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Red-hot Venus breezes into semis

LONDON, June 30 – Defending champion Venus Williams hammered out a warning to her Wimbledon rivals as she cruised into the semi-finals with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over 11th seed Agnieszka Radwanska on Tuesday.VENUS_WILLIAMSWilliams, the third seed, completely overwhelmed Radwanska in just over an hour and her pursuit of a sixth Wimbledon crown looks unstoppable.

Venus will face either Dinara Safina, the top seed and world number one, or unseeded Sabine Lisicki in the last four as she continues her bid to become the first woman to win a hat-trick of Wimbledon singles’ titles since Steffi Graf in 1993.

For the eighth time in 10 years, the five-time Wimbledon champion has reached the semi-finals here. Even sister Serena, a two-time champion herself, will struggle to subdue Venus in this mood if they meet in the final.

Venus has yet to drop a set in five rounds this year and her winning streak at the All England Club has now reached 19 matches.

Even more remarkably, she has won 32 consecutive sets here since Japan’s Akiko Morigami took the second set of their third round match in 2007.

"I felt myself playing well for quite a few games there," Venus said. "I’m in the semi-finals, it’s right where I want to be and I’m looking to take it a step further."

Williams has been suffering from a left knee injury that slightly restricts her movement and she walked onto Court One with the knee heavily bandaged again.

The 20-year-old Radwanska became only the second Polish woman to reach the last eight of a Grand Slam at the Australian Open last year and followed that achievement by making the quarter-finals at Wimbledon a few months later.

But playing Williams at this stage of Wimbledon was a far more daunting proposition.

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A typically aggressive start from Venus underlined the point as she broke in the second game. Even though Radwanska tried to keep Venus on the move to test her injury, the American’s power-game took over.

Williams broke again with a flashing forehand return before closing out the first set with two aces.

An error-strewn Venus service game allowed Radwanska to break at the start of the second set.

But Venus turned up the heat and broke straight back. The decisive break followed in the fifth game and Williams drove home the advantage to go through.

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