
“I like seeing my name next to her name, I’m good with that.” said Williams.
“I know when I play her I’m going to have to play good tennis, but I really do enjoy our matchups, obviously because I usually come out on top.”
In the semi-finals, the American faces either defending champion Kim Clijsters or Australian fifth seed Sam Stosur.
Editing by Frank Pingue