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Venus Williams defeats qualifier Pennetta in 2 sets to reach Dubai semifinal

Venus Williams has reached her fourth career Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships semifinal with a 6-3, 7-5 win over qualifier Flavia Pennetta of Italy.

The American, who won this title in 2009 and 2010, squandered her first chance of victory. Serving at 5-4, she lost a match point when Pennetta hit a forehand crosscourt winner. Four points later Pennetta broke serve to even the score.

However, Pennetta dropped serve in the 11th game to give Williams a second chance. After falling 0-40 behind, Williams fought back to take the game and the match.

Williams will play the winner of the quarterfinal match between eighth-seeded Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark and Sorana Cirstea of Romania. Top seed Serena Williams plays fifth-seeded Jelena Jankovic of Serbia in a Thursday night featured match.